The Adventures of Pinocchio - Chapter
The Marionettes recognize their brother
and greet him with loud cheers; but the Director, Fire
happens along and poor Pinocchio almost loses his life.
Quick as a flash, Pinocchio disappeared into the
Marionette Theater. And then something happened which
almost caused a riot.
The curtain was up and the performance had started.
Harlequin and Pulcinella were reciting on the stage and,
as usual, they were threatening each other with sticks
The theater was full of people, enjoying the spectacle
and laughing till they cried at the antics of the two Marionettes.
The play continued for a few minutes, and then suddenly,
without any warning, Harlequin stopped talking.
Turning toward the audience, he pointed to the rear of
the orchestra, yelling wildly at the same time:
"Look, look! Am I asleep
or awake? Or do I really see
"Yes, yes! It is Pinocchio!" screamed
"It is! It is!" shrieked
Signora Rosaura, peeking in from
the side of the stage.
"It is Pinocchio! It is Pinocchio!" yelled
all the Marionettes,
pouring out of the wings. "It is Pinocchio. It is
Pinocchio! Hurrah for Pinocchio!"
"Pinocchio, come up to me!" shouted Harlequin. "Come
to the arms of your wooden brothers!"
At such a loving invitation, Pinocchio, with one leap
from the back of the orchestra, found himself in the front
rows. With another leap, he was on the orchestra leader's
head. With a third, he landed on the stage.
It is impossible to describe the shrieks of joy, the warm
embraces, the knocks, and the friendly greetings with
which that strange company of dramatic actors and
actresses received Pinocchio.
It was a heart-rending spectacle, but the audience,
seeing that the play had stopped, became angry and began
"The play, the play, we
want the play!"
The yelling was of no use, for the Marionettes, instead
of going on with their act, made twice as much racket as
before, and, lifting up Pinocchio on their shoulders, carried
him around the stage in triumph.
At that very moment, the Director came out of his
room. He had such a fearful appearance that one look
at him would fill you with horror. His beard was as
black as pitch, and so long that it reached from his chin
down to his feet. His mouth was as wide as an oven, his
teeth like yellow fangs, and his eyes, two glowing red
coals. In his huge, hairy hands, a long whip, made of
green snakes and black cats' tails twisted together, swished
through the air in a dangerous way.
At the unexpected apparition, no one dared even to
breathe. One could almost hear a fly go by. Those poor
Marionettes, one and all, trembled like leaves in a storm.
"Why have you brought such
excitement into my
theater;" the huge fellow asked Pinocchio with the
of an ogre suffering with a cold.
"Believe me, your Honor,
the fault was not mine."
"Enough! Be quiet! I'll
take care of you later."
As soon as the play was over, the Director went to
the kitchen, where a fine big lamb was slowly turning
on the spit. More wood was needed to finish cooking it.
He called Harlequin and Pulcinella and said to them:
"Bring that Marionette to
me! He looks as if he were
made of well-seasoned wood. He'll make a fine fire for
Harlequin and Pulcinella hesitated a bit. Then,
frightened by a look from their master, they left the
kitchen to obey him. A few minutes later they returned,
carrying poor Pinocchio, who was wriggling and squirming
like an eel and crying pitifully:
"Father, save me! I don't
want to die! I don't want to die!"