The old wood-carver Geppetto decides to make a wonderful puppet which can dance and turn somersaults, but by chance he chooses an unusual piece of wood - and the finished puppet can talk and misbehave like the liveliest child. But Pinocchio is brave and inquisitive as well as naughty, and after some hair-raising adventures, he earns his heart's desire.
About the Author
Carlo Collodi (pen-name of Carlo Lorenzini) was born in Florence in 1826. He began his career as a journalist and worked as a civil servant before becoming a published author. In 1881 he wrote a short episode in the life of a wooden puppet for a newspaper, and it was an immediate success. The first English language version of the adventures of Pinocchio was published in 1892, two years after his death.
Read an Excerpt
ONCE upon a time there was a piece of wood. It was not worth much. It was only a piece of fire- wood like those that we burn in winter in the stove or in the fireplace to warm the rooms.
I cannot say how it happened; but one fine day an old carpenter found this piece of wood in his shop. The name of the carpenter was Master Antonio, but almost everybody called him Master Cherry because the end of his nose was almost as red as a ripe cherry.
When Master Cherry saw the piece of wood he was pleased. He rubbed his hands together with delight, and said softly to himself:
"This wood has come just at the right time. I will use it to make a leg for the table."
As soon as he had said this, he took a sharp ax to cut away the bark. But before he could strike the first blow, he stopped with the ax held high in the air. He had heard a very small voice say, "Do not strike me so hard!"
Master Cherry was very much surprised. He turned his eyes all around the room to see where the little voice came from. He looked under the bench. He looked in the cupboard. He looked in the basket of shavings. He even opened the door of the shop and looked into the street; but no one could he see.
At last Master Cherry laughed and began to scratch his head.
"I see how it all is," he said. "I only thought I heard someone speak."
Again he took up the ax, and this time he struck the piece of wood a terrible blow.
"Oh! you have hurt me!" cried the same little voice.
Master Cherry stood as still as if he had turned to stone. His eyes started out of his head with fright. His mouth remained open, and his tongue hung down almost to the edge of his chin.
He was trembling with fear, but as soon as he was able to speak, he said:
"Where on earth did that little voice come from? There is no one here. Is it possible this piece of wood has learned to cry and speak like a child? I cannot believe it. It is only a piece of firewood. If I threw it on the fire, it would boil a pot of beans. Can anyone be hiding inside it? If anyone is hiding there, so much the worse for him. I will settle him at once."
As he said this, he took the poor piece of wood in his hands and began to beat it against the wall.
Then he stopped to listen to see if he could hear the little voice. He waited two minutes. He waited five minutes. He waited ten minutes, but he could hear nothing.
"I see how it all is," said he as he tried to laugh and pushed his wig back into place. "I only thought I heard someone speak."
But all the time he was frightened, and he tried to sing to give himself a little courage.
He put aside the ax and took his plane, but as soon as he began to smooth the wood, the little voice laughed and said:
"Stop! You are tickling me!"
This time Master Cherry fell down as if he had been struck by lightning. At last, when he opened his eyes, he found himself sitting on the floor. His face was quite white, and the end of his nose, instead of being red, had become blue from fright.CHAPTER 2
MASTER CHERRY'S VISITOR
AT that moment someone knocked at the door. "Come in," said the carpenter; for he did not have the strength to rise to his feet.
A little old man at once walked into the shop. His name was Gepetto, but some of the bad boys called him "Indian Pudding," because his yellow wig looked so much like a pudding.
"Good day, Master Antonio," said Gepetto. "What are you doing there on the floor?"
"I am teaching the ABC's to the ants," said Antonio. "What can I do for you?"
"I have come to ask a favor of you," said Gepetto.
"Well, here I am, ready to serve you," replied the carpenter, as he rose to his knees.
"This morning an idea came into my head," said Gepetto. "I thought I would make a wonderful puppet or marionette that could run and jump. With it I could travel about the world and earn a living."
"Good for you, Indian Pudding," shouted the same little voice that had frightened Antonio.
Gepetto was very angry and said, "Why do you insult me?"
"I did not insult you," said Antonio.
"Yes, you did," said Gepetto. "I heard what you said, but I shall not quarrel with you. Give me a piece of wood so I can make my marionette, and I shall go home and not trouble you again."
