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