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Adventures of Pinocchio.
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Start of Story
As soon as he gets home, Geppetto fashions the Marionette and calls it
Pinocchio. The first pranks of the Marionette.
Little as Geppetto's house was, it was neat and comfortable. It was a
small room on the ground floor, with a tiny window under the stairway.
The furniture could not have been much simpler: a very old chair, a
rickety old bed, and a tumble-down table. A fireplace full of burning
logs was painted on the wall opposite the door. Over the fire, there
was painted a pot full of something which kept boiling happily away and
sending up clouds of what looked like real steam.
As soon as he reached home, Geppetto took his tools and began to cut and
shape the wood into a Marionette.
"What shall I call him?" he said to himself. "I think I'll call him
PINOCCHIO. This name will make his fortune. I knew a whole family of
Pinocchi once--Pinocchio the father, Pinocchia the mother, and Pinocchi
the children--and they were all lucky. The richest of them begged for
After choosing the name for his Marionette, Geppetto set seriously to
work to make the hair, the forehead, the eyes. Fancy his surprise
when he noticed that these eyes moved and then stared fixedly at him.
Geppetto, seeing this, felt insulted and said in a grieved tone:
"Ugly wooden eyes, why do you stare so?"
There was no answer.
After the eyes, Geppetto made the nose, which began to stretch as soon
as finished. It stretched and stretched and stretched till it became so
long, it seemed endless.
Poor Geppetto kept cutting it and cutting it, but the more he cut, the
longer grew that impertinent nose. In despair he let it alone.
Next he made the mouth.
No sooner was it finished than it began to laugh and poke fun at him.
"Stop laughing!" said Geppetto angrily; but he might as well have spoken
to the wall.
"Stop laughing, I say!" he roared in a voice of thunder.
The mouth stopped laughing, but it stuck out a long tongue.
Not wishing to start an argument, Geppetto made believe he saw nothing
and went on with his work.
After the mouth, he made the chin, then the
neck, the shoulders, the stomach, the arms, and the hands.
As he was about to put the last touches on the finger tips, Geppetto
felt his wig being pulled off. He glanced up and what did he see? His
yellow wig was in the Marionette's hand. "Pinocchio, give me my wig!"
But instead of giving it back, Pinocchio put it on his own head, which
was half swallowed up in it.
At that unexpected trick, Geppetto became very sad and downcast, more so
than he had ever been before.
"Pinocchio, you wicked boy!" he cried out. "You are not yet finished,
and you start out by being impudent to your poor old father. Very bad,
my son, very bad!"
And he wiped away a tear.
The legs and feet still had to be made. As soon as they were done,
Geppetto felt a sharp kick on the tip of his nose.
"I deserve it!" he said to himself. "I should have thought of this
before I made him. Now it's too late!"
He took hold of the Marionette under the arms and put him on the floor
to teach him to walk.
Pinocchio's legs were so stiff that he could not move them, and Geppetto
held his hand and showed him how to put out one foot after the other.
When his legs were limbered up, Pinocchio started walking by himself and
ran all around the room. He came to the open door, and with one leap he
was out into the street. Away he flew!
Poor Geppetto ran after him but was unable to catch him, for Pinocchio
ran in leaps and bounds, his two wooden feet, as they beat on the stones
of the street, making as much noise as twenty peasants in wooden shoes.
"Catch him! Catch him!" Geppetto kept shouting. But the people in the
street, seeing a wooden Marionette running like the wind, stood still to
stare and to laugh until they cried.
At last, by sheer luck, a Carabineer* happened along, who, hearing all
that noise, thought that it might be a runaway colt, and stood bravely
in the middle of the street, with legs wide apart, firmly resolved to
stop it and prevent any trouble.
* A military policeman
Pinocchio saw the Carabineer from afar and tried his best to escape
between the legs of the big fellow, but without success.
The Carabineer grabbed him by the nose (it was an extremely long one and
seemed made on purpose for that very thing) and returned him to Mastro
The little old man wanted to pull Pinocchio's ears. Think how he felt
when, upon searching for them, he discovered that he had forgotten to
All he could do was to seize Pinocchio by the back of the neck and take
him home. As he was doing so, he shook him two or three times and said
to him angrily:
"We're going home now. When we get home, then we'll settle this matter!"
Pinocchio, on hearing this, threw himself on the ground and refused to
take another step. One person after another gathered around the two.
Some said one thing, some another.
"Poor Marionette," called out a man. "I am not surprised he doesn't want
to go home. Geppetto, no doubt, will beat him unmercifully, he is so
mean and cruel!"
"Geppetto looks like a good man," added another, "but with boys he's a
real tyrant. If we leave that poor Marionette in his hands he may tear
him to pieces!"
They said so much that, finally, the Carabineer ended matters by setting
Pinocchio at liberty and dragging Geppetto to prison. The poor old
fellow did not know how to defend himself, but wept and wailed like a
child and said between his sobs:
"Ungrateful boy! To think I tried so hard to make you a well-behaved
Marionette! I deserve it, however! I should have given the matter more
What happened after this is an almost unbelievable story, but you may
read it, dear children, in the chapters that follow.