As retold for Aaron
As soon as he gets home, Geppetto fashions
the Marionette and calls it Pinocchio.
Toubles soon follow.
Before proceeding, let's reflect a moment on the happenings thus far.
Much fun was made of the fight Geppetto and Mister Cherry got into,
when, though ridiculous, it scarcely was funny. Settling
disagreements with violence is to be scorned. It doesn't impress, doesn't demonstrate who is less or
more powerful. In fact, it is a grave weakness. I'd say that even a
little piece of wood, unless taught otherwise, should know this; except
it would sound ridiculous, wouldn't it, to talk about a piece of wood as
if it was human, even if that little piece of wood could weep and laugh just like a child.
Geppetto didn't know that the little piece of wood he carried home with
him could laugh and weep just like a child.
who made toys, had for an apartment a small room on the
ground floor of a house that was a little way out of town. His room was a neat
and comfortable place, but it was dark, having only one tiny window
under the stairway. As for furniture, the apartment had only one very
old chair, a rickety old bed, a lopsided table (one leg of which was
propped up with matchbooks to make it more level) and his workbench. Strange as it may
sound, opposite the door, a fireplace full of burning logs was painted
on the wall. Why? Because Geppetto didn't make much money on his toys and therefore he was always ensured at least the mirage of a fire all the cold days and nights when he didn't have the fuel for one. His painting of the fire was so lifelike that if one didn't look too closely one would swear it was flickering, because Geppetto was an artist
good at painting or carving a likeness of most anything he might see,
which was why he was so confident he could made a Marionette just as he
had envisioned that morning.
the fire there was also painted a pot full of stew boiling
happily away continually, sending up great clouds of what looked like
it been my apartment, I think I might have painted a cardboard box to
look like an oven with a stove top, and put a hat upside down on one of
the pretend burners just like it was a pot. But, this isn't my
apartment. It's Geppetto's, where he had lived all by himself for many
Geppetto reached home, he put the piece of wood on his workbench, took up his tools, and began to cut and shape the
wood into the Marionette of which he'd dreamed. "What
shall I call him?" Geppetto said as he worked. "What
kind of name should my marvelous Marionette have? I know, I'll call him
Pinocchio. I once knew a whole family of Pinocchi. Pinocchia was the
mother, Pinocchio was the father. Every single child was a
Pinocchi. They were all very lucky too. The richest of them begged for
his food." Geppetto laughed. "Yes, Pinocchio. This name will
make our little lad's fortune."
What does Pinocchio mean? I know that in Spanish penacho means
feather, but in Italian feather is pena, at least I think it is
(from which we get the word pen, as in a writing pen, for pens were once
feathers with sharpened quills one dipped in ink and used that for
scratching words on paper). Let's see, but pena in Spanish means
grief, woe, which could be an appropriate description for a Marionette named for people who had to beg for their food. However, Pino, in Italian, is pine, and Pinocchio is made out
of wood, so Pino would seem descriptive of the puppet Geppetto was making. Since nico in Latin is victory, our Pinocchio could be "victorious
wood." What do you think? Or we could attach instead the word icon,
which means likness or true image so that Pinocchio would be the true image of pine wood.
Whatever Pinocchio means, Geppetto decided that would be the puppet's name, and I
wish I could tell you why Geppetto thought it was a fitting name.
about his plans for the Marionette as he worked, carefully
carving the piece of wood, forming it to match his vision. When, having
carved the eyes, they seemed to move and stare fixedly at him, Geppetto
asked, "Ugly wooden eyes, why do you stare so? Maybe you'd prefer
eyes made out of porcelain or glass, huh? Is that it?" Of course,
there was no answer from the puppet.
The way the wooden eyes stared so
fixedly at him, Geppetto began to feel a little
grieved and insulted and finally said, "OK, maybe
when you've made me a rich man I'll get you a fine set of glass eyes so
you can see through them real clearly and not have your vision cluttered
up with all the patterns in the wood. How's that?"
continued to carve, sometimes having to hold the wood extra-firm, as if
it would flinch right out of his hands with this or that chip taken out
of it. And he warned the wood, "You be good now. If my hands
make one false move, who knows, I might cut off an ear, or lop off one
of your toes when I come to making them, or even worse. If your grain
has any weak spots, I could snap you clean in two"
carved the Marionette's nose. When he thought he was done, he
looked again and saw that he wasn't finished at all, that the nose was
far longer than it should be.
"With a nose like that, we'll only be able to put on Marionette
shows of Cyrano de Bergerac, who was a poet who had an ugly nose so long he had to speak to his lady love through the voice of another since he didn't dare show her what he looked like," Geppetto observed and resolved
to work on the nose some more. He worked so long that it seemed the long
nose was endless and could never be pared down. Geppetto cut and cut it,
and still the more he cut the longer seemed to grow the impertinent
nose, so finally the craftsman decided to leave it alone, because,
paradoxically, he was afraid he might cut the nose off altogether.
Geppetto carved a mouth for the Marionette. You would think that the
piece of wood, which was in the process of becoming a Marionette, would
have kept quiet until he was completely carved, and then and only then
surprised his creator with maybe a fine "Thank you!" for going to
the bother of making him. Instead, no sooner was the mouth finished when
it began to laugh.
how Mister Cherry had responded when the piece of wood had spoken to
him? Wouldn't you imagine that Geppetto would be every bit as startled?
Don't you think he would have dropped his knife in amazement?
