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and at every small sound he heard, he turned in fear to see whether the shark was following him.

After walking a half hour, he came to a small country called the Land of the Busy Bees. The streets were filled with people running back and forth, on business. Everyone worked; no one was idle.

“I understand,” said Pinocchio to himself wearily, “that this is no place for me! I was not born for work.”

But in the meantime, he began to feel hungry, for it had been a full day since he'd last eaten. What could he do? He knew that there were only two ways of averting hunger. He'd have to either work or beg.

He was ashamed to beg, because his good father had indoctrinated him with certain principles, one of which was that begging should be done only by the sick or the old. He had said that the impoverished in this world deserve our pity and help only if, through either sickness or senility, they've become incapacitated. All others should work, and if they didn't, and went hungry, too bad for them.

Just then a man passed by. He was worn out and wet with perspiration. He was pulling, with great difficulty, two heavy carts filled with coal. Pinocchio looked at him and, judging him by his looks to be a kind man, said with shame-filled eyes, “Will you be so good as to give me a penny, for I'm faint from hunger?”

“Not only one penny,” answered the man. “I'll give you four if you'll help me pull these two wagons.”

“I'm surprised!” answered the puppet, very much offended. “I'd like you to know that I've never been a donkey, nor have I ever pulled a wagon.”

“Good for you!” answered the man. “Then, my boy, if you're really faint from hunger, eat two pieces of your pride. And I hope they don't give you a tummy ache.”

A few minutes after, a bricklayer passed by, carrying a pail full of plaster on his shoulders.

“Good man, will you be kind enough to give a penny to a poor boy who's starving?”

“Gladly,” answered the bricklayer. “Come with me and carry some plaster, and instead of one penny, I'll give you five.”

“But plaster's heavy,” answered Pinocchio, “and the work is too hard for me.”

“If the work is too hard for you, my boy, enjoy your hunger, and may it bring you luck!”

In less than a half hour, at least twenty people passed and Pinocchio begged of each one. But they all answered, “Aren't you ashamed to beg? Don't you realize that by dint of hard work and perseverance you can earn your own bread?”

In spite of all his failures thus far,

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