THE TALE OF A PUPPET
By C COLLODI
THE TALE OF A PUPPET
By C COLLODI
Illustrated By ALICE CARSEY
WHITMAN PUBLISHING CO. RACINE, WISCONSIN
COPYRIGHT 1916 BY WHITMAN PUBLISHING CO. RACINE, WISCONSIN PRINTED IN U.S.A.
The untitled illustration on page 26 was not listed in the List of Illustrations of the source book.
In several cases, missing punctuation was added or wrong punctuation removed.
The following typos were fixed: thouand to thousand Harelquin to Harlequin pretrified to petrified
Chap. Page I THE PIECE OF WOOD THAT LAUGHED AND CRIED LIKE A CHILD 9 II MASTER CHERRY GIVES THE WOOD AWAY 12 III GEPPETTO NAMES HIS PUPPET PINOCCHIO 16 IV THE TALKING-CRICKET SCOLDS PINOCCHIO 23 V THE FLYING EGG 26 VI PINOCCHIO'S FEET BURN TO CINDERS 29 VII GEPPETTO GIVES HIS OWN BREAKFAST TO PINOCCHIO 31 VIII GEPPETTO MAKES PINOCCHIO NEW FEET 35 IX PINOCCHIO GOES TO SEE A PUPPET-SHOW 39 X THE PUPPETS RECOGNIZE THEIR BROTHER PINOCCHIO 42 XI FIRE-EATER SNEEZES AND PARDONS PINOCCHIO 45 XII PINOCCHIO RECEIVES A PRESENT OF FIVE GOLD PIECES 49 XIII THE INN OF THE RED CRAW-FISH 57 XIV PINOCCHIO FALLS AMONG ASSASSINS 61 XV THE ASSASSINS HANG PINOCCHIO TO THE BIG OAK 65 XVI THE BEAUTIFUL CHILD RESCUES THE PUPPET 71 XVII PINOCCHIO WILL NOT TAKE HIS MEDICINE 75 XVIII PINOCCHIO AGAIN MEETS THE FOX AND THE CAT 81 XIX PINOCCHIO IS ROBBED OF HIS MONEY 87 XX PINOCCHIO STARTS BACK TO THE FAIRY'S HOUSE 91 XXI PINOCCHIO ACTS AS WATCH-DOG 94 XXII PINOCCHIO DISCOVERS THE ROBBERS 97 XXIII PINOCCHIO FLIES TO THE SEASHORE 101 XXIV PINOCCHIO FINDS THE FAIRY AGAIN 109 XXV PINOCCHIO PROMISES THE FAIRY TO BE GOOD 116 XXVI THE TERRIBLE DOG-FISH 120 XXVII PINOCCHIO IS ARRESTED BY THE GENDARMES 126 XXVIII PINOCCHIO ESCAPES BEING FRIED LIKE A FISH 133 XXIX HE RETURNS TO THE FAIRY'S HOUSE 139 XXX THE "LAND OF BOOBIES" 147 XXXI PINOCCHIO ENJOYS FIVE MONTHS OF HAPPINESS 153 XXXII PINOCCHIO TURNS INTO A DONKEY 160 XXXIII PINOCCHIO IS TRAINED FOR THE CIRCUS 167 XXXIV PINOCCHIO IS SWALLOWED BY THE DOG-FISH 178 XXXV A HAPPY SURPRISE FOR PINOCCHIO 186 XXXVI PINOCCHIO AT LAST CEASES TO BE A PUPPET AND BECOMES A BOY 194
DECORATIVE TITLE PAGE 1 THE RUNAWAY PUPPET 9 GEPPETTO CARRIED OFF HIS FINE PIECE OF WOOD 12 HE SET TO WORK TO CUT OUT HIS PUPPET 16 A LITTLE CHICKEN POPPED OUT 17 PINOCCHIO THREW HIS HAMMER AT THE TALKING-CRICKET 23 UNTITLED 26 POOR PINOCCHIO'S FEET BURN TO CINDERS 29 GEPPETTO MAKES HIS PUPPET SOME CLOTHES 35 THE PUPPETS BEGAN TO DANCE MERRILY 45 PINOCCHIO MEETS THE CAT AND THE FOX 49 SPLASH! SPLASH! THEY FELL INTO THE DITCH 52 DINNER AT THE RED CRAW-FISH INN 57 PINOCCHIO ESCAPES FROM HIS ASSASSINS 61 THEY HUNG PINOCCHIO TO THE BIG OAK TREE 65 FOUR RABBITS AS BLACK AS INK ENTERED 69 THE FALCON SAVES PINOCCHIO 71 PINOCCHIO REFUSES TO TAKE HIS MEDICINE 75 TREACHEROUS COMPANIONS 81 THE JUDGE WAS A BIG APE 87 PINOCCHIO GETS HIS FOOT CAUGHT IN A TRAP 94 THE NEW WATCH-DOG 97 PINOCCHIO'S WILD RIDE ON THE PIGEON'S BACK 101 AN IMMENSE SERPENT STRETCHED ACROSS THE ROAD 104 PINOCCHIO BRAVES THE SEA TO SAVE HIS FATHER 109 "SCHOOL GIVES ME PAIN ALL OVER THE BODY" 116 PINOCCHIO STARTS OFF HAPPILY FOR SCHOOL 120 "OH, I AM SICK OF BEING A PUPPET!" 121 THE BOYS THREW THEIR BOOKS AT POOR PINOCCHIO 126 THE FISHERMAN PUT HIS HAND INTO THE NET 133 THE DOG SEIZES PINOCCHIO AND ESCAPES 139 "HERE IS THE COACH!" SHOUTED CANDLEWICK 147 THEY ARRIVE IN THE "LAND OF THE BOOBIES" 153 THE BOYS ARE TURNED INTO DONKEYS 160 THE LITTLE DONKEYS ARE SOLD 167 ALL HIS FRIENDS WERE INVITED 172 THE PUPPET WAS WRIGGLING LIKE AN EEL 178 SWALLOWED BY THE DOG-FISH 186 IT WOULD BE MORE COMFORTABLE ON THE TUNNY'S BACK 189 THE BLIND CAT AND THE TAILLESS FOX 194
THE PIECE OF WOOD THAT LAUGHED AND CRIED LIKE A CHILD
There was once upon a time a piece of wood in the shop of an old carpenter named Master Antonio. Everybody, however, called him Master Cherry, on account of the end of his nose, which was always as red and polished as a ripe cherry.
No sooner had Master Cherry set eyes on the piece of wood than his face beamed with delight, and, rubbing his hands together with satisfaction, he said softly to himself:
"This wood has come at the right moment; it will just do to make the leg of a little table."
He immediately took a sharp axe with which to remove the bark and the rough surface, but just as he was going to give the first stroke he heard a very small voice say imploringly, "Do not strike me so hard!"
He turned his terrified eyes all around the room to try and discover where the little voice could possibly have come from, but he saw nobody! He looked under the bench—nobody; he looked into a cupboard that was always shut—nobody; he looked into a basket of shavings and sawdust—nobody; he even opened the door of the shop and gave a glance into the street—and still nobody. Who, then, could it be?
"I see how it is," he said, laughing and scratching his wig, "evidently that little voice was all my imagination. Let us set to work again."
And, taking up the axe, he struck a tremendous blow on the piece of wood.
"Oh! oh! you have hurt me!" cried the same little voice dolefully.
This time Master Cherry was petrified. His eyes started out of his head with fright, his mouth remained open, and his tongue hung out almost to the end of his chin, like a mask on a fountain. As soon as he had recovered the use of his speech he began to say, stuttering and trembling with fear:
"But where on earth can that little voice have come from that said 'Oh! oh!'? Is it possible that this piece of wood can have learned to cry and to lament like a child? I cannot believe it. This piece of wood is nothing but a log for fuel like all the others, and thrown on the fire it would about suffice to boil a saucepan of beans. How then? Can anyone be hidden inside it? If anyone is hidden inside, so much the worse for him. I will settle him at once."
So saying, he seized the poor piece of wood and commenced beating it without mercy against the walls of the room.
Then he stopped to listen if he could hear any little voice lamenting. He waited two minutes—nothing; five minutes—nothing; ten minutes—still nothing!
"I see how it is," he then said, forcing himself to laugh, and pushing up his wig; "evidently the little voice that said 'Oh! oh!' was all my imagination! Let us set to work again."
Putting the axe aside, he took his plane, to plane and polish the bit of wood; but whilst he was running it up and down he heard the same little voice say, laughing:
"Stop! you are tickling me all over!"
This time poor Master Cherry fell down as if he had been struck by lightning. When he at last opened his eyes he found himself seated on the floor.
His face was changed, even the end of his nose, instead of being crimson, as it was nearly always, had become blue from fright.
MASTER CHERRY GIVES THE WOOD AWAY
At that moment some one knocked at the door.
"Come in," said the carpenter, without having the strength to rise to his feet.
A lively little old man immediately walked into the shop. His name was Geppetto, but when the boys of the neighborhood wished to make him angry they called him Pudding, because his yellow wig greatly resembled a pudding made of Indian corn.