Instead, Geppetto yelled angrily at the Marionette, "Stop laughing!"
but he might as well have been speaking to a wall.
"Stop laughing, I say!" Geppetto roared big
mouth stopped laughing, but it stuck out its tongue at the craftsman.
"That's better," Geppetto said,
pretended he saw nothing, and went on with his work.
finished the neck, shoulders and stomach. He carved the Marionette so
you could have sworn you saw its little veins on its arms and hands. He
was about to put the last touches on the fingernails when he felt his
wig being yanked. Geppetto looked up to see the Marionette
merrily pulling on its locks like a little baby tugging on its mother's
you are very wicked. I've not even finished making you, and here you are abusing your poor old father. You're a very bad son, indeed!" Geppetto reprimanded.
Marionette draped a few loose strands from Geppetto's wig over his own
forehead and looked back at Geppetto through them. The unexpected trick
made Geppetto feel very sad and downcast, more dismal and depressed than
he had ever been before in his life.
Poor Geppetto. Though he had carved puppets all his life, and though he
had once been a little boy himself, he knew very little about the
reasons for which little boys do some of the things they do, and he knew
about as much about Marionettes who are able to move about without
you are a wicked, wicked boy," the craftsman cried out. "You are very bad; a very bad son, Pinocchio! Very bad, when you
ought to have been my pride and joy. Who would have thought that my own
handiwork would turn against me? Already you are finding amusement in
causing me grief and pain." Geppetto wiped away a tear.
Marionette's legs and feet still had to be finished, so Geppetto blew
his nose on his sleeve and went back to work.
When, finally, the Marionette's feet were finished
being carved, Geppetto took a great breath, let it out in a long
sigh, and was about to sit back and survey his handiwork when, Ouch! he
felt a sharp kick on the tip of his nose.
Terrible to say--oh, how I hate to report this--Geppetto raised his hand
to slap the Marionette. He reconsidered, however, when he saw its eyes gazing curiously at
him, studying him. "Well, I deserve it, don't I?" the craftsman said to
the Marionette. "I should have thought of how wicked you might turn
out to be. Now, it's too late! If I had stopped at
your eyebrows it might not have been too late. If I had stopped at your
knees, maybe then it wouldn't have been too late. But now? Too late."
painted Pinocchio's eyes blue, his teeth white, his lips a fine, nice
red. He gave him deep brown hair. He dressed him in little clothes. Then
he took hold of the Marionette under his arms, lifted him up off the
table, and placed Pinocchio on the floor.
As if to say, "Now what?" Pinocchio looked eagerly up at him.
to teach you how to walk," Geppetto said. "Like everyone else, you must learn to stand on your own two feet. "
Pinocchio's legs were so stiff that he could hardly move them. Geppetto
held his hand and showed the Marionette how to put one foot in front of
Pinocchio's legs began to limber up, he started walking by himself
around the room, though not without falling down a couple of times. Then
he discovered he could hop. He skipped. He jumped. He ran a few steps,
then a few steps more. He ran circles all around Geppetto. He climbed up
on the chair, and onto the rickety table. He jumped down off the table and up
onto the rickety bed.
"Pushing me out of my bed already?" Geppetto said. "Here
I do all the work, making you, and you're the one who wants a nap?
opened the door for a breath of fresh air. With a bound, Pinocchio was off the bed and out the open door. Away he flew down the street!
come back!" Geppetto yelled, running after the Marionette. "Catch
him! Catch him!" Geppetto shouted, but when the people in the
street saw the wooden Marionette fleeing fast as the wind away from
Geppetto, they could only first stare in disbelief, then laugh until
they cried at the amusing antics of the puppet (which they thought was an automaton). He caused such a commotion
that people crowded into the street to see what the ruckus was about.
The revelry caught the attention of a patrolling
Carabineer (that is a policeman), who determined that proper law and
order was being violated. Seeing Pinocchio careening down the town street,
he marched into the middle of it and positioned himself with legs far apart square in the puppet's path
knew how to run but he didn't know yet how to stop. Without success, he tried to
escape between the legs of the policeman. The
policeman grabbed the Marionette by his nose and lifted him into the air,
the puppet's legs still pumping away. "Geppetto,
I take it this delinquent Marionette is your doing?" the policeman
called to the winded cfatsman as he came stumbling up.
if I caused you any trouble," Geppetto apologized. He grasped the
little Marionette by the back of the neck and shook him about. "You can be sure, as soon as we get home, we'll settle the matter!"
hearing this, threw himself down on the ground and went limp as can be. Geppetto tried to force him, but he couldn't be made
Marionette," a man cried out from the crowd. "I'm not
surprised he doesn't want to go home. Geppetto, no doubt, will beat him
unmercifully. He's a mean, cruel one, that Geppetto!"
"Geppetto may look like a good man, but with little boys he's a real tyrant," another added. "If we leave that poor Marionette in his hands
he may tear him to pieces!"
my Marionette, I made him," Geppetto retaliated. "I may do
with him what I like."
The crowd railed so against Geppetto that, finally, the Carabineer ended matters by setting Pinocchio at liberty and dragging Geppetto to prison.
is how it happened that the Geppetto, weeping and wailing like child, ended up being carted off to
jail by the policeman.
boy! To think I tried so hard to make you a well-behaved Marionette!"
Geppetto cried. "I deserve it, however! I should have given the
matter more thought!"
Now, if one cares to read on, what follows is an almost unbelievable story, as if what has happened thus far isn't incredible enough.
Click on Pinocchio to go to Chapter Four
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