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sure that these cataclysmic changes weren't only a dream. But he knew he was awake.

“Where's Father?” he cried suddenly. He ran into the next room, and there stood a rejuvenated Geppetto, neat and trim in his new clothes. He was once again a happy wood carver, hard at work on a lovely picture frame.

“Father, Father, what's happened?” cried Pinocchio, as he ran and hugged his father's neck.

“These changes are all your doing, my dear Pinocchio.”

“What did I have to do with it?”

“Everything. Your fidelity to your parents, your sense of right and wrong, your love of study, your willingness to endure hard work—they've all coalesced into a brand-new, living, breathing you. And I and our house have changed because it always follows that when bad children become good, they bring happiness to their home and to their whole family.”

“And the old wooden Pinocchio, where is he?”

“There he is,” answered Geppetto. And he pointed to a puppet leaning against a chair, head turned to one side, arms hanging loosely, and legs twisted under him.

After a long, long look, Pinocchio said to himself with great contentment: “How ridiculous I was as a puppet! And how happy I am to be a real live boy!”


copyright © 2004 Mark Phillips

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