The Adventures of Pinocchio - Chapter
Everyone, at one time or another, has
found some surprise
awaiting him. Of the kind which Pinocchio had on that
eventful morning of his life, there are but few.
What was it? I will tell you, my dear little readers.
On awakening, Pinocchio put his hand up to his head and
there he found--
He found that, during the night, his ears had grown
at least ten full inches!
You must know that the Marionette, even from his
birth, had very small ears, so small indeed that to the
naked eye they could hardly be seen. Fancy how he felt
when he noticed that overnight those two dainty organs
had become as long as shoe brushes!
He went in search of a mirror, but not finding any,
he just filled a basin with water and looked at himself.
There he saw what he never could have wished to see.
His manly figure was adorned and enriched by a beautiful
pair of donkey's ears.
I leave you to think of the terrible grief, the shame,
the despair of the poor Marionette.
He began to cry, to scream, to knock his head against
the wall, but the more he shrieked, the longer and the
more hairy grew his ears.
At those piercing shrieks, a Dormouse came into the
room, a fat little Dormouse, who lived upstairs. Seeing
Pinocchio so grief-stricken, she asked him anxiously:
"What is the matter, dear
"I am sick, my little Dormouse,
very, very sick--and
from an illness which frightens me! Do you understand
how to feel the pulse?"
"Feel mine then and tell
me if I have a fever."
The Dormouse took Pinocchio's wrist between her paws and,
after a few minutes, looked up at him sorrowfully and said:
"My friend, I am sorry, but I must give you some very
"What is it?"
"You have a very bad fever."
"But what fever is it?"
"The donkey fever."
"I don't know anything about that fever," answered
beginning to understand even too well what was happening
"Then I will tell you all about it," said
"Know then that, within two or three hours, you will
longer be a Marionette, nor a boy."
"What shall I be?"
"Within two or three hours
you will become a real donkey,
just like the ones that pull the fruit carts to market."
"Oh, what have I done? What have I done?" cried
grasping his two long ears in his hands and pulling and
at them angrily, just as if they belonged to another.
"My dear boy," answered
the Dormouse to cheer him up a bit,
"why worry now? What is done cannot be undone, you know.
Fate has decreed that all lazy boys who come to hate books
and schools and teachers and spend all their days with
and games must sooner or later turn into donkeys."
"But is it really so?" asked
the Marionette, sobbing bitterly.
"I am sorry to say it is.
And tears now are useless.
You should have thought of all this before."
"But the fault is not mine.
Believe me, little Dormouse,
the fault is all Lamp-Wick's."
"And who is this Lamp-Wick?"
"A classmate of mine. I
wanted to return home. I wanted
to be obedient. I wanted to study and to succeed
in school, but Lamp-Wick said to me, `Why do you want
to waste your time studying? Why do you want to go
to school? Come with me to the Land of Toys.
There we'll never study again. There we can enjoy
ourselves and be happy from morn till night.'"
"And why did you follow
the advice of that false friend?"
"Why? Because, my dear little
Dormouse, I am a heedless
Marionette--heedless and heartless. Oh! If I had only
had a bit of heart, I should never have abandoned
that good Fairy, who loved me so well and who has been
so kind to me! And by this time, I should no longer be
Marionette. I should have become a real boy, like all these
friends of mine! Oh, if I meet Lamp-Wick I am going
to tell him what I think of him--and more, too!"
After this long speech, Pinocchio walked to the door
of the room. But when he reached it, remembering his
donkey ears, he felt ashamed to show them to the public
and turned back. He took a large cotton bag from a shelf,
put it on his head, and pulled it far down to his very
Thus adorned, he went out. He looked for Lamp-Wick everywhere,
along the streets, in the squares, inside the theatres,
everywhere; but he was not to be found. He asked everyone
whom he met about him, but no one had seen him. In desperation,
he returned home and knocked at the door.
"Who is it?" asked
Lamp-Wick from within.
"It is I!" answered
"Wait a minute."
After a full half hour the door opened. Another surprise
awaited Pinocchio! There in the room stood his friend,
with a large cotton bag on his head, pulled far down to
his very nose.
At the sight of that bag, Pinocchio felt slightly happier
and thought to himself:
"My friend must be suffering
from the same sickness
that I am! I wonder if he, too, has donkey fever?"
But pretending he had seen nothing, he asked with a smile:
"How are you, my dear Lamp-Wick?"
"Very well. Like a mouse
in a Parmesan cheese."
"Is that really true?"
"Why should I lie to you?"
"I beg your pardon, my friend,
but why then are you
wearing that cotton bag over your ears?"
"The doctor has ordered
it because one of my knees hurts.
And you, dear Marionette, why are you wearing that cotton
down to your nose?"
"The doctor has ordered
it because I have bruised my foot."
"Oh, my poor Pinocchio!"
"Oh, my poor Lamp-Wick!"
An embarrassingly long silence followed these words,
during which time the two friends looked at each other
in a mocking way.
Finally the Marionette, in a voice sweet as honey and
soft as a flute, said to his companion:
"Tell me, Lamp-Wick, dear
friend, have you ever
suffered from an earache?"
"Never! And you?"
"Never! Still, since this
morning my ear has been torturing me."
"So has mine."
"Yours, too? And which ear
"Both of them. And yours?"
"Both of them, too. I wonder
if it could be the same sickness."
"I'm afraid it is."
"Will you do me a favor,
"Gladly! With my whole heart."
"Will you let me see your
"Why not? But before I show
you mine, I want to see yours,
"No. You must show yours
"No, my dear! Yours first,
"Well, then," said the Marionette, "let
us make a contract."
"Let's hear the contract!"
"Let us take off our caps
together. All right?"
Pinocchio began to count, "One!
At the word "Three!" the
two boys pulled off their
caps and threw them high in air.
And then a scene took place which is hard to believe,
but it is all too true. The Marionette and his friend,
Lamp-Wick, when they saw each other both stricken by the
same misfortune, instead of feeling sorrowful and ashamed,
began to poke fun at each other, and after much nonsense,
they ended by bursting out into hearty laughter.
They laughed and laughed, and laughed again--laughed
till they ached--laughed till they cried.
But all of a sudden Lamp-Wick stopped laughing. He tottered
and almost fell. Pale as a ghost, he turned to Pinocchio
"Help, help, Pinocchio!"
"What is the matter?"
"Oh, help me! I can no longer
"I can't either," cried
Pinocchio; and his laughter
turned to tears as he stumbled about helplessly.
They had hardly finished speaking, when both of them fell
on all fours and began running and jumping around the room.
As they ran, their arms turned into legs, their faces lengthened
into snouts and their backs became covered with long gray
This was humiliation enough, but the most horrible
moment was the one in which the two poor creatures felt
their tails appear. Overcome with shame and grief,
they tried to cry and bemoan their fate.
But what is done can't be undone! Instead of moans
and cries, they burst forth into loud donkey brays, which
sounded very much like, "Haw! Haw! Haw!"
At that moment, a loud knocking was heard at the door
and a voice called to them:
"Open! I am the Little Man,
the driver of the wagon
which brought you here. Open, I say, or beware!"