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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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Pinocchio is robbed of his gold pieces and,

in punishment, is sentenced to four months in prison

If the Marionette had been told to wait a day instead of

twenty minutes, the time could not have seemed longer

to him. He walked impatiently to and fro and finally

turned his nose toward the Field of Wonders.

And as he walked with hurried steps, his heart beat

with an excited tic, tac, tic, tac, just as if it were a wall

clock, and his busy brain kept thinking:

"What if, instead of a thousand, I should find two

thousand? Or if, instead of two thousand, I should find five

thousand--or one hundred thousand? I'll build myself a

beautiful palace, with a thousand stables filled with a

thousand wooden horses to play with, a cellar overflowing

with lemonade and ice cream soda, and a library of candies

and fruits, cakes and cookies."

Thus amusing himself with fancies, he came to the field.

There he stopped to see if, by any chance, a vine filled

with gold coins was in sight. But he saw nothing! He

took a few steps forward, and still nothing! He stepped

into the field. He went up to the place where he had

dug the hole and buried the gold pieces. Again nothing!

Pinocchio became very thoughtful and, forgetting his good

manners altogether, he pulled a hand out of his pocket and

gave his head a thorough scratching.

As he did so, he heard a hearty burst of laughter close

to his head. He turned sharply, and there, just above him

on the branch of a tree, sat a large Parrot, busily preening

his feathers.

"What are you laughing at?" Pinocchio asked peevishly.

"I am laughing because, in preening my feathers, I

tickled myself under the wings."

The Marionette did not answer. He walked to the

brook, filled his shoe with water, and once more sprinkled

the ground which covered the gold pieces.

Another burst of laughter, even more impertinent than

the first, was heard in the quiet field.

"Well," cried the Marionette, angrily this time,

"may I know, Mr. Parrot, what amuses you so?"

"I am laughing at those simpletons who believe

everything they hear and who allow themselves to be caught so

easily in the traps set for them."

"Do you, perhaps, mean me?"

"I certainly do mean you, poor Pinocchio--you who

are such a little silly as to believe that gold can be sown

in a field just like beans or squash. I, too, believed that

once and today I am very sorry for it. Today (but too late!)

I have reached the conclusion that, in order to come

by money honestly, one must work and know how to earn

it with hand or brain."

"I don't know what you are talking about," said the

Marionette, who was beginning to tremble with fear.

"Too bad! I'll explain myself better," said the Parrot.

"While you were away in the city the Fox and the Cat

returned here in a great hurry. They took the four gold

pieces which you have buried and ran away as fast as the wind.

If you can catch them, you're a brave one!"

Pinocchio's mouth opened wide. He would not believe

the Parrot's words and began to dig away furiously at the

earth. He dug and he dug till the hole was as big as himself,

but no money was there. Every penny was gone.

In desperation, he ran to the city and went straight to

the courthouse to report the robbery to the magistrate.

The Judge was a Monkey, a large Gorilla venerable

with age. A flowing white beard covered his chest and he

wore gold-rimmed spectacles from which the glasses had

dropped out. The reason for wearing these, he said, was

that his eyes had been weakened by the work of many years.

Pinocchio, standing before him, told his pitiful tale,

word by word. He gave the names and the descriptions

of the robbers and begged for justice.

The Judge listened to him with great patience. A kind

look shone in his eyes. He became very much interested

in the story; he felt moved; he almost wept. When the

Marionette had no more to say, the Judge put out his

hand and rang a bell.

At the sound, two large Mastiffs appeared, dressed in

Carabineers' uniforms.

Then the magistrate, pointing to Pinocchio, said in a

very solemn voice:

"This poor simpleton has been robbed of four gold pieces.

Take him, therefore, and throw him into prison."

The Marionette, on hearing this sentence passed upon

him, was thoroughly stunned. He tried to protest, but

the two officers clapped their paws on his mouth and

hustled him away to jail.

There he had to remain for four long, weary months.

And if it had not been for a very lucky chance, he probably

would have had to stay there longer. For, my dear

children, you must know that it happened just then that

the young emperor who ruled over the City of Simple

Simons had gained a great victory over his enemy, and in

celebration thereof, he had ordered illuminations, fireworks,

shows of all kinds, and, best of all, the opening of all prison doors.

"If the others go, I go, too," said Pinocchio to the Jailer.

"Not you," answered the Jailer. "You are one of those--"

"I beg your pardon," interrupted Pinocchio, "I, too, am a thief."

"In that case you also are free," said the Jailer. Taking

off his cap, he bowed low and opened the door of the prison,

and Pinocchio ran out and away, with never a look backward.



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