'I followed your example. You showed me the road, and I escaped after you.'
'Tunny, you have arrived at the right moment! I implore you to help us, or we are lost.'
'Willingly and with all my heart. You must both of you take hold of my tail and leave me to guide you. I will take you on shore in four minutes.'
Geppetto and Pinocchio, as I need not tell you, accepted the offer at once; but instead of holding on by his tail they thought it would be more comfortable to get on the Tunny's back.
Having reached the shore Pinocchio sprang first on land that he might help his father to do the same. He then turned to the Tunny, and said to him in a voice full of emotion:
'My friend, you have saved my papa's life. I can find no words with which to thank you properly. Permit me at least to give you a kiss as a sign of my eternal gratitude! . . .'
The Tunny put his head out of the water and Pinocchio, kneeling on the ground, kissed him tenderly on the mouth. At this spontaneous proof of warm affection the poor Tunny, who was not accustomed to it, felt extremely touched, and ashamed to let himself be seen crying like a child he plunged under the water and disappeared.