Geppetto was very fiery. Woe to him who called him Pudding! He became furious and there was no holding him.
"Good-day, Master Antonio," said Geppetto; "what are you doing there on the floor?"
"I am teaching the alphabet to the ants."
"Much good may that do you."
"What has brought you to me, neighbor Geppetto?"
"My legs. But to tell the truth. Master Antonio, I came to ask a favor of you."
"Here I am, ready to serve you," replied the carpenter, getting on his knees.
"This morning an idea came into my head."
"Let us hear it."
"I thought I would make a beautiful wooden puppet; one that could dance, fence, and leap like an acrobat. With this puppet I would travel about the world to earn a piece of bread and a glass of wine. What do you think of it?"
"Bravo, Pudding!" exclaimed the same little voice, and it was impossible to say where it came from.
Hearing himself called Pudding, Geppetto became as red as a turkey-cock from rage and, turning to the carpenter, he said in a fury:
"Why do you insult me?"
"Who insults you?"
"You called me Pudding!"
"It was not I!"
"Do you think I called myself Pudding? It was you, I say!"
And, becoming more and more angry, from words they came to blows, and, flying at each other, they bit and fought, and scratched.
When the fight was over Master Antonio was in possession of Geppetto's yellow wig, and Geppetto discovered that the grey wig belonging to the carpenter remained between his teeth.
"Give me back my wig," screamed Master Antonio.
"And you, return me mine, and let us be friends again."
The two old men having each recovered his own wig, shook hands and swore that they would remain friends to the end of their lives.
"Well, then, neighbor Geppetto," said the carpenter, to prove that peace was made, "what is the favor that you wish of me?"
"I want a little wood to make my puppet; will you give me some?"
Master Antonio was delighted, and he immediately went to the bench and fetched the piece of wood that had caused him so much fear. But just as he was going to give it to his friend the piece of wood gave a shake and, wriggling violently out of his hands, struck with all of its force against the dried-up shins of poor Geppetto.
"Ah! is that the courteous way in which you make your presents, Master Antonio? You have almost lamed me!"
"I swear to you that it was not I!"
"Then you would have it that it was I?"
"The wood is entirely to blame!"
"I know that it was the wood; but it was you that hit my legs with it!"
"I did not hit you with it!"
"Geppetto, don't insult me or I will call you Pudding!"
On hearing himself called Pudding for the third time Geppetto, mad with rage, fell upon the carpenter and they fought desperately.
When the battle was over, Master Antonio had two more scratches on his nose, and his adversary had lost two buttons off his waistcoat. Their accounts being thus squared, they shook hands and swore to remain good friends for the rest of their lives.
Geppetto carried off his fine piece of wood and, thanking Master Antonio, returned limping to his house.
GEPPETTO NAMES HIS PUPPET PINOCCHIO
Geppetto lived in a small ground-floor room that was only lighted from the staircase. The furniture could not have been simpler—a rickety chair, a poor bed, and a broken-down table. At the end of the room there was a fireplace with a lighted fire; but the fire was painted, and by the fire was a painted saucepan that was boiling cheerfully and sending out a cloud of smoke that looked exactly like real smoke.
As soon as he reached home Geppetto took his tools and set to work to cut out and model his puppet.
"What name shall I give him?" he said to himself; "I think I will call him Pinocchio. It is a name that will bring him luck. I once knew a whole family so called. There was Pinocchio the father, Pinocchia the mother, and Pinocchi the children, and all of them did well. The richest of them was a beggar."
Having found a name for his puppet he began to work in good earnest, and he first made his hair, then his forehead, and then his eyes.
The eyes being finished, imagine his astonishment when he perceived that they moved and looked fixedly at him.
Geppetto, seeing himself stared at by those two wooden eyes, said in an angry voice:
"Wicked wooden eyes, why do you look at me?"
No one answered.
He then proceeded to carve the nose, but no sooner had he made it than it began to grow. And it grew, and grew, and grew, until in a few minutes it had become an immense nose that seemed as if it would never end.
Poor Geppetto tired himself out with cutting it off, but the more he cut and shortened it, the longer did that impertinent nose become!
The mouth was not even completed when it began to laugh and deride him.
"Stop laughing!" said Geppetto, provoked; but he might as well have spoken to the wall.
"Stop laughing, I say!" he roared in a threatening tone.
The mouth then ceased laughing, but put out its tongue as far as it would go.
Geppetto, not to spoil his handiwork, pretended not to see and continued his labors. After the mouth he fashioned the chin, then the throat, then the shoulders, the stomach, the arms and the hands.
The hands were scarcely finished when Geppetto felt his wig snatched from his head. He turned round, and what did he see? He saw his yellow wig in the puppet's hand.
"Pinocchio! Give me back my wig instantly!"
But Pinocchio, instead of returning it, put it on his own head and was in consequence nearly smothered.
Geppetto at this insolent and derisive behavior felt sadder and more melancholy than he had ever been in his life before; and, turning to Pinocchio, he said to him:
"You young rascal! You are not yet completed and you are already beginning to show want of respect to your father! That is bad, my boy, very bad!"
And he dried a tear.
The legs and the feet remained to be done.
When Geppetto had finished the feet he received a kick on the point of his nose.
"I deserve it!" he said to himself; "I should have thought of it sooner! Now it is too late!"
He then took the puppet under the arms and placed him on the floor to teach him to walk.
Pinocchio's legs were stiff and he could not move, but Geppetto led him by the hand and showed him how to put one foot before the other.
When his legs became limber Pinocchio began to walk by himself and to run about the room, until, having gone out of the house door, he jumped into the street and escaped.
Poor Geppetto rushed after him but was not able to overtake him, for that rascal Pinocchio leaped in front of him like a hare and knocking his wooden feet together against the pavement made as much clatter as twenty pairs of peasants' clogs.
"Stop him! stop him!" shouted Geppetto; but the people in the street, seeing a wooden puppet running like a race-horse, stood still in astonishment to look at it, and laughed and laughed.
At last, as good luck would have it, a soldier arrived who, hearing the uproar, imagined that a colt had escaped from his master. Planting himself courageously with his legs apart in the middle of the road, he waited with the determined purpose of stopping him and thus preventing the chance of worse disasters.
When Pinocchio, still at some distance, saw the soldier barricading the whole street, he endeavored to take him by surprise and to pass between his legs. But he failed entirely.
The soldier without disturbing himself in the least caught him cleverly by the nose and gave him to Geppetto. Wishing to punish him, Geppetto intended to pull his ears at once. But imagine his feelings when he could not succeed in finding them. And do you know the reason? In his hurry to model him he had forgotten to make any ears.
He then took him by the collar and as he was leading him away he said to him, shaking his head threateningly:
"We will go home at once, and as soon as we arrive we will settle our accounts, never doubt it."
At this information Pinocchio threw himself on the ground and would not take another step. In the meanwhile a crowd of idlers and inquisitive people began to assemble and to make a ring around them.
Some of them said one thing, some another.
"Poor puppet!" said several, "he is right not to wish to return home! Who knows how Geppetto, that bad old man, will beat him!"
And the others added maliciously:
"Geppetto seems a good man! but with boys he is a regular tyrant! If that poor puppet is left in his hands he is quite capable of tearing him in pieces!"
It ended in so much being said and done that the soldier at last set Pinocchio at liberty and led Geppetto to prison. The poor man, not being ready with words to defend himself, cried like a calf and as he was being led away to prison sobbed out:
"Wretched boy! And to think how I labored to make him a well-conducted puppet! But it serves me right! I should have thought of it sooner!"
THE TALKING-CRICKET SCOLDS PINOCCHIO
While poor Geppetto was being taken to prison for no fault of his, that imp Pinocchio, finding himself free from the clutches of the soldier, ran off as fast as his legs could carry him. That he might reach home the quicker he rushed across the fields, and in his mad hurry he jumped high banks, thorn hedges and ditches full of water.
Arriving at the house he found the street door ajar. He pushed it open, went in, and having fastened the latch, threw himself on the floor and gave a great sigh of satisfaction.
But soon he heard some one in the room who was saying:
"Who calls me?" said Pinocchio in a fright.
"It is I!"
Pinocchio turned round and saw a big cricket crawling slowly up the wall.
"Tell me, Cricket, who may you be?"
"I am the Talking-Cricket, and I have lived in this room a hundred years or more."
"Now, however, this room is mine," said the puppet, "and if you would do me a pleasure go away at once, without even turning round."
"I will not go," answered the Cricket, "until I have told you a great truth."
"Tell it me, then, and be quick about it."
"Woe to those boys who rebel against their parents and run away from home. They will never come to any good in the world, and sooner or later they will repent bitterly."
"Sing away, Cricket, as you please, and as long as you please. For me, I have made up my mind to run away tomorrow at daybreak, because if I remain I shall not escape the fate of all other boys; I shall be sent to school and shall be made to study either by love or by force. To tell you in confidence, I have no wish to learn; it is much more amusing to run after butterflies, or to climb trees and to take the young birds out of their nests."
