"Ah, Giddy, listen to the sound of children, on their way to the fountains of knowledge!" said Honest John, his favorite anthropomorphic fox, spinning his cane in that strange way he always does, "School, a noble institution, after all, what would this stupid world be without-"
An advertisement for Stromboli's show was posted. Honest John knew him well and they were both sly and greedy.
"Stromboli! So that old rascal's back in town! Haha! Remember when we tied strings on you and passed you off as a puppet?" Honest John laughed.
Gideon smiled at the memory, but felt a little bit of contempt for not being able to speak. He started to wonder if he would have ever stood up to Honest John if he could talk. Sure, he had ways of getting them money so they could get along, but he wasn't ever sure if his methods were right.
"We nearly pulled one over on him that time, haha!" he spoke again, "Oh, look, a wooden boy."
The boy's joints clanked together as he skipped along with a book in one arm and an apple in his hand.
"A wooden boy!" Honest John realized and ran closer to observe, Gideon following behind.
"A live puppet without strings! That thing ought to be worth a fortune to someone. That's it, Stromboli!" Honest John realized, "If we play our cards right, we'd be on easy street."
Gideon smiled and nodded. Easy and Street were two words that seemed to appeal to them both.
"Quick, we let him off!" he whispered and pulled Gideon by his cane.
They waited until the boy was near them. Gideon took out his club (this often came in handy).
"No, no, stupid!" Honest John took the club and hit him on the head, something he hated, "Don't be rude."
"Shh, Giddy, play along," he said, turning to him and sticking out his cane, "Ah, yes, Giddy, as I was saying to the Duchess, only a-"
"Ah!" the wooden boy said, tripping and dropping his things.
"Oh, my, my, my, I'm terribly sorry," the fox apologized in a phony tone, "I do hope you aren't injured!"
"I'm all right," said the boy.
Gideon couldn't help but wonder what was in his pocket. He stretched out the pocket, seeing what's inside when Honest John hit him with the cane.
"Oh, quite the scholar I see!" Honest John continued, biting the apple and holding the book upside down, for he was mostly illiterate and knew only some letters of the alphabet. At this point, Gideon was glad he kept his literacy a secret, "Looky here Giddy, a man of matters!"
Honest John gave the boy the book and asked him of his whereabouts.
"I'm going to school!" the boy said proudly.
"School?" the fox asked, "Well then, you probably don't know about the easy road to success, do you?"
"Na-uh!" the boy replied.
"No? I'm speaking, my boy, of the theatre! Here's your apple."
The boy now held an apple core and grimaced. The apple was probably for the teacher.
"I'm speaking of music, applause, faaaaaame."
"Yes, my child, I could see your name in lights! Lights, six feet high! Uh, what is your name?"
"Pinocchio," the animated puppet replied. At this point, Gideon had a little compassion for the boy.
"Pinocchio! P! I! N! O! U, uh P, I, N, O, oh haha. We're wasting precious time!" Honest John said, "Onto the theatre!"
Honest John starting singing, "Hi diddly dee, an actor's life for me. You get a golden watch and a diamond chain, a high quality silver cane, hi diddly day, an actor's life is gay, it's great to be a celebrity, an actor's life for me!"
Several times, Gideon had to catch up with them. Oy, if only little Pinocchio knew what he was getting into.