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CHAPTER 26 (continued)
The teacher warned him each day, and even the good Fairy repeated to him many times:
"Take care, Pinocchio! Those bad companions will sooner or later make you lose your love for study. Some day they will lead you astray."
"There's no such danger," answered the Marionette, shrugging his shoulders and pointing to his forehead as if to say, "I'm too wise."
So it happened that one day, as he was walking to school, he met some boys who ran up to him and said:
"Have you heard the news?"
"A Shark as big as a mountain has been seen near the shore."
"Really? I wonder if it could be the same one I heard of when my father was drowned?"
"We are going to see it. Are you coming?"
"No, not I. I must go to school."
"What do you care about school? You can go there tomorrow. With a lesson more or less, we are always the same donkeys."
"And what will the teacher say?"
"Let him talk. He is paid to grumble all day long."
"And my mother?"
"Mothers don't know anything," answered those scamps.
"Do you know what I'll do?" said Pinocchio. "For certain reasons of mine, I, too, want to see that Shark; but I'll go after school. I can see him then as well as now."
"Poor simpleton!" cried one of the boys. "Do you think that a fish of that size will stand there waiting for you? He turns and off he goes, and no one will ever be the wiser."
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