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- Pinocchio in Africa - 16/16 -

An outburst of laughter greeted these words and completely drowned the voice of the speaker.

"But there is more, my people! This individual possesses the ability to eat raw butter, yet his meat must be cooked. He takes porridge with a spoon and caries it to his mouth. He is even stupid enough to cut bread with a weapon called a knife."

The astonishment was great! When it had subsided a little there was a rush to the huts. The people came out carrying water, raw meat, and butter. One brought a chicken, which the minister immediately killed and cooked.

At the word of command, Pinocchio washed his hands, neck, and face. This the marionette did willingly, for he felt the need of it. Then the broiled chicken was given to him. Pinocchio, to the delight of all, cut off one of the legs with his knife, and having spread it with pieces of butter, proceeded to eat it with evident relish.

The women then wished to see him comb his hair. Pinocchio, who had no comb, passed his fingers through his tangled locks, and finally succeeded in parting them. Then he drew a handkerchief from his pocket and blew his nose. The children shouted with glee, and even the parents could not help laughing at the queer things the marionette did.

43. Pinocchio Breaks The Cage And Makes His Escape

FOR the next few days the poor Emperor and King of all African kings was compelled to exhibit himself, and to repeat his performances before thousands of eyes eager to see his strange accomplishments. He was compelled from morning till night to hear the insults of the boys and the laughter of the men. All this made him very miserable.

What annoyed him most was the warning he received not to refuse to eat whenever food was brought to him. "That is what the monkeys and the elephants do," said the marionette sorrowfully, recalling what he and his school companions had seen when they went to the circus.

It is unnecessary to say that he thought of his father, of his dear Fatina, and of his home. They were constantly in his mind. Slowly, slowly it dawned upon him that this way of living could no longer be endured, and finally he was convinced that if he did not soon see his little home, if he did not soon eat the hard, black crust given him by the loving hands of his father, if he did not soon drink the water from his own well, he should die of a broken heart.

"My home, my home!" he cried, the tears rolling down his cheeks. "Home, my home!" he repeated, no longer thinking of the gold and silver for which he had come to Africa.

"I want to see my father again." And then he stood erect in his cage. His head went through the top of it and the side fell apart. Away he leaped over the heads of the crowd, away like lightning! Out of the village, across the plains, beyond the hills! Compared with him, the swift south wind would have seemed no faster than a snail.

He ran and ran and ran. Nor did he make an end of running until he reached the wide waters of the Mediterranean Sea.

There he stopped. He looked back at Africa, the land of all his empty dreams; then flinging himself into the water, he said aloud, "I will return when I have a little more sense."

At that moment a familiar voice shouted to him: "Good Pinocchio! Hurrah for Pinocchio!"

Pinocchio in Africa - 16/16

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