"Poor little goose! But do you not know that in that way you will grow up a perfect donkey, and that every one will make fun of you?"
"Hold your tongue, you wicked, ill-omened croaker!" shouted Pinocchio.
But the Cricket, who was patient and philosophical, instead of becoming angry at this impertinence, continued in the same tone:
"But if you do not wish to go to school why not at least learn a trade, if only to enable you to earn honestly a piece of bread!"
"Do you want me to tell you?" replied Pinocchio, who was beginning to lose patience. "Amongst all the trades in the world there is only one that really takes my fancy."
"And that trade—what is it?"
"It is to eat, drink, sleep and amuse myself, and to lead a vagabond life from morning to night."
"As a rule," said the Talking-Cricket, "all those who follow that trade end almost always either in a hospital or in prison."
"Take care, you wicked, ill-omened croaker! Woe to you if I fly into a passion!"
"Poor Pinocchio! I really pity you!"
"Why do you pity me?"
"Because you are a puppet and, what is worse, because you have a wooden head."
At these last words Pinocchio jumped up in a rage and, snatching a wooden hammer from the bench, he threw it at the Talking-Cricket.
Perhaps he never meant to hit him, but unfortunately it struck him exactly on the head, so that the poor Cricket had scarcely breath to cry "Cri-cri-cri!" and then he remained dried up and flattened against the wall.
THE FLYING EGG
Night was coming on and Pinocchio, remembering that he had eaten nothing all day, began to feel a gnawing in his stomach that very much resembled appetite.
After a few minutes his appetite had become hunger and in no time his hunger became ravenous.
Poor Pinocchio ran quickly to the fireplace, where a saucepan was boiling, and was going to take off the lid to see what was in it, but the saucepan was only painted on the wall. You can imagine his feelings. His nose, which was already long, became longer by at least three inches.
He then began to run about the room, searching in the drawers and in every imaginable place, in hopes of finding a bit of bread. If it was only a bit of dry bread, a crust, a bone left by a dog, a little moldy pudding of Indian corn, a fish bone, a cherry stone—in fact, anything that he could gnaw. But he could find nothing, nothing at all, absolutely nothing.
And in the meanwhile his hunger grew and grew. Poor Pinocchio had no other relief than yawning, and his yawns were so tremendous that sometimes his mouth almost reached his ears. And after he had yawned he spluttered and felt as if he were going to faint.
Then he began to cry desperately, and he said:
"The Talking-Cricket was right. I did wrong to rebel against my papa and to run away from home. If my papa were here I should not now be dying of yawning! Oh! what a dreadful illness hunger is!"
Just then he thought he saw something in the dust-heap—something round and white that looked like a hen's egg. To give a spring and seize hold of it was the affair of a moment. It was indeed an egg.
Pinocchio's joy was beyond description. Almost believing it must be a dream he kept turning the egg over in his hands, feeling it and kissing it. And as he kissed it he said:
"And now, how shall I cook it? Shall I make an omelet? No, it would be better to cook it in a saucer! Or would it not be more savory to fry it in the frying-pan? Or shall I simply boil it? No, the quickest way of all is to cook it in a saucer: I am in such a hurry to eat it!"
Without loss of time he placed an earthenware saucer on a brazier full of red-hot embers. Into the saucer instead of oil or butter he poured a little water; and when the water began to smoke, tac! he broke the egg-shell over it and let the contents drop in. But, instead of the white and the yolk a little chicken popped out very gay and polite. Making a beautiful courtesy it said to him:
"A thousand thanks, Master Pinocchio, for saving me the trouble of breaking the shell. Adieu until we meet again. Keep well, and my best compliments to all at home!"
Thus saying, it spread its wings, darted through the open window and, flying away, was lost to sight.
The poor puppet stood as if he had been bewitched, with his eyes fixed, his mouth open, and the egg-shell in his hand. Recovering, however, from his first stupefaction, he began to cry and scream, and to stamp his feet on the floor in desperation, and amidst his sobs he said:
"Ah, indeed, the Talking-Cricket was right. If I had not run away from home, and if my papa were here, I should not now be dying of hunger! Oh! what a dreadful illness hunger is!"
And, as his stomach cried out more than ever and he did not know how to quiet it, he thought he would leave the house and make an excursion in the neighborhood in hopes of finding some charitable person who would give him a piece of bread.
PINOCCHIO'S FEET BURN TO CINDERS
It was a wild and stormy night. The thunder was tremendous and the lightning so vivid that the sky seemed on fire.
Pinocchio had a great fear of thunder, but hunger was stronger than fear. He therefore closed the house door and made a rush for the village, which he reached in a hundred bounds, with his tongue hanging out and panting for breath like a dog after game.
But he found it all dark and deserted. The shops were closed, the windows shut, and there was not so much as a dog in the street. It seemed the land of the dead.
Pinocchio, urged by desperation and hunger, took hold of the bell of a house and began to ring it with all his might, saying to himself:
"That will bring somebody."
And so it did. A little old man appeared at a window with a night-cap on his head and called to him angrily:
"What do you want at such an hour?"
"Would you be kind enough to give me a little bread?"
"Wait there, I will be back directly," said the little old man, thinking it was one of those rascally boys who amuse themselves at night by ringing the house-bells to rouse respectable people who are sleeping quietly.
After half a minute the window was again opened and the voice of the same little old man shouted to Pinocchio:
"Come underneath and hold out your cap."
Pinocchio pulled off his cap; but, just as he held it out, an enormous basin of water was poured down on him, soaking him from head to foot as if he had been a pot of dried-up geraniums.
He returned home like a wet chicken, quite exhausted with fatigue and hunger; and, having no longer strength to stand, he sat down and rested his damp and muddy feet on a brazier full of burning embers.
And then he fell asleep, and whilst he slept his feet, which were wooden, took fire, and little by little they burnt away and became cinders.
Pinocchio continued to sleep and to snore as if his feet belonged to some one else. At last about daybreak he awoke because some one was knocking at the door.
"Who is there?" he asked, yawning and rubbing his eyes.
"It is I!" answered a voice.
And Pinocchio recognized Geppetto's voice.
GEPPETTO GIVES HIS OWN BREAKFAST TO PINOCCHIO
Poor Pinocchio, whose eyes were still half shut from sleep, had not as yet discovered that his feet were burnt off. The moment, therefore, that he heard his father's voice he slipped off his stool to run and open the door; but, after stumbling two or three times, he fell his whole length on the floor.
And the noise he made in falling was as if a sack of wooden ladles had been thrown from a fifth story.
"Open the door!" shouted Geppetto from the street.
"Dear papa, I cannot," answered the puppet, crying and rolling about on the ground.
"Why can't you?"
"Because my feet have been eaten."
"And who has eaten your feet?"
"The cat," said Pinocchio, seeing the cat, who was amusing herself by making some shavings dance with her forepaws.
"Open the door, I tell you!" repeated Geppetto. "If you don't, when I get into the house you shall have the cat from me!"
"I cannot stand up, believe me. Oh, poor me! poor me! I shall have to walk on my knees for the rest of my life!"
Geppetto, believing that all this lamentation was only another of the puppet's tricks, thought of a means of putting an end to it, and, climbing up the wall, he got in at the window.
He was very angry and at first he did nothing but scold; but when he saw his Pinocchio lying on the ground and really without feet he was quite overcome. He took him in his arms and began to kiss and caress him, and to say a thousand endearing things to him, and as the big tears ran down his cheeks he said, sobbing:
"My little Pinocchio! how did you manage to burn your feet?"
"I don't know, papa, but it has been such a dreadful night that I shall remember it as long as I live. It thundered and lightened, and I was very hungry, and then the Talking-Cricket said to me: 'It serves you right; you have been wicked and you deserve it,' and I said to him: 'Take care, Cricket!' and he said: 'You are a puppet and you have a wooden head,' and I threw the handle of a hammer at him, and he died, but the fault was his, for I didn't wish to kill him, and the proof of it is that I put an earthenware saucer on a brazier of burning embers, but a chicken flew out and said: 'Adieu until we meet again, and many compliments to all at home': and I got still more hungry, for which reason that little old man in a night-cap, opening the window, said to me: 'Come underneath and hold out your hat,' and poured a basinful of water on my head, because asking for a little bread isn't a disgrace, is it? and I returned home at once, and because I was always very hungry I put my feet on the brazier to dry them, and then you returned, and I found they were burnt off, and I am always hungry, but I have no longer any feet! Oh! oh! oh! oh!" And poor Pinocchio began to cry and to roar so loudly that he was heard five miles off.
Geppetto, who from all this jumbled account had only understood one thing, which was that the puppet was dying of hunger, drew from his pocket three pears and, giving them to him, said:
"These three pears were intended for my breakfast, but I will give them to you willingly. Eat them, and I hope they will do you good."
"If you wish me to eat them, be kind enough to peel them for me."
"Peel them?" said Geppetto, astonished. "I should never have thought, my boy, that you were so dainty and fastidious. That is bad! In this world we should accustom ourselves from childhood to like and to eat everything, for there is no saying to what we may be brought. There are so many chances!"
