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Adventures of Pinocchio.Chapter 10
Start of Story
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
"It is Pinocchio! It is Pinocchio!" yelled all the Marionettes, pouring
out of the wings. "It is Pinocchio. It is our brother Pinocchio! Hurrah
"Pinocchio, come up to me!" shouted Harlequin. "Come to the arms of your
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
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!"