'Pinocchio? . . . Did you say Pinocchio?' repeated the puppet, jumping quickly to his feet. 'I am Pinocchio!'
The Pigeon at this answer descended rapidly to the ground. He was larger than a turkey.
'Do you also know Geppetto?' he asked.
'If I know him! He is my poor papa! Has he perhaps spoken to you of me? Will you take me to him? Is he still alive? Answer me for pity's sake: is he still alive?'
'I left him three days ago on the seashore.'
'What was he doing?'
'He was building a little boat for himself, to cross the ocean. For more than three months that poor man has been going all round the world looking for you. Not having succeeded in finding you he has now taken it into his head to go to the distant countries of the new world in search of you.'
'How far is it from here to the shore?' asked Pinocchio breathlessly.
'More than six hundred miles.'
'Six hundred miles! Oh, beautiful Pigeon, what a fine thing it would be to have your wings! . . .'
'If you wish to go, I will carry you there.'
'Astride on my back. Do you weigh much?'