"You are no doubt right," interrupted Pinocchio, "but I will never eat fruit that has not been peeled. I cannot bear rind."
So good Geppetto peeled the three pears and put the rind on a corner of the table.
Having eaten the first pear in two mouthfuls, Pinocchio was about to throw away the core, but Geppetto caught hold of his arm and said to him:
"Do not throw it away; in this world everything may be of use."
"But core I am determined I will not eat," shouted the puppet, turning upon him like a viper.
"Who knows! there are so many chances!" repeated Geppetto, without losing his temper.
And so the three cores, instead of being thrown out of the window, were placed on the corner of the table, together with the three rinds.
Having eaten, or rather having devoured the three pears, Pinocchio yawned tremendously, and then said in a fretful tone:
"I am as hungry as ever!"
"But, my boy, I have nothing more to give you!"
"Nothing, really nothing?"
"I have only the rind and the cores of the three pears."
"One must have patience!" said Pinocchio; "if there is nothing else I will eat a rind."
And he began to chew it. At first he made a wry face, but then one after another he quickly disposed of the rinds: and after the rinds even the cores, and when he had eaten up everything he clapped his hands on his sides in his satisfaction and said joyfully:
"Ah! now I feel comfortable."
"You see, now," observed Geppetto, "that I was right when I said to you that it did not do to accustom ourselves to be too particular or too dainty in our tastes. We can never know, my dear boy, what may happen to us. There are so many chances!"
GEPPETTO MAKES PINOCCHIO NEW FEET
No sooner had the puppet satisfied his hunger than he began to cry and to grumble because he wanted a pair of new feet.
But Geppetto, to punish him for his naughtiness, allowed him to cry and to despair for half the day. He then said to him:
"Why should I make you new feet? To enable you, perhaps, to escape again from home?"
"I promise you," said the puppet, sobbing, "that for the future I will be good."
"All boys," replied Geppetto, "when they are bent upon obtaining something, say the same thing."
"I promise you that I will go to school and that I will study and bring home a good report."
"All boys, when they are bent on obtaining something, repeat the same story."
"But I am not like other boys! I am better than all of them and I always speak the truth. I promise you, papa, that I will learn a trade and that I will be the consolation and the staff of your old age."
Geppetto's eyes filled with tears and his heart was sad at seeing his poor Pinocchio in such a pitiable state. He did not say another word, but, taking his tools and two small pieces of well-seasoned wood, he set to work with great diligence.
In less than an hour the feet were finished: two little feet—swift, well-knit and nervous. They might have been modelled by an artist of genius.
Geppetto then said to the puppet:
"Shut your eyes and go to sleep!"
And Pinocchio shut his eyes and pretended to be asleep.
And whilst he pretended to sleep, Geppetto, with a little glue which he had melted in an egg-shell, fastened his feet in their place, and it was so well done that not even a trace could be seen of where they were joined.
No sooner had the puppet discovered that he had feet than he jumped down from the table on which he was lying and began to spring and to cut a thousand capers about the room, as if he had gone mad with the greatness of his delight.
"To reward you for what you have done for me," said Pinocchio to his father, "I will go to school at once."
"But to go to school I shall want some clothes."
Geppetto, who was poor and who had not so much as a penny in his pocket, then made him a little dress of flowered paper, a pair of shoes from the bark of a tree, and a cap of the crumb of bread.
Pinocchio ran immediately to look at himself in a crock of water, and he was so pleased with his appearance that he said, strutting about like a peacock:
"I look quite like a gentleman!"
"Yes, indeed," answered Geppetto, "for bear in mind that it is not fine clothes that make the gentleman, but rather clean clothes."
"By the bye," added the puppet, "to go to school I am still in want—indeed, I am without the best thing, and the most important."
"And what is it?"
"I have no spelling-book."
"You are right: but what shall we do to get one?"
"It is quite easy. We have only to go to the bookseller's and buy it."
"And the money?"
"I have got none."
"Neither have I," added the good old man, very sadly.
And Pinocchio, although he was a very merry boy, became sad also, because poverty, when it is real poverty, is understood by everybody—even by boys.
"Well, patience!" exclaimed Geppetto, all at once rising to his feet, and putting on his old corduroy coat, all patched and darned, he ran out of the house.
He returned shortly, holding in his hand a spelling-book for Pinocchio, but the old coat was gone. The poor man was in his shirt-sleeves and out of doors it was snowing.
"And the coat, papa?"
"I have sold it."
"Why did you sell it?"
"Because I found it too hot."
Pinocchio understood this answer in an instant, and unable to restrain the impulse of his good heart he sprang up and, throwing his arms around Geppetto's neck, he began kissing him again and again.
PINOCCHIO GOES TO SEE A PUPPET-SHOW
As soon as it stopped snowing Pinocchio set out for school with his fine spelling-book under his arm. As he went along he began to imagine a thousand things in his little brain and to build a thousand castles in the air, one more beautiful than the other.
And, talking to himself, he said:
"Today at school I will learn to read at once; then tomorrow I will begin to write, and the day after tomorrow to figure. Then, with my acquirements, I will earn a great deal of money, and with the first money I have in my pocket I will immediately buy for my papa a beautiful new cloth coat. But what am I saying? Cloth, indeed! It shall be all made of gold and silver, and it shall have diamond buttons. That poor man really deserves it, for to buy me books and have me taught he has remained in his shirt-sleeves. And in this cold! It is only fathers who are capable of such sacrifices!"
Whilst he was saying this with great emotion, he thought that he heard music in the distance that sounded like fifes and the beating of a big drum: Fi-fie-fi, fi-fi-fi; zum, zum, zum.
He stopped and listened. The sounds came from the end of a cross street that led to a little village on the seashore.
"What can that music be? What a pity that I have to go to school, or else—"
And he remained irresolute. It was, however, necessary to come to a decision. Should he go to school? or should he go after the fifes?
"Today I will go and hear the fifes, and tomorrow I will go to school," finally decided the young scapegrace, shrugging his shoulders.
The more he ran the nearer came the sounds of the fifes and the beating of the big drum: Fi-fi-fi; zum, zum, zum, zum.
At last he found himself in the middle of a square quite full of people, who were all crowded round a building made of wood and canvas, and painted a thousand colors.
"What is that building?" asked Pinocchio, turning to a little boy who belonged to the place.
"Read the placard—it is all written—and then you will know."
"I would read it willingly, but it so happens that today I don't know how to read."
"Bravo, blockhead! Then I will read it to you. The writing on that placard in those letters red as fire is:
"THE GREAT PUPPET THEATER."
"Has the play begun long?"
"It is beginning now."
"How much does it cost to go in?"
Pinocchio, who was in a fever of curiosity, lost all control of himself, and without any shame he said to the little boy to whom he was talking:
"Would you lend me a dime until tomorrow?"
"I would lend it to you willingly," said the other, "but it so happens that today I cannot give it to you."
"I will sell you my jacket for a dime," the puppet then said to him.
"What do you think that I could do with a jacket of flowered paper? If there were rain and it got wet, it would be impossible to get it off my back."
"Will you buy my shoes?"
"They would only be of use to light the fire."
"How much will you give me for my cap?"
"That would be a wonderful acquisition indeed! A cap of bread crumb! There would be a risk of the mice coming to eat it whilst it was on my head."
Pinocchio was on thorns. He was on the point of making another offer, but he had not the courage. He hesitated, felt irresolute and remorseful. At last he said:
"Will you give me a dime for this new spelling-book?"
"I am a boy and I don't buy from boys," replied his little interlocutor, who had much more sense than he had.
"I will buy the spelling-book for a dime," called out a hawker of old clothes, who had been listening to the conversation.
And the book was sold there and then. And to think that poor Geppetto had remained at home trembling with cold in his shirt-sleeves in order that his son should have a spelling-book.
THE PUPPETS RECOGNIZE THEIR BROTHER PINOCCHIO
When Pinocchio came into the little puppet theater, an incident occurred that almost produced a revolution.
The curtain had gone up and the play had already begun.
On the stage Harlequin and Punch were as usual quarrelling with each other and threatening every moment to come to blows.
All at once Harlequin stopped short and, turning to the public, he pointed with his hand to some one far down in the pit and exclaimed in a dramatic tone:
"Gods of the firmament! Do I dream or am I awake? But surely that is Pinocchio!"
"It is indeed Pinocchio!" cried Punch.
"It is indeed himself!" screamed Miss Rose, peeping from behind the scenes.
"It is Pinocchio! it is Pinocchio!" shouted all the puppets in chorus, leaping from all sides on to the stage. "It is Pinocchio! It is our brother Pinocchio! Long live Pinocchio!"
"Pinocchio, come up here to me," cried Harlequin, "and throw yourself into the arms of your wooden brothers!"
At this affectionate invitation Pinocchio made a leap from the end of the pit into the reserved seats; another leap landed him on the head of the leader of the orchestra, and he then sprang upon the stage.
The embraces, the friendly pinches, and the demonstrations of warm brotherly affection that Pinocchio received from the excited crowd of actors and actresses of the puppet dramatic company are beyond description.
