The Adventures of Pinocchio - Chapter
As soon as the three doctors had left
the room, the Fairy
went to Pinocchio's bed and, touching him on the forehead,
noticed that he was burning with fever.
She took a glass of water, put a white powder into
it, and, handing it to the Marionette, said lovingly to
"Drink this, and in a few
days you'll be up and well."
Pinocchio looked at the glass, made a wry face, and
asked in a whining voice: "Is it sweet or bitter?"
"It is bitter, but it is
good for you."
"If it is bitter, I don't
"I don't like anything bitter."
"Drink it and I'll give
you a lump of sugar to take the
bitter taste from your mouth."
"Where's the sugar?"
"Here it is," said
the Fairy, taking a lump from a golden
"I want the sugar first,
then I'll drink the bitter water."
"Do you promise?"
The Fairy gave him the sugar and Pinocchio, after chewing
and swallowing it in a twinkling, said, smacking his lips:
"If only sugar were medicine!
I should take it every day."
"Now keep your promise and
drink these few drops
of water. They'll be good for you."
Pinocchio took the glass in both hands and stuck his
nose into it. He lifted it to his mouth and once more
stuck his nose into it.
"It is too bitter, much
too bitter! I can't drink it."
"How do you know, when you
haven't even tasted it?"
"I can imagine it. I smell
it. I want another lump of
sugar, then I'll drink it."
The Fairy, with all the patience of a good mother, gave
him more sugar and again handed him the glass.
"I can't drink it like that," the
Marionette said, making
more wry faces.
"Because that feather pillow
on my feet bothers me."
The Fairy took away the pillow.
"It's no use. I can't drink
it even now."
"What's the matter now?"
"I don't like the way that
door looks. It's half open."
The Fairy closed the door.
"I won't drink it," cried
Pinocchio, bursting out crying.
"I won't drink this awful water. I won't. I won't!
No, no, no, no!"
"My boy, you'll be sorry."
"I don't care."
"You are very sick."
"I don't care."
"In a few hours the fever
will take you far away to another world."
"I don't care."
"Aren't you afraid of death?"
"Not a bit. I'd rather die
than drink that awful medicine."
At that moment, the door of the room flew open and in
came four Rabbits as black as ink, carrying a small black
coffin on their shoulders.
"What do you want from me?" asked
"We have come for you," said
the largest Rabbit.
"For me? But I'm not dead
"No, not dead yet; but you
will be in a few moments
since you have refused to take the medicine which would
have made you well."
"Oh, Fairy, my Fairy," the Marionette cried
out, "give me
that glass! Quick, please! I don't want to die!
No, no, not yet--not yet!"
And holding the glass with his two hands, he swallowed
the medicine at one gulp.
"Well," said the four Rabbits, "this
time we have made
the trip for nothing."
And turning on their heels, they marched solemnly out
of the room, carrying their little black coffin and muttering
and grumbling between their teeth.
In a twinkling, Pinocchio felt fine. With one leap he
was out of bed and into his clothes.
The Fairy, seeing him run and jump around the room
gay as a bird on wing, said to him:
"My medicine was good for
you, after all, wasn't it?"
"Good indeed! It has given
me new life."
"Why, then, did I have to
beg you so hard to make
you drink it?"
"I'm a boy, you see, and
all boys hate medicine more
than they do sickness."
"What a shame! Boys ought
to know, after all, that
medicine, taken in time, can save them from much pain
and even from death."
"Next time I won't have
to be begged so hard. I'll
remember those black Rabbits with the black coffin on
their shoulders and I'll take the glass and pouf!--down
"Come here now and tell
me how it came about that
you found yourself in the hands of the Assassins."
"It happened that Fire Eater
gave me five gold pieces
to give to my Father, but on the way, I met a Fox and a
Cat, who asked me, `Do you want the five pieces to become
two thousand?' And I said, `Yes.' And they said,
`Come with us to the Field of Wonders.' And I said,
`Let's go.' Then they said, `Let us stop at the Inn of
Red Lobster for dinner and after midnight we'll set out
again.' We ate and went to sleep. When I awoke they
were gone and I started out in the darkness all alone.
the road I met two Assassins dressed in black coal sacks,
who said to me, `Your money or your life!' and I said,
`I haven't any money'; for, you see, I had put the money
under my tongue. One of them tried to put his hand in
my mouth and I bit it off and spat it out; but it wasn't
hand, it was a cat's paw. And they ran after me and I
ran and ran, till at last they caught me and tied my neck
with a rope and hanged me to a tree, saying, `Tomorrow
we'll come back for you and you'll be dead and your
mouth will be open, and then we'll take the gold pieces
that you have hidden under your tongue.'"
"Where are the gold pieces now?" the
"I lost them," answered
Pinocchio, but he told a lie,
for he had them in his pocket.
As he spoke, his nose, long though it was, became at
least two inches longer.
"And where did you lose
"In the wood near by."
At this second lie, his nose grew a few more inches.
"If you lost them in the near-by wood," said
"we'll look for them and find them, for everything that
lost there is always found."
"Ah, now I remember," replied
becoming more and more confused. "I did not lose the
pieces, but I swallowed them when I drank the medicine."
At this third lie, his nose became longer than ever,
so long that he could not even turn around. If he turned
to the right, he knocked it against the bed or into the
windowpanes; if he turned to the left, he struck the walls
or the door; if he raised it a bit, he almost put the Fairy's
The Fairy sat looking at him and laughing.
"Why do you laugh?" the
Marionette asked her,
worried now at the sight of his growing nose.
"I am laughing at your lies."
"How do you know I am lying?"
"Lies, my boy, are known
in a moment. There are two
kinds of lies, lies with short legs and lies with long
Yours, just now, happen to have long noses."
Pinocchio, not knowing where to hide his shame, tried
to escape from the room, but his nose had become so long
that he could not get it out of the door.