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The Adventures of Pinocchio
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How it happened that Mastro Cherry, carpenter, found a piece of wood that wept
and laughed like a child
Centuries ago there lived--
"A king!" my little readers will say immediately.
No, children, you are mistaken. Once upon a time there was a piece of wood. It
was not an expensive piece of wood. Far from it. Just a common block of
firewood, one of those thick, solid logs that are put on the fire in winter to make
cold rooms cozy and warm.
I do not know how this really happened, yet the fact remains that one fine day
this piece of wood found itself in the shop of an old carpenter. His real name was
Mastro Antonio, but everyone called him Mastro Cherry, for the tip of his nose
was so round and red and shiny that it looked like a ripe cherry.
As soon as he saw that piece of wood, Mastro Cherry was filled with joy. Rubbing
his hands together happily, he mumbled half to himself:
"This has come in the nick of time. I shall use it to make the leg of a table."
He grasped the hatchet quickly to peel off the bark and shape the wood. But as
he was about to give it the first blow, he stood still with arm uplifted, for he had
heard a wee, little voice say in a beseeching tone: "Please be careful! Do not hit
me so hard!"
What a look of surprise shone on Mastro Cherry's face! His funny face became