Master Antonio was delighted. He went to the bench and got the piece of wood that had frightened him. But just as he was going to give it to his friend, the piece of wood jumped out of his hands and struck Gepetto a terrible blow upon the knees.
"You have a nice way of giving presents," said Gepetto. "You have almost lamed me!"
"I did not do it. It was the wood," said Antonio.
"I do not believe you," said Gepetto, as he limped out of the door with the piece of wood in his hand.CHAPTER 3
GEPETTO lived in a small room with one window. The only furniture he had was an old chair, a bed, and a broken table. At one end of the room there was a fireplace in which a fire was burning; but the fire was painted. Over the fire was a painted kettle that seemed to be boiling and sending out clouds of steam.
As soon as he reached home, Gepetto took his tools and began to make his marionette.
"What name shall I give him?" he said to himself. "I think I shall call him Pinocchio. It is a name that will bring him luck. I once knew a whole family that was named Pinocchio. The father was named Pinocchio. The mother was named Pinocchia, and the little children were named Pinocchi, and all of them did well."
Having found a name for the marionette, he began to work in earnest. First he made the hair, then the forehead, and then the eyes.
As soon as the eyes were finished, he was surprised to see them move and begin to stare at him. Soon he became angry and said:
"Wooden eyes, why do you stare at me?"
No one answered.
Then he took his knife and made the nose, but as soon as he had finished it, it began to grow. And it grew, and it grew, until it seemed as if it never would stop growing.
Gepetto cut it off, and cut it off, until he was tired, but it only grew longer and longer.
Before he had finished the mouth, it began to laugh and make fun of him. "Stop laughing!" said Gepetto; but he might as well have spoken to the wall.
"Stop laughing, I say!" he shouted in an angry voice.
The mouth then stopped laughing, but stuck out its tongue as far as it would go.
Gepetto pretended not to see this, and went on with his work. After the mouth was finished, he made the chin, then the throat, then the arms and the hands.
As soon as he had made the hands, Gepetto felt his wig pulled off. He turned around, and what do you think he saw? He saw his yellow wig in the hands of the marionette.
"Pinocchio, give me back my wig!" he shouted.
But instead of giving it back, Pinocchio put it on his own head, and was almost smothered by it.
Pinocchio's conduct made Gepetto feel very sad. He dried a tear and said:
"You young rascal! You are not yet finished, and still you do not have respect for your father. You are a bad, bad boy!"
Then he began to make the legs and the feet, but before they were finished they began to kick him.
"I deserve it," he said to himself. "I should have thought of it before. Now it is too late."
Then he placed the marionette on the floor and began to teach him to walk. At first his legs were stiff, and he could not move. But Gepetto held him by the hand and showed him how to put one foot before the other.CHAPTER 4
PINOCCHIO RUNS AWAY
AFTER a few moments Pinocchio began to walk and then to run about the room. At last he jumped through the open door and ran down the street.
Gepetto ran after him, but he was not able to catch him. Pinocchio leaped like a rabbit. His wooden feet made more noise on the pavement than twenty pairs of heavy shoes.
"Stop him! Stop him!" shouted Gepetto.
But the people only stood still with wonder, as the marionette ran past them like a racehorse. They only laughed at Gepetto as he ran after him.
At last a soldier heard the noise and thought that a colt had escaped from his master. He placed himself in the middle of the road with his feet spread apart so nothing could pass him.
When Pinocchio saw him, he tried to escape him by passing between his legs. But the soldier caught him by the nose and held him fast. It was a very large nose and just the size to be held by a soldier.
As soon as the soldier put Pinocchio into the hands of Gepetto, he tried to punish him by pulling his ears. But just think how surprised he was because he could not find them. In his hurry to finish the marionette, he had forgotten to make the ears.
So he took him by the neck and led him away. As they went along Gepetto said:
"We will go home now and settle this affair."
But Pinocchio threw himself on the ground and would not take another step. Soon a crowd of idle persons gathered and made a ring about them. Some of them said one thing, and some another.
"Poor marionette!" said several. "He is right in not wishing to go home. Who knows how that bad old Gepetto will beat him!"
Someone said: "Gepetto seems like a good man, but with boys he is very cruel. If that poor marionette is left in his hands, he will tear him in pieces."
