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Adventures of Pinocchio.
Start of Story
Freed from prison, Pinocchio sets out to return to the Fairy; but on the
way he meets a Serpent and later is caught in a trap.
Fancy the happiness of Pinocchio on finding himself free! Without saying
yes or no, he fled from the city and set out on the road that was to
take him back to the house of the lovely Fairy.
It had rained for many days, and the road was so muddy that, at times,
Pinocchio sank down almost to his knees.
But he kept on bravely.
Tormented by the wish to see his father and his fairy sister with azure
hair, he raced like a greyhound. As he ran, he was splashed with mud
even up to his cap.
"How unhappy I have been," he said to himself. "And yet I deserve
everything, for I am certainly very stubborn and stupid! I will always
have my own way. I won't listen to those who love me and who have more
brains than I. But from now on, I'll be different and I'll try to become
a most obedient boy. I have found out, beyond any doubt whatever, that
disobedient boys are certainly far from happy, and that, in the long
run, they always lose out.
I wonder if Father is waiting for me. Will
I find him at the Fairy's house? It is so long, poor man, since I have
seen him, and I do so want his love and his kisses. And will the Fairy
ever forgive me for all I have done? She who has been so good to me and
to whom I owe my life! Can there be a worse or more heartless boy than I
As he spoke, he stopped suddenly, frozen with terror.
What was the matter? An immense Serpent lay stretched across the road--a
Serpent with a bright green skin, fiery eyes which glowed and burned,
and a pointed tail that smoked like a chimney.
How frightened was poor Pinocchio! He ran back wildly for half a mile,
and at last settled himself atop a heap of stones to wait for the
Serpent to go on his way and leave the road clear for him.
He waited an hour; two hours; three hours; but the Serpent was always
there, and even from afar one could see the flash of his red eyes and
the column of smoke which rose from his long, pointed tail.
Pinocchio, trying to feel very brave, walked straight up to him and said
in a sweet, soothing voice:
"I beg your pardon, Mr. Serpent, would you be so kind as to step aside
to let me pass?"
He might as well have talked to a wall. The Serpent never moved.
Once more, in the same sweet voice, he spoke:
"You must know, Mr. Serpent, that I am going home where my father is
waiting for me. It is so long since I have seen him! Would you mind very
much if I passed?"
He waited for some sign of an answer to his questions, but the answer
did not come. On the contrary, the green Serpent, who had seemed, until
then, wide awake and full of life, became suddenly very quiet and still.
His eyes closed and his tail stopped smoking.
"Is he dead, I wonder?" said Pinocchio, rubbing his hands together
happily. Without a moment's hesitation, he started to step over him, but
he had just raised one leg when the Serpent shot up like a spring and
the Marionette fell head over heels backward. He fell so awkwardly that
his head stuck in the mud, and there he stood with his legs straight up
in the air.
At the sight of the Marionette kicking and squirming like a young
whirlwind, the Serpent laughed so heartily and so long that at last he
burst an artery and died on the spot.
Pinocchio freed himself from his awkward position and once more began
to run in order to reach the Fairy's house before dark. As he went, the
pangs of hunger grew so strong that, unable to withstand them, he jumped
into a field to pick a few grapes that tempted him. Woe to him!
No sooner had he reached the grapevine than--crack! went his legs.
The poor Marionette was caught in a trap set there by a Farmer for some
Weasels which came every night to steal his chickens.