The sight was doubtless a moving one, but the public in the pit, finding that the play was stopped, became impatient and began to shout: "We will have the play—go on with the play!"
It was all breath thrown away. The puppets, instead of continuing the recital, redoubled their noise and outcries, and, putting Pinocchio on their shoulders, they carried him in triumph before the footlights.
At that moment out came the showman. He was very big, and so ugly that the sight of him was enough to frighten anyone. His beard was as black as ink, and so long that it reached from his chin to the ground. I need only say that he trod upon it when he walked. His mouth was as big as an oven, and his eyes were like two lanterns of red glass with lights burning inside them. He carried a large whip made of snakes and foxes' tails twisted together, which he cracked constantly.
At his unexpected appearance there was a profound silence: no one dared to breathe. A fly might have been heard in the stillness. The poor puppets of both sexes trembled like so many leaves.
"Why have you come to raise a disturbance in my theater?" asked the showman of Pinocchio, in the gruff voice of a hobgoblin suffering from a severe cold in the head.
"Believe me, honored sir, it was not my fault!"
"That is enough! Tonight we will settle our accounts."
As soon as the play was over the showman went into the kitchen, where a fine sheep, preparing for his supper, was turning slowly on the spit in front of the fire. As there was not enough wood to finish roasting and browning it, he called Harlequin and Punch, and said to them:
"Bring that puppet here: you will find him hanging on a nail. It seems to me that he is made of very dry wood and I am sure that if he were thrown on the fire he would make a beautiful blaze for the roast."
At first Harlequin and Punch hesitated; but, appalled by a severe glance from their master, they obeyed. In a short time they returned to the kitchen carrying poor Pinocchio, who was wriggling like an eel taken out of water and screaming desperately: "Papa! papa! save me! I will not die, I will not die!"
FIRE-EATER SNEEZES AND PARDONS PINOCCHIO
The showman, Fire-Eater—for that was his name—looked like a wicked man, especially with his black beard that covered his chest and legs like an apron. On the whole, however, he had not a bad heart. In proof of this, when he saw poor Pinocchio brought before him, struggling and screaming "I will not die, I will not die!" he was quite moved and felt very sorry for him. He tried to hold out, but after a little he could stand it no longer and he sneezed violently. When he heard the sneeze, Harlequin, who up to that moment had been in the deepest affliction and bowed down like a weeping willow, became quite cheerful and, leaning towards Pinocchio, he whispered to him softly:
"Good news, brother. The showman has sneezed and that is a sign that he pities you, and consequently you are saved."
Most men, when they feel compassion for somebody, either weep or at least pretend to dry their eyes. Fire-Eater, on the contrary, whenever he was really overcome, had the habit of sneezing.
After he had sneezed, the showman, still acting the ruffian, shouted to Pinocchio:
"Have done crying! Your lamentations have given me a pain in my stomach. I feel a spasm that almost—Etchoo! etchoo!" and he sneezed again twice.
"Bless you!" said Pinocchio.
"Thank you! And your papa and your mamma, are they still alive?" asked Fire-Eater.
"Papa, yes; my mamma I have never known."
"Who can say what a sorrow it would be for your poor old father if I were to have you thrown amongst those burning coals! Poor old man! I pity him! Etchoo! etchoo! etchoo!" and he sneezed again three times.
"Bless you" said Pinocchio.
"Thank you! All the same, some compassion is due to me, for as you see I have no more wood with which to finish roasting my mutton, and, to tell you the truth, under the circumstances you would have been of great use to me! However, I have had pity on you, so I must have patience. Instead of you I will burn under the spit one of the puppets belonging to my company. Ho there, gendarmes!"
At this call two wooden gendarmes immediately appeared. They were very long and very thin, and had on cocked hats, and held unsheathed swords in their hands.
The showman said to them in a hoarse voice:
"Take Harlequin, bind him securely, and then throw him on the fire to burn. I am determined that my mutton shall be well roasted."
Only imagine that poor Harlequin! His terror was so great that his legs bent under him, and he fell with his face on the ground.
At this agonizing sight Pinocchio, weeping bitterly, threw himself at the showman's feet and, bathing his long beard with his tears, he began to say, in a supplicating voice:
"Have pity, Sir Fire-Eater!"
"Here there are no sirs," the showman answered severely.
"Have pity, Sir Knight!"
"Here there are no knights!"
"Have pity, Commander!"
"Here there are no commanders!"
"Have pity, Excellence!"
Upon hearing himself called Excellence the showman began to smile and became at once kinder and more tractable. Turning to Pinocchio, he asked:
"Well, what do you want from me?"
"I implore you to pardon poor Harlequin."
"For him there can be no pardon. As I have spared you he must be put on the fire, for I am determined that my mutton shall be well roasted."
"In that case," cried Pinocchio proudly, rising and throwing away his cap of bread crumb—"in that case I know my duty. Come on, gendarmes! Bind me and throw me amongst the flames. No, it is not just that poor Harlequin, my true friend, should die for me!"
These words, pronounced in a loud, heroic voice, made all the puppets who were present cry. Even the gendarmes, although they were made of wood, wept like two newly born lambs.
Fire-Eater at first remained as hard and unmoved as ice, but little by little he began to melt and to sneeze. And, having sneezed four or five times, he opened his arms affectionately and said to Pinocchio:
"You are a good, brave boy! Come here and give me a kiss."
Pinocchio ran at once and, climbing like a squirrel up the showman's beard, he deposited a hearty kiss on the point of his nose.
"Then the pardon is granted?" asked poor Harlequin in a faint voice that was scarcely audible.
"The pardon is granted!" answered Fire-Eater; he then added, sighing and shaking his head:
"I must have patience! Tonight I shall have to resign myself to eat the mutton half raw; but another time, woe to him who displeases me!"
At the news of the pardon the puppets all ran to the stage and, having lighted the lamps and chandeliers as if for a full-dress performance, they began to leap and to dance merrily. At dawn they were still dancing.
PINOCCHIO RECEIVES A PRESENT OF FIVE GOLD PIECES
The following day Fire-Eater called Pinocchio to one side and asked him:
"What is your father's name?"
"And what trade does he follow?"
"He is a beggar."
"Does he gain much?"
"Gain much? Why, he has never a penny in his pocket. Only think, in order to buy a spelling-book so that I could go to school he was obliged to sell the only coat he had to wear—a coat that, between patches and darns, was not fit to be seen."
"Poor devil! I feel almost sorry for him! Here are five gold pieces. Go at once and take them to him with my compliments."
Pinocchio was overjoyed and thanked the showman a thousand times. He embraced all the puppets of the company one by one, even to the gendarmes, and set out to return home.
But he had not gone far when he met on the road a Fox lame of one foot, and a Cat blind of both eyes, and they were going along helping each other like good companions in misfortune. The Fox, who was lame, walked leaning on the Cat; and the Cat, who was blind, was guided by the Fox.
"Good-day, Pinocchio," said the Fox, greeting him politely.
"How do you come to know my name?" asked the puppet.
"I know your father well."
"Where did you see him?"
"I saw him yesterday at the door of his house."
"And what was he doing?"
"He was in his shirt-sleeves and shivering with cold."
"Poor papa! But that is over; for the future he shall shiver no more!"
"Because I have become a gentleman."
"A gentleman—you!" said the Fox, and he began to laugh rudely and scornfully. The Cat also began to laugh, but to conceal it she combed her whiskers with her forepaws.
"There is little to laugh at," cried Pinocchio angrily. "I am really sorry to make your mouth water, but if you know anything about it, you can see that these are five gold pieces."
And he pulled out the money that Fire-Eater had given him.
At the jingling of the money the Fox, with an involuntary movement, stretched out the paw that seemed crippled, and the Cat opened wide two eyes that looked like two green lanterns. It is true that she shut them again, and so quickly that Pinocchio observed nothing.
"And now," asked the Fox, "what are you going to do with all that money?"
"First of all," answered the puppet, "I intend to buy a new coat for my papa, made of gold and silver, and with diamond buttons; and then I will buy a spelling-book for myself."
"Yes indeed, for I wish to go to school to study in earnest."
"Look at me!" said the Fox. "Through my foolish passion for study I have lost a leg."
"Look at me!" said the Cat. "Through my foolish passion for study I have lost the sight of both my eyes."
At that moment a white Blackbird, that was perched on the hedge by the road, began his usual song, and said:
"Pinocchio, don't listen to the advice of bad companions; if you do you will repent it!"
Poor Blackbird! If only he had not spoken! The Cat, with a great leap, sprang upon him, and without even giving him time to say "Oh!" ate him in a mouthful, feathers and all.
Having eaten him and cleaned her mouth she shut her eyes again and feigned blindness as before.
"Poor Blackbird!" said Pinocchio to the Cat, "why did you treat him so badly?"
"I did it to give him a lesson. He will learn another time not to meddle in other people's conversation."
They had gone almost half-way when the Fox, halting suddenly, said to the puppet:
"Would you like to double your money?"
"In what way?"
"Would you like to make out of your five miserable sovereigns, a hundred, a thousand, two thousand?"
"I should think so! but in what way?"