So at last the soldier set Pinocchio free, and led Gepetto away to prison. The poor man, who had done nothing wrong, cried like a child. When he came to the prison, he said:
"Wicked boy! And I tried so hard to make a good marionette! But it serves me right. I should have thought of it before."
What was done afterward is a story that is very hard to believe, but I will tell it to you just as it happened.CHAPTER 5
THE TALKING CRICKET
WHILE poor Gepetto was being taken to prison for no fault of his, that imp Pinocchio, finding himself free from the hands of the soldier, ran off as fast as his legs could carry him. In order that he might reach home quicker, he ran across the fields. In his hurry he jumped over banks, hedges, and ditches full of water, just as a wild animal would have done if chased by hunters.
When he came to the house, he found the door was not locked. So he opened it and went in. He threw himself on the floor to rest, but he quickly got up again. He heard someone in the room who was saying, "Cri-cri-cri!"
"Who calls me?" said Pinocchio in a fright.
"It is I!" said the voice.
Pinocchio turned around and saw a big cricket crawling slowly up the wall.
"Tell me, Cricket, who may you be?" said he.
"I am the Talking Cricket," it said, "and I have lived here for more than a hundred years."
"It doesn't matter how long you have lived here," said the marionette. "The room is mine now, and you will do me a favor by going away at once, without even turning around."
"I will not go away," said the Cricket, "until I have told you a great truth."
"Tell it to me, then," said Pinocchio, "and be quick about it."
"Woe to those boys who rebel against their parents, and run away from home," said the Cricket. "They will never have any good luck, and sooner or later, they will be very sorry."
"Sing away, little Cricket, as long as you please," said Pinocchio. "But I have made up my mind to run away tomorrow morning as soon as it is light. If I stay here, what happens to other boys will happen to me also. I shall be sent to school and shall be made to study. To tell you the truth, I do not wish to study. It is much more amusing to run after butterflies and to climb trees and take young birds out of their nests."
"Poor little goose!" said the Cricket. "Do you not know that you will grow up to be a perfect donkey, and everyone will make fun of you?"
"Hold your tongue, you wicked old Cricket!" shouted Pinocchio.
But the Cricket was not angry. It only said: "But if you do not wish to go to school, why do you not learn a trade? Then you will be able to earn a piece of bread."
"Do you want me to tell you?" replied Pinocchio. "Well, I will tell you. Among all the trades in the world there is only one that I like."
"And what is that?" asked the Cricket.
"It is to eat, drink, sleep, and amuse myself, and to lead an idle life from morning until night."
"As a rule," said the Talking Cricket, "those who follow that trade end in a hospital or in a prison."
"Take care," said Pinocchio, "or you will make me angry."
"Poor Pinocchio! How I pity you!" said the Cricket.
"Why do you pity me?" said he.
"Because you are a marionette," said the Cricket, "and what is worse, you have a wooden head."
At these last words Pinocchio jumped up in a rage, and taking a wooden mallet from the bench, he threw it at the Talking Cricket. Perhaps he never meant to hit him; but unfortunately he struck him exactly on the head. The poor cricket had hardly breath to cry out "Cri-cri-cri" before he was flattened against the wall.CHAPTER 6
NIGHT was coming on, and Pinocchio remembered that he had eaten nothing all day. He began to feel a gnawing in his stomach that was very much like an appetite. In fact, his hunger grew so quickly that he could hardly wait for something to eat.
He ran to the fireplace, where a kettle was boiling. He was about to take off the lid to see what was in it, when he saw that the kettle was only painted on the wall. You can imagine his feelings. His nose began to grow again, and became three inches longer.
Then he began to run about the room. He looked in drawers and in every other place for a bit of bread. He thought there must be a crust of bread or a bone, but he could find nothing at all.
And all the time his hunger grew and grew until he felt as if he should faint. Then he began to cry and said:
"The Talking Cricket was right. It was wrong to disobey my father and run away from home. If he were here now, I should not be dying of hunger. Oh! what a dreadful thing hunger is!"
Just then he thought he saw something on the floor. It was round and white and looked like a hen's egg. He sprang and seized it. It was indeed an egg.
