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The Adventures of Pinocchio

by C. Collodi

[Pseudonym of Carlo Lorenzini]


How it happened that Mastro Cherry, carpenter,
found a piece of wood that wept and laughed like a child

Centuries ago there lived"A king!" my little readers will say immediately.

No, children, you are mistaken. Once upon a time
there was a piece of wood. It was not an expensive piece
of wood. Far from it. Just a common block of firewood,
one of those thick, solid logs that are put on the fire in
winter to make cold rooms cozy and warm.

I do not know how this really happened, yet the fact
remains that one fine day this piece of wood found itself
in the shop of an old carpenter. His real name was
Mastro Antonio, but everyone called him Mastro Cherry,
for the tip of his nose was so round and red and shiny
that it looked like a ripe cherry.

As soon as he saw that piece of wood, Mastro Cherry
was filled with joy. Rubbing his hands together happily,
he mumbled half to himself:

"This has come in the nick of time. I shall use it to
make the leg of a table."

He grasped the hatchet quickly to peel off the bark and
shape the wood. But as he was about to give it the first
blow, he stood still with arm uplifted, for he had heard a
wee, little voice say in a beseeching tone: "Please be careful!
Do not hit me so hard!"

What a look of surprise shone on Mastro Cherry's
face! His funny face became still funnier.

He turned frightened eyes about the room to find out
where that wee, little voice had come from and he saw
no one! He looked under the bench--no one! He peeped
inside the closet--no one! He searched among the shavings-no one! He opened the door to look up and down
the street--and still no one!

"Oh, I see!" he then said, laughing and scratching his Wig.
"It can easily be seen that I only thought I heard the tiny
voice say the words! Well, well--to work once more."

He struck a most solemn blow upon the piece of wood.

"Oh, oh! You hurt!" cried the same far-away little voice.

Mastro Cherry grew dumb, his eyes popped out of his
head, his mouth opened wide, and his tongue hung down
on his chin.

As soon as he regained the use of his senses, he said,
trembling and stuttering from fright:

"Where did that voice come from, when there is no
one around? Might it be that this piece of wood has
learned to weep and cry like a child? I can hardly
believe it. Here it is--a piece of common firewood, good
only to burn in the stove, the same as any other. Yet-might someone be hidden in it? If so, the worse for him.
fix him!"

With these words, he grabbed the log with both hands
and started to knock it about unmercifully. He threw it
to the floor, against the walls of the room, and even up
to the ceiling.

He listened for the tiny voice to moan and cry.
He waited two minutes--nothing; five minutes--nothing;
ten minutes--nothing.

"Oh, I see," he said, trying bravely to laugh and
ruffling up his wig with his hand. "It can easily be seen
I only imagined I heard the tiny voice! Well, well--to
work once more!"

The poor fellow was scared half to death, so he tried
to sing a gay song in order to gain courage.

He set aside the hatchet and picked up the plane to
make the wood smooth and even, but as he drew it to
and fro, he heard the same tiny voice. This time it giggled
as it spoke:

"Stop it! Oh, stop it! Ha, ha, ha! You tickle my stomach."

This time poor Mastro Cherry fell as if shot. When
he opened his eyes, he found himself sitting on the floor.

His face had changed; fright had turned even the tip of
his nose from red to deepest purple.


Mastro Cherry gives the piece of wood to his friend Geppetto,
who takes it to make himself a Marionette that will dance,
fence, and turn somersaults

In that very instant, a loud knock sounded on the door.
"Come in," said the carpenter, not having an atom of
strength left with which to stand up.

At the words, the door opened and a dapper little old
man came in. His name was Geppetto, but to the boys of
the neighborhood he was Polendina,[1] on account of the
wig he always wore which was just the color of yellow corn.

[1] Cornmeal mush

Geppetto had a very bad temper. Woe to the one who
called him Polendina! He became as wild as a beast and
no one could soothe him.

"Good day, Mastro Antonio," said Geppetto. "What
are you doing on the floor?"

"I am teaching the ants their A B C's."

"Good luck to you!"

"What brought you here, friend Geppetto?"

"My legs. And it may flatter you to know, Mastro
Antonio, that I have come to you to beg for a favor."

"Here I am, at your service," answered the carpenter,
raising himself on to his knees.

"This morning a fine idea came to me."

"Let's hear it."

"I thought of making myself a beautiful wooden
Marionette. It must be wonderful, one that will be able to
dance, fence, and turn somersaults. With it I intend to go
around the world, to earn my crust of bread and cup of
wine. What do you think of it?"

"Bravo, Polendina!" cried the same tiny voice which
came from no one knew where.

On hearing himself called Polendina, Mastro Geppetto
turned the color of a red pepper and, facing the carpenter,
said to him angrily:

"Why do you insult me?"

"Who is insulting you?"

"You called me Polendina."

"I did not."

"I suppose you think _I_ did! Yet I KNOW it was you."





And growing angrier each moment, they went from
words to blows, and finally began to scratch and bite and
slap each other.

When the fight was over, Mastro Antonio had Geppetto's
yellow wig in his hands and Geppetto found the carpenter's
curly wig in his mouth.

"Give me back my wig!" shouted Mastro Antonio in a surly voice.

"You return mine and we'll be friends."

The two little old men, each with his own wig back on
his own head, shook hands and swore to be good friends
for the rest of their lives.

"Well then, Mastro Geppetto," said the carpenter, to
show he bore him no ill will, "what is it you want?"

"I want a piece of wood to make a Marionette. Will you give it to me?"

Mastro Antonio, very glad indeed, went immediately
to his bench to get the piece of wood which had frightened
him so much. But as he was about to give it to his friend,
with a violent jerk it slipped out of his hands and hit
against poor Geppetto's thin legs.

"Ah! Is this the gentle way, Mastro Antonio, in which
you make your gifts? You have made me almost lame!"

"I swear to you I did not do it!"

"It was _I_, of course!"

"It's the fault of this piece of wood."

"right; but remember you were the one to throw it at my legs."

"I did not throw it!"


"Geppetto, do not insult me or I shall call you Polendina."





"Ugly monkey!"


On hearing himself called Polendina for the third time,
Geppetto lost his head with rage and threw himself upon
the carpenter. Then and there they gave each other a
sound thrashing.

After this fight, Mastro Antonio had two more scratches
on his nose, and Geppetto had two buttons missing from
his coat. Thus having settled their accounts, they shook
hands and swore to be good friends for the rest of their lives.

Then Geppetto took the fine piece of wood,
thanked Mastro Antonio, and limped away toward home.


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 ...