"The way is easy enough. Instead of returning home you must go with us."
"And where do you wish to take me?"
"To the land of the Owls."
Pinocchio reflected a moment, and then he said resolutely:
"No, I will not go. I am already close to the house, and I will return home to my papa, who is waiting for me. Who can tell how often the poor old man must have sighed yesterday when I did not come back! I have indeed been a bad son, and the Talking-Cricket was right when he said: 'Disobedient boys never come to any good in the world.' I have found it to be true, for many misfortunes have happened to me. Even yesterday in Fire-Eater's house I ran the risk—Oh! it makes me shudder only to think of it!"
"Well, then," said the Fox, "you are quite decided to go home? Go, then, and so much the worse for you."
"So much the worse for you!" repeated the Cat.
"Think well of it, Pinocchio, for you are giving a kick to fortune."
"To fortune!" repeated the Cat.
"Between today and tomorrow your five sovereigns would have become two thousand."
"Two thousand!" repeated the Cat.
"But how is it possible that they could become so many?" asked Pinocchio, remaining with his mouth open from astonishment.
"I will explain it to you at once," said the Fox. "You must know that in the land of the Owls there is a sacred field called by everybody the Field of Miracles. In this field you must dig a little hole, and you put into it, we will say, one gold sovereign. You then cover up the hole with a little earth; you must water it with two pails of water from the fountain, then sprinkle it with two pinches of salt, and when night comes you can go quietly to bed. In the meanwhile, during the night, the gold piece will grow and flower, and in the morning when you get up and return to the field, what do you find? You find a beautiful tree laden with as many gold sovereigns as a fine ear of corn has grains in the month of June."
"So that," said Pinocchio, more and more bewildered, "supposing I buried my five sovereigns in that field, how many should I find there the following morning?"
"That is an exceedingly easy calculation," replied the Fox, "a calculation that you can make on the ends of your fingers. Every sovereign will give you an increase of five hundred; multiply five hundred by five, and the following morning will find you with two thousand five hundred shining gold pieces in your pocket."
"Oh! how delightful!" cried Pinocchio, dancing for joy. "As soon as ever I have obtained those sovereigns, I will keep two thousand for myself and the other five hundred I will make a present of to you two."
"A present to us?" cried the Fox with indignation and appearing much offended. "What are you dreaming of?"
"What are you dreaming of?" repeated the Cat.
"We do not work," said the Fox, "for interest: we work solely to enrich others."
"Others!" repeated the Cat.
"What good people!" thought Pinocchio to himself, and, forgetting there and then his papa, the new coat, the spelling-book, and all his good resolutions, he said to the Fox and the Cat:
"Let us be off at once. I will go with you."
THE INN OF THE RED CRAW-FISH
They walked, and walked, and walked, until at last, towards evening, they arrived, all tired out, at the inn of The Red Craw-Fish.
"Let us stop here a little," said the Fox, "that we may have something to eat, and rest ourselves for an hour or two. We will start again at midnight, so as to arrive at the Field of Miracles by dawn tomorrow morning."
Having gone into the inn they all three sat down to table, but none of them had any appetite.
The Cat, who was suffering from indigestion and feeling seriously indisposed, could only eat thirty-five fish with tomato sauce and four portions of tripe with Parmesan cheese; and because she thought the tripe was not seasoned enough, she asked three times for the butter and grated cheese!
The Fox would also willingly have picked a little, but as his doctor had ordered him a strict diet, he was forced to content himself simply with a hare dressed with a sweet and sour sauce, and garnished lightly with fat chickens and early pullets. After the hare he sent for a made dish of partridges, rabbits, frogs, lizards and other delicacies; he could not touch anything else. He cared so little for food, he said, that he could put nothing to his lips.
The one who ate the least was Pinocchio. He asked for some walnuts and a hunch of bread, and left everything on his plate. The poor boy's thoughts were continually fixed on the Field of Miracles.
When they had supped, the Fox said to the host:
"Give us two good rooms, one for Mr. Pinocchio, and the other for me and my companion. We will snatch a little sleep before we leave. Remember, however, that at midnight we wish to be called to continue our journey."
"Yes, gentlemen," answered the host, and he winked at the Fox and the Cat, as much as to say: "I know what you are up to. We understand one another!"
No sooner had Pinocchio got into bed than he fell asleep at once and began to dream. And he dreamed that he was in the middle of a field, and the field was full of shrubs covered with clusters of gold sovereigns, and as they swung in the wind they went zin, zin, zin, almost as if they would say: "Let who will, come and take us." But just as Pinocchio was stretching out his hand to pick handfuls of those beautiful gold pieces and to put them in his pocket, he was suddenly awakened by three violent blows on the door of his room.
It was the host who had come to tell him that midnight had struck.
"Are my companions ready?" asked the puppet.
"Ready! Why, they left two hours ago."
"Why were they in such a hurry?"
"Because the Cat had received a message to say that her eldest kitten was ill with chilblains on his feet and was in danger of death."
"Did they pay for the supper?"
"What are you thinking of? They are too well educated to dream of offering such an insult to a gentleman like you."
"What a pity! It is an insult that would have given me so much pleasure!" said Pinocchio, scratching his head. He then asked:
"And where did my good friends say they would wait for me?"
"At the Field of Miracles, tomorrow morning at daybreak."
Pinocchio paid a sovereign for his supper and that of his companions, and then left.
Outside the inn it was so pitch dark that he had almost to grope his way, for it was impossible to see a hand's breadth in front of him. Some night-birds flying across the road from one hedge to the other brushed Pinocchio's nose with their wings as they passed, which caused him so much terror that, springing back, he shouted: "Who goes there?" and the echo in the surrounding hills repeated in the distance: "Who goes there? Who goes there?"
As he was walking along he saw a little insect shining dimly on the trunk of a tree, like a night-light in a lamp of transparent china.
"Who are you?" asked Pinocchio.
"I am the ghost of the Talking-Cricket," answered the insect in a low voice, so weak and faint that it seemed to come from the other world.
"What do you want with me?" said the puppet.
"I want to give you some advice. Go back and take the four sovereigns that you have left to your poor father, who is weeping and in despair because you have not returned to him."
"By tomorrow my papa will be a gentleman, for these four sovereigns will have become two thousand."
"Don't trust to those who promise to make you rich in a day. Usually they are either mad or rogues! Give ear to me, and go back, my boy."
"On the contrary, I am determined to go on."
"The hour is late!"
"I am determined to go on."
"The night is dark!"
"I am determined to go on."
"The road is dangerous!"
"I am determined to go on."
"Remember that boys who are bent on following their caprices, and will have their own way, sooner or later repent it."
"Always the same stories. Good-night, Cricket."
"Good-night, Pinocchio, and may Heaven preserve you from dangers and from assassins."
No sooner had he said these words than the Talking-Cricket vanished suddenly like a light that has been blown out, and the road became darker than ever.
PINOCCHIO FALLS AMONGST ASSASSINS
"Really," said the puppet to himself, as he resumed his journey, "how unfortunate we poor boys are. Everybody scolds us and gives us good advice. See now; because I don't choose to listen to that tiresome Cricket, who knows, according to him, how many misfortunes are to happen to me! I am even to meet with assassins! That is, however, of little consequence, for I don't believe in assassins—I have never believed in them. For me, I think that assassins have been invented purposely by papas to frighten boys who want to go out at night. Besides, supposing I was to come across them here in the road, do you imagine they would frighten me? Not the least in the world. I should go to meet them and cry: 'Gentlemen assassins, what do you want with me? Remember that with me there is no joking. Therefore go about your business and be quiet!' At this speech they would run away like the wind. If, however, they were so badly educated as not to run away, why, then I would run away myself and there would be an end of it."
But Pinocchio had not time to finish his reasoning, for at that moment he thought that he heard a slight rustle of leaves behind him.
He turned to look and saw in the gloom two evil-looking black figures completely enveloped in charcoal sacks. They were running after him on tiptoe and making great leaps like two phantoms.
"Here they are in reality!" he said to himself and, not knowing where to hide his gold pieces, he put them in his mouth precisely under his tongue.
Then he tried to escape. But he had not gone a step when he felt himself seized by the arm and heard two horrid, sepulchral voices saying to him:
"Your money or your life!"
Pinocchio, not being able to answer in words, owing to the money that was in his mouth, made a thousand low bows and a thousand pantomimes. He tried thus to make the two muffled figures, whose eyes were only visible through the holes in their sacks, understand that he was a poor puppet, and that he had not as much as a counterfeit nickel in his pocket.
"Come, now! Less nonsense and out with the money!" cried the two brigands threateningly.
And the puppet made a gesture with his hands to signify: "I have none."
"Deliver up your money or you are dead," said the tallest of the brigands.
"Dead!" repeated the other.
"And after we have killed you, we will also kill your father!"
"Also your father!"
"No, no, no, not my poor papa!" cried Pinocchio in a despairing voice, and as he said it the sovereigns clinked in his mouth.
"Ah! you rascal! Then you have hidden your money under your tongue! Spit it out at once!"
Pinocchio was obstinate.
