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Fox and the Cat

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The Fox and the Cat
Gatto e volpe

Real Name

The Fox and the Cat

First Appearance

The Adventures of Pinocchio (1881)

Created by

Carlo Collodi

Origin

Pinocchio encounters the two after leaving Mangiafuoco's theatre with five gold coins. The Fox claims to know Pinocchio's father, Mister Geppetto, and proposes to Pinocchio to come with them to the Land of Barn Owls and thence to a 'Field of Miracles' where coins can be grown into a money tree. When Pinocchio hesitates, stating his obligation to attend school, the pair claim that their disabilities were due to their eagerness to study. A white blackbird attempts to warn Pinocchio of their lies, but is eaten by the Cat. The pair lead Pinocchio to the Red Prawn Inn, where they eat a large meal and ask to be awoken at midnight. Two hours before the set time, the pair abandon Pinocchio leaving him to pay for the meal with one of his coins. They instruct the innkeeper to tell Pinocchio that they left after receiving a message stating that the Cat's eldest kitten had fallen ill, and that they would meet Pinocchio at the Field of Miracles in the morning. When Pinocchio leaves the inn, the two attack him while disguised as murderers. Pinocchio hides the coins in his mouth and in the ensuing struggle, Pinocchio bites off the Cat's paw. He is then pursued by the murderers, who hang him from a tree to force him to disgorge the coins.

Pinocchio escapes with the assistance of The Fairy with Turquoise Hair and encounters the pair again unaware that they are the murderers that hung him. The Fox invents a story to explain the Cat's missing paw, stating that he had sacrificed it to feed a starving wolf. The Fox further adds that they must go to the Field without further delay, as a Lord has bought it and would soon make it off limits to the public. The Pair takes Pinocchio to the town of Catchfools, which is inhabited by many emaciated and starving animals who made bad choices in their past. Pinocchio is taken to the Field, where the coins are soon buried. After telling Pinocchio to leave for a few minutes to allow the money tree time to grow, the pair dig up the coins and run away.

By the end of the book, the pair have become impoverished with the Fox being lame for real and even losing his tail for he had to sell it because they were so poor and the Cat really being blind. They plead for food or money, but are rebuffed by Pinocchio saying it serves them right for their wickedness.

Notes

While the original character who appeared in published works before 1923 is in public domain, the version of the character used by Disney, or any other post-1923 works are, most obviously, NOT.

See Also

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