the name of Master Antonio. He was, however, called by everybody Master Cherry, on account of the end of his nose, which was always as red and polished as a ripe cherry.
No sooner had Master Cherry set eyes on the piece of wood than his face beamed with delight; and, rubbing his hands together with satisfaction, he said softly to himself:
'This wood has come at the right moment; it will just do to make the leg of a little table.'
Having said this he immediately took a sharp axe with which to remove the bark and the rough surface. Just, however, as he was going to give the first stroke he remained with his arm suspended in the air, for he heard a very small voice saying imploringly, 'Do not strike me so hard!'
Picture to yourselves the astonishment of good old Master Cherry!
He turned his terrified eyes all round the room to try and discover where the little voice could possibly have come from, but he saw nobody! He looked under the bench—nobody; he looked into a cupboard that was always shut— nobody; he looked into a basket of shavings and sawdust— nobody; he even opened the door of the shop and gave a glance into the street—and still nobody. Who, then, could it be?
'I see how it is,' he said, laughing and scratching his wig; 'evidently that little voice