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| Home | Reading Room The Adventures of Pinocchio

The Adventures of Pinocchio
by C. Collodi
[Pseudonym of Carlo Lorenzini]

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Mastro Cherry gives the piece of wood to his friend Geppetto,

who takes it to make himself a Marionette that will dance,

fence, and turn somersaults

In that very instant, a loud knock sounded on the door.

"Come in," said the carpenter, not having an atom of

strength left with which to stand up.

At the words, the door opened and a dapper little old

man came in. His name was Geppetto, but to the boys of

the neighborhood he was Polendina,[1] on account of the

wig he always wore which was just the color of yellow corn.

[1] Cornmeal mush

Geppetto had a very bad temper. Woe to the one who

called him Polendina! He became as wild as a beast and

no one could soothe him.

"Good day, Mastro Antonio," said Geppetto. "What

are you doing on the floor?"

"I am teaching the ants their A B C's."

"Good luck to you!"

"What brought you here, friend Geppetto?"

"My legs. And it may flatter you to know, Mastro

Antonio, that I have come to you to beg for a favor."

"Here I am, at your service," answered the carpenter,

raising himself on to his knees.

"This morning a fine idea came to me."

"Let's hear it."

"I thought of making myself a beautiful wooden

Marionette. It must be wonderful, one that will be able to

dance, fence, and turn somersaults. With it I intend to go

around the world, to earn my crust of bread and cup of

wine. What do you think of it?"

"Bravo, Polendina!" cried the same tiny voice which

came from no one knew where.

On hearing himself called Polendina, Mastro Geppetto

turned the color of a red pepper and, facing the carpenter,

said to him angrily:

"Why do you insult me?"

"Who is insulting you?"

"You called me Polendina."

"I did not."

"I suppose you think _I_ did! Yet I KNOW it was you."





And growing angrier each moment, they went from

words to blows, and finally began to scratch and bite and

slap each other.

When the fight was over, Mastro Antonio had Geppetto's

yellow wig in his hands and Geppetto found the carpenter's

curly wig in his mouth.

"Give me back my wig!" shouted Mastro Antonio in a surly voice.

"You return mine and we'll be friends."

The two little old men, each with his own wig back on

his own head, shook hands and swore to be good friends

for the rest of their lives.

"Well then, Mastro Geppetto," said the carpenter, to

show he bore him no ill will, "what is it you want?"

"I want a piece of wood to make a Marionette. Will you give it to me?"

Mastro Antonio, very glad indeed, went immediately

to his bench to get the piece of wood which had frightened

him so much. But as he was about to give it to his friend,

with a violent jerk it slipped out of his hands and hit

against poor Geppetto's thin legs.

"Ah! Is this the gentle way, Mastro Antonio, in which

you make your gifts? You have made me almost lame!"

"I swear to you I did not do it!"

"It was _I_, of course!"

"It's the fault of this piece of wood."

"You're right; but remember you were the one to throw it at my legs."

"I did not throw it!"


"Geppetto, do not insult me or I shall call you Polendina."





"Ugly monkey!"


On hearing himself called Polendina for the third time,

Geppetto lost his head with rage and threw himself upon

the carpenter. Then and there they gave each other a

sound thrashing.

After this fight, Mastro Antonio had two more scratches

on his nose, and Geppetto had two buttons missing from

his coat. Thus having settled their accounts, they shook

hands and swore to be good friends for the rest of their lives.

Then Geppetto took the fine piece of wood,

thanked Mastro Antonio, and limped away toward home.



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