"Ah! you pretend to be deaf, do you? Wait a moment, leave it to us to find a means to make you give it up."
And one of them seized the puppet by the end of his nose, and the other took him by the chin, and began to pull them brutally, the one up and the other down, to force him to open his mouth. But it was all to no purpose. Pinocchio's mouth seemed to be nailed and riveted together.
Then the shorter assassin drew out an ugly knife and tried to put it between his lips like a lever or chisel. But Pinocchio, as quick as lightning, caught his hand with his teeth, and with one bite bit it clear off and spat it out. Imagine his astonishment when instead of a hand he perceived that a cat's paw lay on the ground.
Encouraged by this first victory he used his nails to such purpose that he succeeded in liberating himself from his assailants, and, jumping the hedge by the roadside, he began to fly across the country. The assassins ran after him like two dogs chasing a hare, and the one who had lost a paw ran on one leg, and no one ever knew how he managed it.
After a race of some miles Pinocchio could go no more. Giving himself up for lost, he climbed the trunk of a very high pine tree and seated himself in the topmost branches. The assassins attempted to climb after him, but when they had reached half-way up they slid down again and arrived on the ground with the skin grazed from their hands and knees.
But they were not to be beaten by so little; collecting a quantity of dry wood, they piled it beneath the pine and set fire to it. In less time than it takes to tell, the pine began to burn and to flame like a candle blown by the wind. Pinocchio, seeing that the flames were mounting higher every instant, and not wishing to end his life like a roasted pigeon, made a stupendous leap from the top of the tree and started afresh across the fields and vineyards. The assassins followed him, and kept behind him without once giving up.
The day began to break and they were still pursuing him. Suddenly Pinocchio found his way barred by a wide, deep ditch full of stagnant water the color of coffee. What was he to do? "One! two! three!" cried the puppet, and, making a rush, he sprang to the other side. The assassins also jumped, but not having measured the distance properly—splash! splash! they fell into the very middle of the ditch. Pinocchio, who heard the plunge and the splashing of the water, shouted out, laughing, and without stopping:
"A fine bath to you, gentleman assassins."
And he felt convinced that they were drowned, when, turning to look, he perceived that, on the contrary, they were both running after him, still enveloped in their sacks, with the water dripping from them as if they had been two hollow baskets.
THE ASSASSINS HANG PINOCCHIO TO THE BIG OAK
At this sight the puppet's courage failed him and he was on the point of throwing himself on the ground and giving himself over for lost. Turning, however, his eyes in every direction, he saw, at some distance, a small house as white as snow.
"If only I had breath to reach that house," he said to himself, "perhaps I should be saved."
And, without delaying an instant, he recommenced running for his life through the wood, and the assassins after him.
At last, after a desperate race of nearly two hours, he arrived quite breathless at the door of the house, and knocked.
No one answered.
He knocked again with great violence, for he heard the sound of steps approaching him and the heavy panting of his persecutors. The same silence.
Seeing that knocking was useless, he began in desperation to kick and pommel the door with all his might. The window then opened and a beautiful Child appeared at it. She had blue hair and a face as white as a waxen image; her eyes were closed and her hands were crossed on her breast. Without moving her lips in the least, she said, in a voice that seemed to come from the other world:
"In this house there is no one. They are all dead."
"Then at least open the door for me yourself," shouted Pinocchio, crying and imploring.
"I am dead also."
"Dead? Then what are you doing there at the window?"
"I am waiting for the bier to come to carry me away."
Having said this she immediately disappeared and the window was closed again without the slightest noise.
"Oh! beautiful Child with blue hair," cried Pinocchio, "open the door, for pity's sake! Have compassion on a poor boy pursued by assas—"
But he could not finish the word, for he felt himself seized by the collar and the same two horrible voices said to him threateningly:
"You shall not escape from us again!"
The puppet, seeing death staring him in the face, was taken with such a violent fit of trembling that the joints of his wooden legs began to creak, and the sovereigns hidden under his tongue to clink.
"Now, then," demanded the assassins, "will you open your mouth—yes or no? Ah! no answer? Leave it to us: this time we will force you to open it!"
And, drawing out two long, horrid knives as sharp as razors, clash!—they attempted to stab him twice.
But the puppet, luckily for him, was made of very hard wood; the knives therefore broke into a thousand pieces and the assassins were left with the handles in their hands, staring at each other.
"I see what we must do," said one of them. "He must be hung! let us hang him!"
"Let us hang him!" repeated the other.
Without loss of time they tied his arms behind him, passed a running noose round his throat, and hung him to the branch of a tree called the Big Oak.
They then sat down on the grass and waited for his last struggle. But at the end of three hours the puppet's eyes were still open, his mouth closed, and he was kicking more than ever.
Losing patience, they turned to Pinocchio and said in a bantering tone:
"Good-bye till tomorrow. Let us hope that when we return you will be polite enough to allow yourself to be found quite dead, and with your mouth wide open."
And they walked off.
In the meantime a tempestuous northerly wind began to blow and roar angrily, and it beat the poor puppet from side to side, making him swing violently, like the clatter of a bell ringing for a wedding. And the swinging gave him atrocious spasms, and the running noose, becoming still tighter round his throat, took away his breath.
Little by little his eyes began to grow dim, but although he felt that death was near he still continued to hope that some charitable person would come to his assistance before it was too late. But when, after waiting and waiting, he found that no one came, absolutely no one, then he remembered his poor father, and, thinking he was dying, he stammered out:
"Oh, papa! papa! if only you were here!"
His breath failed him and he could say no more. He shut his eyes, opened his mouth, stretched his legs, gave a long shudder, and hung stiff and insensible.
THE BEAUTIFUL CHILD RESCUES THE PUPPET
While poor Pinocchio, suspended to a branch of the Big Oak, was apparently more dead than alive, the beautiful Child with blue hair came again to the window. When she saw the unhappy puppet hanging by his throat, and dancing up and down in the gusts of the north wind, she was moved by compassion. Striking her hands together, she gave three little claps.
At this signal there came a sound of the sweep of wings flying rapidly and a large Falcon flew on to the window-sill.
"What are your orders, gracious Fairy?" he asked, inclining his beak in sign of reverence.
"Do you see that puppet dangling from a branch of the Big Oak?"
"I see him."
"Very well. Fly there at once: with your strong beak break the knot that keeps him suspended in the air, and lay him gently on the grass at the foot of the tree."
The Falcon flew away and after two minutes he returned, saying:
"I have done as you commanded."
"And how did you find him?"
"To see him he appeared dead, but he cannot really be quite dead, for I had no sooner loosened the running noose that tightened his throat than, giving a sigh, he muttered in a faint voice: 'Now I feel better!'"
The Fairy then struck her hands together twice and a magnificent Poodle appeared, walking upright on his hind legs exactly as if he had been a man.
He was in the full-dress livery of a coachman. On his head he had a three-cornered cap braided with gold, his curly white wig came down on to his shoulders, he had a chocolate-colored waistcoat with diamond buttons, and two large pockets to contain the bones that his mistress gave him at dinner. He had, besides, a pair of short crimson velvet breeches, silk stockings, cut-down shoes, and hanging behind him a species of umbrella case made of blue satin, to put his tail into when the weather was rainy.
"Be quick, Medoro, like a good dog!" said the Fairy to the Poodle. "Have the most beautiful carriage in my coach-house harnessed, and take the road to the wood. When you come to the Big Oak you will find a poor puppet stretched on the grass half dead. Pick him up gently and lay him flat on the cushions of the carriage and bring him here to me. Do you understand?"
The Poodle, to show that he had understood, shook the case of blue satin three or four times and ran off like a race-horse.
Shortly afterwards a beautiful little carriage came out of the coach-house. The cushions were stuffed with canary feathers and it was lined on the inside with whipped cream, custard and vanilla wafers. The little carriage was drawn by a hundred pairs of white mice, and the Poodle, seated on the coach-box, cracked his whip from side to side like a driver when he is afraid that he is behind time.
Scarcely had a quarter of an hour passed, when the carriage returned. The Fairy, who was waiting at the door of the house, took the poor puppet in her arms and carried him into a little room that was wainscoted with mother-of-pearl. She sent at once to summon the most famous doctors in the neighborhood.
They came immediately, one after the other: namely, a Crow, an Owl, and a Talking-Cricket.
"I wish to know from you, gentlemen," said the Fairy, "if this unfortunate puppet is alive or dead!"
At this request the Crow, advancing first, felt Pinocchio's pulse; he then felt his nose and then the little toe of his foot: and, having done this carefully, he pronounced solemnly the following words:
"To my belief the puppet is already quite dead; but, if unfortunately he should not be dead, then it would be a sign that he is still alive!"
"I regret," said the Owl, "to be obliged to contradict the Crow, my illustrious friend and colleague; but, in my opinion the puppet is still alive; but, if unfortunately he should not be alive, then it would be a sign that he is dead indeed!"
"And you—have you nothing to say?" asked the Fairy of the Talking-Cricket.
"In my opinion, the wisest thing a prudent doctor can do, when he does not know what he is talking about, is to be silent. For the rest, that puppet there has a face that is not new to me. I have known him for some time!"
