You are reading The Pinocchio Intermediate Vocabulary Builder

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how I wept when I read ‘Here lies—'”

“I know it, and for that I've forgiven you. The depth of your sorrow made me see that you have a kind heart. There's always hope for boys with hearts such as yours. Do you know why I've come so far to look for you? It's because of my conviction that there's a good boy somewhere deep down inside you. That's why. And from now on, I'm going to be your mother.”

“Oh, how lovely!” cried Pinocchio, jumping with joy.

“You will obey me always and do as I wish?”

“Gladly, very gladly; more than gladly!”

“Beginning tomorrow,” said the fairy, “you'll go to school every day.”

Pinocchio's face fell a little.

“Then you'll choose the trade or profession you like best.”

Pinocchio became more serious.

“What are you mumbling to yourself?” asked the fairy.

“I was just saying,” whined the puppet, “that it seems too late for me to go to school now.”

“No, my child. Remember that it's never too late to learn.”

“But I don't want to learn a trade or profession.”

“Why?”

“Because work tires me out!”

“My dear son,” said the fairy, “laziness is a serious illness, and it must be eliminated in early childhood, while it's still in an embryonic stage; otherwise, it will destroy you. On the other hand, a love of work promotes well being and longevity. No one can find happiness without it.”

These words touched Pinocchio's heart. He lifted his eyes to his mother and said seriously, “I'll work; I'll study; I'll do everything you say. After all, the life of a puppet has grown very tiresome to me and I want to become a real boy, no matter how hard it is. You promise that, don't you?”

“Yes, I promise. And now it's all up to you.”

Chapter 22 “Pinocchio Goes to School”

Bright and early the next morning, Pinocchio started for school.

When the other children saw a puppet enter the classroom, they laughed until they cried. All the boys played tricks on him. One pulled his hat off, another tugged at his coat, and a third tried to paint a mustache under his nose. One even tried to tie strings to his hands and feet to make him dance. The teacher finally put an end to the mayhem by ordering the children to their seats.

For a while, by sitting very still and forcing himself to wear a deadpan expression, Pinocchio managed to maintain his composure. But behind him he could hear the other boys whispering to each other about him and quietly laughing. Any remark that wasn't blatantly cruel was filled with innuendo. At first he ignored their insults; but as they continued, he found it harder and harder to remain impassive. Then, when they started trading

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