The Adventures of Pinocchio - Chapter
The next day Fire Eater called Pinocchio
aside and asked him:
"What is your father's name?"
"And what is his trade?"
"He's a wood carver."
"Does he earn much?"
"He earns so much that he
never has a penny in his
pockets. Just think that, in order to buy me an A-B-C
book for school, he had to sell the only coat he owned,
coat so full of darns and patches that it was a pity."
"Poor fellow! I feel sorry
for him. Here, take these
five gold pieces. Go, give them to him with my kindest
Pinocchio, as may easily be imagined, thanked him
a thousand times. He kissed each Marionette in turn,
even the officers, and, beside himself with joy, set out
his homeward journey.
He had gone barely half a mile when he met a lame
Fox and a blind Cat, walking together like two good
friends. The lame Fox leaned on the Cat, and the blind
Cat let the Fox lead him along.
"Good morning, Pinocchio," said
the Fox, greeting him
"How do you know my name?" asked
"I know your father well."
"Where have you seen him?"
"I saw him yesterday standing
at the door of his house."
"And what was he doing?"
"He was in his shirt sleeves
trembling with cold."
"Poor Father! But, after
today, God willing, he will
suffer no longer."
"Because I have become a
"You, a rich man?" said
the Fox, and he began to laugh
out loud. The Cat was laughing also, but tried to hide
by stroking his long whiskers.
"There is nothing to laugh at," cried
"I am very sorry to make your mouth water, but these,
as you know, are five new gold pieces."
And he pulled out the gold pieces which Fire Eater
had given him.
At the cheerful tinkle of the gold, the Fox unconsciously
held out his paw that was supposed to be lame, and the
Cat opened wide his two eyes till they looked like live
coals, but he closed them again so quickly that Pinocchio
did not notice.
"And may I ask," inquired the Fox, "what
going to do with all that money?"
"First of all," answered the Marionette, "I
buy a fine new coat for my father, a coat of gold and
silver with diamond buttons; after that, I'll buy an A-B-C
book for myself."
"For myself. I want to go
to school and study hard."
"Look at me," said the Fox. "For
the silly reason of
wanting to study, I have lost a paw."
"Look at me," said the Cat. "For
the same foolish reason,
I have lost the sight of both eyes."
At that moment, a Blackbird, perched on the fence
along the road, called out sharp and clear:
"Pinocchio, do not listen
to bad advice. If you do,
you'll be sorry!"
Poor little Blackbird! If he had only kept his words
to himself! In the twinkling of an eyelid, the Cat leaped
on him, and ate him, feathers and all.
After eating the bird, he cleaned his whiskers, closed
his eyes, and became blind once more.
"Poor Blackbird!" said
Pinocchio to the Cat.
"Why did you kill him?"
"I killed him to teach him
a lesson. He talks too much.
Next time he will keep his words to himself."
By this time the three companions had walked a long
distance. Suddenly, the Fox stopped in his tracks and,
turning to the Marionette, said to him:
"Do you want to double your
"What do you mean?"
"Do you want one hundred,
a thousand, two thousand
gold pieces for your miserable five?"
"Yes, but how?"
"The way is very easy. Instead
of returning home,
come with us."
"And where will you take
"To the City of Simple Simons."
Pinocchio thought a while and then said firmly:
"No, I don't want to go.
Home is near, and I'm going
where Father is waiting for me. How unhappy he must
be that I have not yet returned! I have been a bad son,
and the Talking Cricket was right when he said that a
disobedient boy cannot be happy in this world. I have
learned this at my own expense. Even last night in
the theater, when Fire Eater. . . Brrrr!!!!! . . .
The shivers run up and down my back at the mere thought
"Well, then," said the Fox, "if
you really want to go home,
go ahead, but you'll be sorry."
"You'll be sorry," repeated
"Think well, Pinocchio,
you are turning your back on Dame Fortune."
"On Dame Fortune," repeated
"Tomorrow your five gold
pieces will be two thousand!"
"Two thousand!" repeated
"But how can they possibly become so many?" asked
"I'll explain," said the Fox. "You
must know that,
just outside the City of Simple Simons, there is a blessed
field called the Field of Wonders. In this field you dig
a hole and in the hole you bury a gold piece. After covering
up the hole with earth you water it well, sprinkle
a bit of salt on it, and go to bed. During the night, the
gold piece sprouts, grows, blossoms, and next morning
you find a beautiful tree, that is loaded with gold pieces."
"So that if I were to bury my five gold pieces," cried
Pinocchio with growing wonder, "next morning I should
"It is very simple to figure out," answered
"Why, you can figure it on your fingers! Granted that
each piece gives you five hundred, multiply five hundred
by five. Next morning you will find twenty-five hundred
new, sparkling gold pieces."
"Fine! Fine!" cried
Pinocchio, dancing about with joy.
"And as soon as I have them, I shall keep two thousand
for myself and the other five hundred I'll give to you
"A gift for us?" cried
the Fox, pretending to be insulted.
"Why, of course not!"
"Of course not!" repeated
"We do not work for gain," answered
"We work only to enrich others."
"To enrich others!" repeated
"What good people," thought
Pinocchio to himself.
And forgetting his father, the new coat, the A-B-C book,
and all his good resolutions, he said to the Fox and to
"Let us go. I am with you."