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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 Lovely Maiden with Azure Hair sends for the poor Marionette,

puts him to bed, and calls three Doctors to tell her if Pinocchio

is dead or alive

If the poor Marionette had dangled there much longer,

all hope would have been lost. Luckily for him, the

Lovely Maiden with Azure Hair once again looked out of

her window. Filled with pity at the sight of the poor little

fellow being knocked helplessly about by the wind, she

clapped her hands sharply together three times.

At the signal, a loud whirr of wings in quick flight was

heard and a large Falcon came and settled itself on the

window ledge.

"What do you command, my charming Fairy?" asked the Falcon,

bending his beak in deep reverence (for it must

be known that, after all, the Lovely Maiden with Azure

Hair was none other than a very kind Fairy who had lived,

for more than a thousand years, in the vicinity of the forest).

"Do you see that Marionette hanging from the limb

of that giant oak tree?"

"I see him."

"Very well. Fly immediately to him. With your

strong beak, break the knot which holds him tied,

take him down, and lay him softly on the grass

at the foot of the oak."

The Falcon flew away and after two minutes returned,

saying, "I have done what you have commanded."

"How did you find him? Alive or dead?"

"At first glance, I thought he was dead. But I found

I was wrong, for as soon as I loosened the knot around

his neck, he gave a long sigh and mumbled with a faint

voice, `Now I feel better!'"

The Fairy clapped her hands twice. A magnificent

Poodle appeared, walking on his hind legs just like a

man. He was dressed in court livery. A tricorn trimmed

with gold lace was set at a rakish angle over a wig of white

curls that dropped down to his waist. He wore a jaunty

coat of chocolate-colored velvet, with diamond buttons,

and with two huge pockets which were always filled with

bones, dropped there at dinner by his loving mistress.

Breeches of crimson velvet, silk stockings, and low,

silver-buckled slippers completed his costume. His tail

was encased in a blue silk covering, which was to protect

it from the rain.

"Come, Medoro," said the Fairy to him. "Get my

best coach ready and set out toward the forest. On

reaching the oak tree, you will find a poor, half-dead

Marionette stretched out on the grass. Lift him up

tenderly, place him on the silken cushions of the coach,

and bring him here to me."

The Poodle, to show that he understood, wagged his silk-covered tail

two or three times and set off at a quick pace.

In a few minutes, a lovely little coach, made of glass,

with lining as soft as whipped cream and chocolate pudding,

and stuffed with canary feathers, pulled out of the

stable. It was drawn by one hundred pairs of white mice,

and the Poodle sat on the coachman's seat and snapped

his whip gayly in the air, as if he were a real coachman

in a hurry to get to his destination.

In a quarter of an hour the coach was back. The

Fairy, who was waiting at the door of the house, lifted

the poor little Marionette in her arms, took him to a

dainty room with mother-of-pearl walls, put him to bed,

and sent immediately for the most famous doctors of the

neighborhood to come to her.

One after another the doctors came, a Crow, and Owl,

and a Talking Cricket.

"I should like to know, signori," said the Fairy, turning

to the three doctors gathered about Pinocchio's bed,

"I should like to know if this poor Marionette is dead or alive."

At this invitation, the Crow stepped out and felt

Pinocchio's pulse, his nose, his little toe.

Then he solemnly pronounced the following words:

"To my mind this Marionette is dead and gone; but if,

by any evil chance, he were not, then that would be a

sure sign that he is still alive!"

"I am sorry," said the Owl, "to have to contradict

the Crow, my famous friend and colleague. To my mind

this Marionette is alive; but if, by any evil chance, he

were not, then that would be a sure sign that he is wholly dead!"

"And do you hold any opinion?" the Fairy asked the Talking Cricket.

"I say that a wise doctor, when he does not know what he

is talking about, should know enough to keep his mouth shut.

However, that Marionette is not a stranger to me.

I have known him a long time!"

Pinocchio, who until then had been very quiet,

shuddered so hard that the bed shook.

"That Marionette," continued the Talking Cricket,

"is a rascal of the worst kind."

Pinocchio opened his eyes and closed them again.

"He is rude, lazy, a runaway."

Pinocchio hid his face under the sheets.

"That Marionette is a disobedient son who is breaking

his father's heart!"

Long shuddering sobs were heard, cries, and deep sighs.

Think how surprised everyone was when, on raising the sheets,

they discovered Pinocchio half melted in tears!

"When the dead weep, they are beginning to recover,"

said the Crow solemnly.

"I am sorry to contradict my famous friend and colleague,"

said the Owl, "but as far as I'm concerned, I think that

when the dead weep, it means they do not want to die."



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