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I can earn a lot of money. With the very first pennies I make, I'll buy Father a brand-new cloth coat. Cloth, did I say? No, it'll be of gold and silver with diamond buttons. That poor man certainly deserves it. After all, isn't he in his shirtsleeves because he was kind enough to buy a book for me? On this cold day, too! Fathers are indeed good to their children!”

While dwelling on these visionary desires, he thought he heard beautiful music coming from somewhere in the distance—but because it was faint, the direction it came from was difficult to discern. He stopped to listen more carefully, tilting his head this way and that. Finally, he determined that it was coming from a little street that led to a small village along the shore.

“What can that music be?” he wondered. Enraptured by its charm, he stood listening, forgetting about everything else. Then, suddenly coming to his senses, he thought: “What a pity that I have to go to school today! Otherwise—”

There he stopped, very much puzzled. He felt he had to make up his mind for either one thing or another. Should he go to school, or should he follow the music?

“Today I'll follow the music, and tomorrow I'll go to school,” he decided arbitrarily. “There's always plenty of time to go to school.”

He started running down the street. Soon he was close enough to hear the subtle nuances of the various instruments, and the music sounded even more beautiful than before. He ran as fast as his little wooden legs would carry him.

Suddenly he found himself in a large square, full of people standing in front of a wooden building painted in vibrant colors. He stared at the building for a few moments while he caught his breath, then asked a little boy near him, “What's that?”

“Read the sign and you'll know,” answered the boy.

“I'd like to read it, but somehow I can't today.”

“Why not?”

“Um…I can't decipher the handwriting.”

“Oh, really? Then I'll read it to you. It says ‘Great Puppet Theater. Marionette Show Today.'”

“When did the show start?”

“It's starting right now.”

“And how much does it cost to get in?”

“Five cents.”

Pinocchio, who was wild with curiosity to know what was going on inside, lost all his pride and said to the boy shamelessly, “Will you lend me five cents until tomorrow?”

“I'd like to lend it to you,” answered the other, poking fun at him, “but somehow I can't today.”

“Then will you buy my coat of flowered paper for five cents?”

“For kids our age a floral pattern is passé; it's been superseded by solid colors or stripes. Besides, if it rains, what could I do with a coat of paper? It would

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