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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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As soon as he gets home, Geppetto fashions the Marionette

and calls it Pinocchio. The first pranks of the Marionette

Little as Geppetto's house was, it was neat and

comfortable. It was a small room on the ground floor, with a

tiny window under the stairway. The furniture could not

have been much simpler: a very old chair, a rickety old

bed, and a tumble-down table. A fireplace full of burning

logs was painted on the wall opposite the door. Over the

fire, there was painted a pot full of something which kept

boiling happily away and sending up clouds of what looked

like real steam.

As soon as he reached home, Geppetto took his tools

and began to cut and shape the wood into a Marionette.

"What shall I call him?" he said to himself. "I think

I'll call him PINOCCHIO. This name will make his fortune.

I knew a whole family of Pinocchi once--Pinocchio the

father, Pinocchia the mother, and Pinocchi the children--

and they were all lucky. The richest of them begged for

his living."

After choosing the name for his Marionette, Geppetto

set seriously to work to make the hair, the forehead, the

eyes. Fancy his surprise when he noticed that these eyes

moved and then stared fixedly at him. Geppetto, seeing

this, felt insulted and said in a grieved tone:

"Ugly wooden eyes, why do you stare so?"

There was no answer.

After the eyes, Geppetto made the nose, which began

to stretch as soon as finished. It stretched and stretched

and stretched till it became so long, it seemed endless.

Poor Geppetto kept cutting it and cutting it, but the

more he cut, the longer grew that impertinent nose. In

despair he let it alone.

Next he made the mouth.

No sooner was it finished than it began to laugh and

poke fun at him.

"Stop laughing!" said Geppetto angrily; but he might

as well have spoken to the wall.

"Stop laughing, I say!" he roared in a voice of thunder.

The mouth stopped laughing, but it stuck out a long tongue.

Not wishing to start an argument, Geppetto made

believe he saw nothing and went on with his work.

After the mouth, he made the chin, then the neck, the

shoulders, the stomach, the arms, and the hands.

As he was about to put the last touches on the finger

tips, Geppetto felt his wig being pulled off. He glanced

up and what did he see? His yellow wig was in the Marionette's

hand. "Pinocchio, give me my wig!"

But instead of giving it back, Pinocchio put it on his

own head, which was half swallowed up in it.

At that unexpected trick, Geppetto became very sad

and downcast, more so than he had ever been before.

"Pinocchio, you wicked boy!" he cried out. "You are

not yet finished, and you start out by being impudent to

your poor old father. Very bad, my son, very bad!"

And he wiped away a tear.

The legs and feet still had to be made. As soon as they

were done, Geppetto felt a sharp kick on the tip of his nose.

"I deserve it!" he said to himself. "I should have thought

of this before I made him. Now it's too late!"

He took hold of the Marionette under the arms and put

him on the floor to teach him to walk.

Pinocchio's legs were so stiff that he could not move

them, and Geppetto held his hand and showed him how to

put out one foot after the other.

When his legs were limbered up, Pinocchio started

walking by himself and ran all around the room. He came

to the open door, and with one leap he was out into the

street. Away he flew!

Poor Geppetto ran after him but was unable to catch

him, for Pinocchio ran in leaps and bounds, his two

wooden feet, as they beat on the stones of the street,

making as much noise as twenty peasants in wooden shoes.

"Catch him! Catch him!" Geppetto kept shouting.

But the people in the street, seeing a wooden Marionette

running like the wind, stood still to stare and to laugh

until they cried.

At last, by sheer luck, a Carabineer[2] happened

along, who, hearing all that noise, thought that it might

be a runaway colt, and stood bravely in the middle of the

street, with legs wide apart, firmly resolved to stop it and

prevent any trouble.

[2] A military policeman

Pinocchio saw the Carabineer from afar and tried his

best to escape between the legs of the big fellow, but

without success.

The Carabineer grabbed him by the nose (it was an

extremely long one and seemed made on purpose for that

very thing) and returned him to Mastro Geppetto.

The little old man wanted to pull Pinocchio's ears.

Think how he felt when, upon searching for them, he

discovered that he had forgotten to make them!

All he could do was to seize Pinocchio by the back of

the neck and take him home. As he was doing so, he shook

him two or three times and said to him angrily:

"We're going home now. When we get home,

then we'll settle this matter!"

Pinocchio, on hearing this, threw himself on the ground

and refused to take another step. One person after another

gathered around the two.

Some said one thing, some another.

"Poor Marionette," called out a man. "I am not

surprised he doesn't want to go home. Geppetto, no doubt,

will beat him unmercifully, he is so mean and cruel!"

"Geppetto looks like a good man," added another, "but

with boys he's a real tyrant. If we leave that poor

Marionette in his hands he may tear him to pieces!"

They said so much that, finally, the Carabineer ended

matters by setting Pinocchio at liberty and dragging

Geppetto to prison. The poor old fellow did not know how to

defend himself, but wept and wailed like a child and said

between his sobs:

"Ungrateful boy! To think I tried so hard to make you

a well-behaved Marionette! I deserve it, however! I should

have given the matter more thought."

What happened after this is an almost unbelievable story,

but you may read it, dear children, in the chapters that follow.



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