Pinocchio, who up to that moment had lain immovable, like a real piece of wood, was seized with a fit of convulsive trembling that shook the whole bed.
"That puppet there," continued the Talking-Cricket, "is a confirmed rogue."
Pinocchio opened his eyes, but shut them again immediately.
"He is a ragamuffin, a do-nothing, a vagabond."
Pinocchio hid his face beneath the clothes.
"That puppet there is a disobedient son who will make his poor father die of a broken heart!"
At that instant a suffocated sound of sobs and crying was heard in the room. Imagine everybody's astonishment when, having raised the sheets a little, it was discovered that the sounds came from Pinocchio.
"When a dead person cries, it is a sign that he is on the road to get well," said the Crow solemnly.
"I grieve to contradict my illustrious friend and colleague," added the Owl; "but for me, when the dead person cries, it is a sign that he is sorry to die."
PINOCCHIO WILL NOT TAKE HIS MEDICINE
As soon as the three doctors had left the room the Fairy approached Pinocchio and, having touched his forehead, she perceived that he was in a high fever.
She therefore dissolved a certain white powder in half a tumbler of water and, offering it to the puppet, she said to him lovingly:
"Drink it and in a few days you will be cured."
Pinocchio looked at the tumbler, made a wry face, and then asked in a plaintive voice:
"Is it sweet or bitter?"
"It is bitter, but it will do you good."
"If it is bitter, I will not take it."
"Listen to me: drink it."
"I don't like anything bitter."
"Drink it, and when you have drunk it I will give you a lump of sugar to take away the taste."
"Where is the lump of sugar?"
"Here it is," said the Fairy, taking a piece from a gold sugar-basin.
"Give me first the lump of sugar and then I will drink that bad bitter water."
"Do you promise me?"
The Fairy gave him the sugar and Pinocchio, having crunched it up and swallowed it in a second, said, licking his lips:
"It would be a fine thing if sugar were medicine! I would take it every day."
"Now keep your promise and drink these few drops of water, which will restore you to health."
Pinocchio took the tumbler unwillingly in his hand and put the point of his nose to it: he then approached it to his lips: he then again put his nose to it, and at last said:
"It is too bitter! too bitter! I cannot drink it."
"How can you tell that, when you have not even tasted it?"
"I can imagine it! I know it from the smell. I want first another lump of sugar and then I will drink it!"
The Fairy then, with all the patience of a good mamma, put another lump of sugar in his mouth, and again presented the tumbler to him.
"I cannot drink it so!" said the puppet, making a thousand grimaces.
"Because that pillow that is down there on my feet bothers me."
The Fairy removed the pillow.
"It is useless. Even so I cannot drink it."
"What is the matter now?"
"The door of the room, which is half open, bothers me."
The Fairy went and closed the door.
"In short," cried Pinocchio, bursting into tears, "I will not drink that bitter water—no, no, no!"
"My boy, you will repent it."
"I don't care."
"Your illness is serious."
"I don't care."
"The fever in a few hours will carry you into the other world."
"I don't care."
"Are you not afraid of death?"
"I am not in the least afraid! I would rather die than drink that bitter medicine."
At that moment the door of the room flew open and four rabbits as black as ink entered carrying on their shoulders a little bier.
"What do you want with me?" cried Pinocchio, sitting up in bed in a great fright.
"We have come to take you," said the biggest rabbit.
"To take me? But I am not yet dead!"
"No, not yet? but you have only a few minutes to live, as you have refused the medicine that would have cured you of the fever."
"Oh, Fairy, Fairy!" the puppet then began to scream, "give me the tumbler at once; be quick, for pity's sake, for I will not die—no, I will not die."
And, taking the tumbler in both hands, he emptied it at a gulp.
"We must have patience!" said the rabbits; "this time we have made our journey in vain." And, taking the little bier again on their shoulders, they left the room, grumbling and murmuring between their teeth.
In fact, a few minutes afterwards, Pinocchio jumped down from the bed quite well, because wooden puppets have the privilege of being seldom ill and of being cured very quickly.
The Fairy, seeing him running and rushing about the room as gay and as lively as a young cock, said to him:
"Then my medicine has really done you good?"
"Good? I should think so! It has restored me to life!"
"Then why on earth did you require so much persuasion to take it?"
"Because you see that we boys are all like that! We are more afraid of medicine than of the illness."
"Disgraceful! Boys ought to know that a good remedy taken in time may save them from a serious illness, and perhaps even from death."
"Oh! but another time I shall not require so much persuasion. I shall remember those black rabbits with the bier on their shoulders and then I shall immediately take the tumbler in my hand, and down it will go!"
"Now, come here to me and tell me how it came about that you fell into the hands of those assassins."
"You see, the showman, Fire-Eater, gave me some gold pieces and said to me: 'Go, and take them to your father!' and instead I met on the road a Fox and a Cat, who said to me: 'Would you like those pieces of gold to become a thousand or two? Come with us and we will take you to the Field of Miracles,' and I said: 'Let us go.' And they said: 'Let us stop at the inn of The Red Craw-Fish,' and after midnight they left. And when I awoke I found that they were no longer there, because they had gone away. Then I began to travel by night, for you cannot imagine how dark it was; and on that account I met on the road two assassins in charcoal sacks who said to me: 'Out with your money,' and I said to them: 'I have got none,' because I had hidden the four gold pieces in my mouth, and one of the assassins tried to put his hand in my mouth, and I bit his hand off and spat it out, but instead of a hand it was a cat's paw. And the assassins ran after me, and I ran, and ran, until at last they caught me and tied me by the neck to a tree in this wood, and said to me: 'Tomorrow we shall return here and then you will be dead with your mouth open and we shall be able to carry off the pieces of gold that you have hidden under your tongue."
"And the four pieces—where have you put them?" asked the Fairy.
"I have lost them!" said Pinocchio, but he was telling a lie, for he had them in his pocket.
He had scarcely told the lie when his nose, which was already long, grew at once two inches longer.
"And where did you lose them?"
"In the wood near here."
At this second lie his nose went on growing.
"If you have lost them in the wood near here," said the Fairy, "we will look for them and we shall find them: because everything that is lost in that wood is always found."
"Ah! now I remember all about it," replied the puppet, getting quite confused; "I didn't lose the four gold pieces, I swallowed them whilst I was drinking your medicine."
At this lie his nose grew to such an extraordinary length that poor Pinocchio could not move in any direction. If he turned to one side he struck his nose against the bed or the window-panes, if he turned to the other he struck it against the walls or the door, if he raised his head a little he ran the risk of sticking it into one of the Fairy's eyes.
And the Fairy looked at him and laughed.
"What are you laughing at?" asked the puppet, very confused and anxious at finding his nose growing so prodigiously.
"I am laughing at the lie you have told."
"And how can you possibly know that I have told a lie?"
"Lies, my dear boy, are found out immediately, because they are of two sorts. There are lies that have short legs, and lies that have long noses. Your lie, as it happens, is one of those that have a long nose."
Pinocchio, not knowing where to hide himself for shame, tried to run out of the room; but he did not succeed, for his nose had increased so much that it could no longer pass through the door.
PINOCCHIO AGAIN MEETS THE FOX AND THE CAT
The Fairy allowed the puppet to cry for a good half-hour over his nose, which could no longer pass through the door of the room. This she did to give him a severe lesson, and to correct him of the disgraceful fault of telling lies—the most disgraceful fault that a boy can have. But when she saw him quite disfigured and his eyes swollen out of his head from weeping, she felt full of compassion for him. She therefore beat her hands together and at that signal a thousand large birds called Woodpeckers flew in at the window. They immediately perched on Pinocchio's nose and began to peck at it with such zeal that in a few minutes his enormous and ridiculous nose was reduced to its usual dimensions.
"What a good Fairy you are," said the puppet, drying his eyes, "and how much I love you!"
"I love you also," answered the Fairy; "and if you will remain with me you shall be my little brother and I will be your good little sister."
"I would remain willingly if it were not for my poor papa."
"I have thought of everything. I have already let your father know, and he will be here tonight."
"Really?" shouted Pinocchio, jumping for joy. "Then, little Fairy, if you consent, I should like to go and meet him. I am so anxious to give a kiss to that poor old man, who has suffered so much on my account, that I am counting the minutes."
"Go, then, but be careful not to lose yourself. Take the road through the wood and I am sure that you will meet him."
Pinocchio set out, and as soon as he was in the wood he began to run like a kid. But when he had reached a certain spot, almost in front of the Big Oak, he stopped, because he thought he heard people amongst the bushes. In fact, two persons came out on to the road. Can you guess who they were? His two traveling companions, the Fox and the Cat, with whom he had supped at the inn of The Red Craw-Fish.
"Why, here is our dear Pinocchio!" cried the Fox, kissing and embracing him. "How came you to be here?"
"How come you to be here?" repeated the Cat.
"It is a long story," answered the puppet, "which I will tell you when I have time. But do you know that the other night, when you left me alone at the inn, I met with assassins on the road?"