Pinocchio was overjoyed. Thinking it was a dream, he kept turning the egg over in his hands. He felt it and kissed it, and as he kissed it, he said:
"Now how shall I cook it? Shall I make an omelet? Shall I fry it? Or, shall I boil it? No, the quickest way of all is to cook it in a bowl of hot water. I am in such a hurry to eat it."
So he placed a bowl on a brazier full of red-hot coals, He poured a little water into the bowl. When the water began to boil, he broke the eggshell over it, so that the egg might drop in. But instead of the yolk and the white, a little chicken hopped out. It was very gay and polite. It made a bow and said:
"Many thanks, Master Pinocchio, for saving me the trouble of breaking the shell. Good-by until we meet again. Keep well and give my best wishes to all at home."
As it said this, it flew through the open window and was soon lost to sight.
The poor marionette stood there staring out of the window. His mouth was open and the empty eggshell was in his hand. But as soon as his surprise was over, he began to cry and scream and stamp his feet on the floor. Between his sobs, he said:
"Yes, 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! What a terrible thing it is to be hungry!"
The sight of food had made him more hungry than ever. So he thought he would leave the house and go out to look for someone who would give him a piece of bread.CHAPTER 7
PINOCCHIO LOSES HIS FEET
IT was a wild and stormy night. The thunder was terrible and the lightning was so bright that the sky seemed on fire. A strong wind was blowing clouds of dust over the streets and making the trees creak as it passed.
Pinocchio was afraid of thunder, but hunger was stronger than fear. So he closed the door and ran to the village. He ran so fast that he panted like a dog after a chase.
But he found the village all dark and deserted. The shops were closed, the windows were shut, and there was not even a dog in the street. It seemed like the land of the dead.
Pinocchio took hold of a doorbell and began to ring it with all his might. He said 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 in an angry voice:
"What do you want at such an hour of the night?"
"Would you be kind enough to give me a little bread?" said Pinocchio.
"Wait there and I will come back directly," said the little old man.
He thought the marionette was one of the bad boys who ring doorbells at night to disturb people who are sleeping.
In half a minute the window was opened again, and the voice of the little old man called to Pinocchio: "Come near the house and hold out your cap."
Pinocchio pulled off his cap, but just as he held it out a great basin of water was poured down on him. It wet him from head to foot as if he had been a pot of dried-up roses.
Pinocchio went home like a wet chicken. He was tired and hungry, and so he sat down and put his feet on the brazier to dry them.(Continues…)
Excerpted from "Pinocchio"
Copyright © 2019 Carlo Collodi.
Excerpted by permission of Dover Publications, Inc..
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Table of Contents
The Story of a Marionette, 1,
Master Cherry's Visitor, 4,
The Marionette, 6,
Pinocchio Runs Away, 9,
The Talking Cricket, 11,
Pinocchio's Hunger, 14,
Pinocchio Loses His Feet, 16,
Gepetto Returns Home, 18,
The New Feet, 21,
Pinocchio Sets Out for School, 24,
Pinocchio Goes to the Show, 26,
Fire-Eater Pardons Pinocchio, 29,
The Fox and the Cat, 31,
The Gray Goose Inn, 34,
The Assassins, 37,
Pinocchio Is Hanged on the Big Oak, 40,
Pinocchio Is Saved by the Fairy with Blue Hair, 42,
Pinocchio Refuses the Medicine, 44,
Pinocchio Is Robbed of His Money and Is Sent to Prison, 50,
Pinocchio Is Caught in a Trap, 53,
Pinocchio Discovers the Robbers, 56,
Pinocchio Goes to Find the Fairy and His Father, 59,
Pinocchio Reaches the Island of the Industrious Bees, 62,
Pinocchio Decides to Be a Good Boy, 67,
Pinocchio Goes to School, 70,
Pinocchio Goes to See the Dogfish, 72,
Pinocchio Jumps into the Sea, 78,
Pinocchio Is Rescued from the Fisherman, 82,
Pinocchio Invites the Boys to His Party, 88,
Pinocchio Goes to the Land of Blockheads, 91,
Pinocchio Has Donkey Ears, 93,
Pinocchio Is Sold, 96,
Pinocchio Is Swallowed by a Fish, 100,
The Cottage, 103,
Pinocchio Becomes a Real Boy, 107,