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As soon as Pinocchio went into the stable, he saw a little donkey lying on a bed of straw. He was dying from hunger and a life of drudgery. After looking at him a long time, the puppet said to himself: “I think I know that donkey! I've seen him before.” Bending low over him, he asked, “Who are you?”

The dying donkey opened weary eyes and answered, “I'm Lampwick.”

Then he closed his eyes and died.

“Oh, my poor Lampwick,” said Pinocchio in a faint voice, as he wiped his eyes with his sleeve.

“Why should you feel so sorry about a little donkey that cost you nothing?” asked the farmer. “What about me, who paid good money for him?”

“But, you see, he was my friend.”

“Your friend?”

“Yes. He was one of those hearty, extroverted types with an invincible optimism and a perpetual smile. You couldn't help but like him. He was witty and personable, too. And on top of all that, he was an outstanding, versatile athlete! You see, he was a classmate of mine who—”

“What? A classmate?” shouted the farmer, interrupting Pinocchio's extemporaneous little eulogy. “You had donkeys in your school?” Then he added sarcastically, “Some lessons you must have had there!”

The puppet, ashamed and hurt by these words, didn't answer. He took his milk and returned to his father.

That day was the advent of a new era for Pinocchio. For the next five months, he got up every morning just as dawn was breaking and went to the farm to draw water. And every day he was given a cup of milk for his poor old father.

But that was not all. Using a simple basket he found around the house as a prototype, he taught himself to weave baskets of his own. In a short time he became quite adept at it. Then he learned some advanced basket making techniques. For example, he learned how to create intricate design patterns within the weave and he learned to use a needle and thread to attach colorful glass beads to the outsides of the baskets. He integrated each new technique he learned into his overall style. Soon he was producing the most artistic yet functional baskets anyone had ever seen. A typical basket, for example, might contain diamonds and other geometrical shapes within the weave, and symmetrical rows of alternating transparent and opaque red beads on either side, toward the top. He sold his masterpieces at the marketplace, and with the money he received, he and his father were able to pay for all their needs.

With some of the money he'd allocated for school supplies, he bought himself some used schoolbooks. In the evening he studied by lamplight at

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