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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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The Marionettes recognize their brother Pinocchio,

and greet him with loud cheers; but the Director, Fire Eater,

happens along and poor Pinocchio almost loses his life

Quick as a flash, Pinocchio disappeared into the

Marionette Theater. And then something happened which

almost caused a riot.

The curtain was up and the performance had started.

Harlequin and Pulcinella were reciting on the stage and,

as usual, they were threatening each other with sticks and blows.

The theater was full of people, enjoying the spectacle

and laughing till they cried at the antics of the two Marionettes.

The play continued for a few minutes, and then suddenly,

without any warning, Harlequin stopped talking.

Turning toward the audience, he pointed to the rear of

the orchestra, yelling wildly at the same time:

"Look, look! Am I asleep or awake? Or do I really see

Pinocchio there?"

"Yes, yes! It is Pinocchio!" screamed Pulcinella.

"It is! It is!" shrieked Signora Rosaura, peeking in from

the side of the stage.

"It is Pinocchio! It is Pinocchio!" yelled all the Marionettes,

pouring out of the wings. "It is Pinocchio. It is our brother

Pinocchio! Hurrah for Pinocchio!"

"Pinocchio, come up to me!" shouted Harlequin. "Come

to the arms of your wooden brothers!"

At such a loving invitation, Pinocchio, with one leap

from the back of the orchestra, found himself in the front

rows. With another leap, he was on the orchestra leader's

head. With a third, he landed on the stage.

It is impossible to describe the shrieks of joy, the warm

embraces, the knocks, and the friendly greetings with

which that strange company of dramatic actors and

actresses received Pinocchio.

It was a heart-rending spectacle, but the audience,

seeing that the play had stopped, became angry and began

to yell:

"The play, the play, we want the play!"

The yelling was of no use, for the Marionettes, instead

of going on with their act, made twice as much racket as

before, and, lifting up Pinocchio on their shoulders, carried

him around the stage in triumph.

At that very moment, the Director came out of his

room. He had such a fearful appearance that one look

at him would fill you with horror. His beard was as

black as pitch, and so long that it reached from his chin

down to his feet. His mouth was as wide as an oven, his

teeth like yellow fangs, and his eyes, two glowing red

coals. In his huge, hairy hands, a long whip, made of

green snakes and black cats' tails twisted together, swished

through the air in a dangerous way.

At the unexpected apparition, no one dared even to

breathe. One could almost hear a fly go by. Those poor

Marionettes, one and all, trembled like leaves in a storm.

"Why have you brought such excitement into my

theater;" the huge fellow asked Pinocchio with the voice

of an ogre suffering with a cold.

"Believe me, your Honor, the fault was not mine."

"Enough! Be quiet! I'll take care of you later."

As soon as the play was over, the Director went to

the kitchen, where a fine big lamb was slowly turning

on the spit. More wood was needed to finish cooking it.

He called Harlequin and Pulcinella and said to them:

"Bring that Marionette to me! He looks as if he were

made of well-seasoned wood. He'll make a fine fire for

this spit."

Harlequin and Pulcinella hesitated a bit. Then,

frightened by a look from their master, they left the

kitchen to obey him. A few minutes later they returned,

carrying poor Pinocchio, who was wriggling and squirming

like an eel and crying pitifully:

"Father, save me! I don't want to die! I don't want to die!"



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