The Adventures of Pinocchio - Chapter
Down into the sea, deeper and deeper,
sank Pinocchio, and
finally, after fifty minutes of waiting, the man on the
said to himself:
"By this time my poor little
lame Donkey must be
drowned. Up with him and then I can get to work on my
He pulled the rope which he had tied to Pinocchio's
leg--pulled and pulled and pulled and, at last, he saw
appear on the surface of the water--Can you guess what?
Instead of a dead donkey, he saw a very much alive
Marionette, wriggling and squirming like an eel.
Seeing that wooden Marionette, the poor man thought
he was dreaming and sat there with his mouth wide open
and his eyes popping out of his head.
Gathering his wits together, he said:
"And the Donkey I threw
into the sea?"
"I am that Donkey," answered
the Marionette laughing.
"Ah, you little cheat! Are
you poking fun at me?"
"Poking fun at you? Not
at all, dear Master.
I am talking seriously."
"But, then, how is it that
you, who a few minutes ago
were a donkey, are now standing before me a wooden Marionette?"
"It may be the effect of
salt water. The sea is fond of
playing these tricks."
"Be careful, Marionette,
be careful! Don't laugh at me!
Woe be to you, if I lose my patience!"
"Well, then, my Master,
do you want to know my whole story?
Untie my leg and I can tell it to you better."
The old fellow, curious to know the true story of the
Marionette's life, immediately untied the rope which held
Pinocchio, feeling free as a bird of the air, began his
"Know, then, that, once
upon a time, I was a wooden
Marionette, just as I am today. One day I was about to
become a boy, a real boy, but on account of my laziness
and my hatred of books, and because I listened to bad
companions, I ran away from home. One beautiful morning,
I awoke to find myself changed into a donkey--long
ears, gray coat, even a tail! What a shameful day for me!
I hope you will never experience one like it, dear Master.
I was taken to the fair and sold to a Circus Owner, who
tried to make me dance and jump through the rings. One
night, during a performance, I had a bad fall and became
lame. Not knowing what to do with a lame donkey, the Circus
Owner sent me to the market place and you bought me."
"Indeed I did! And I paid
four cents for you.
Now who will return my money to me?"
"But why did you buy me?
You bought me to do me
harm--to kill me--to make a drumhead out of me!"
"Indeed I did! And now where
shall I find another skin?"
"Never mind, dear Master.
There are so many donkeys
in this world."
"Tell me, impudent little
rogue, does your story end here?"
"One more word," answered the Marionette, "and
I am through.
After buying me, you brought me here to kill me. But feeling
sorry for me, you tied a stone to my neck and threw me
to the bottom of the sea. That was very good and kind
of you to want me to suffer as little as possible
and I shall remember you always. And now my Fairy
will take care of me, even if you--"
"Your Fairy? Who is she?"
"She is my mother, and,
like all other mothers who
love their children, she never loses sight of me, even
though I do not deserve it. And today this good Fairy
of mine, as soon as she saw me in danger of drowning,
sent a thousand fishes to the spot where I lay. They
thought I was really a dead donkey and began to eat me.
What great bites they took! One ate my ears, another my
nose, a third my neck and my mane. Some went at my
legs and some at my back, and among the others, there
was one tiny fish so gentle and polite that he did me
the great favor of eating even my tail."
"From now on," said the man, horrified, "I
swear I shall
never again taste fish. How I should enjoy opening a mullet
or a whitefish just to find there the tail of a dead donkey!"
"I think as you do," answered
laughing. "Still, you must know that when the fish
eating my donkey coat, which covered me from head to
foot, they naturally came to the bones--or rather, in my
case, to the wood, for as you know, I am made of very
hard wood. After the first few bites, those greedy fish
found out that the wood was not good for their teeth, and,
afraid of indigestion, they turned and ran here and there
without saying good-by or even as much as thank you to
me. Here, dear Master, you have my story. You know
now why you found a Marionette and not a dead donkey
when you pulled me out of the water."
"I laugh at your story!" cried the man angrily. "I
that I spent four cents to get you and I want my money
Do you know what I can do; I am going to take you to the
once more and sell you as dry firewood."
"Very well, sell me. I am satisfied," said
But as he spoke, he gave a quick leap and dived into the
sea. Swimming away as fast as he could, he cried out, laughing:
"Good-by, Master. If you
ever need a skin for your drum, remember me."
He swam on and on. After a while, he turned around again
and called louder than before:
"Good-by, Master. If you
ever need a piece of good dry firewood, remember me."
In a few seconds he had gone so far he could hardly be
All that could be seen of him was a very small black dot
swiftly on the blue surface of the water, a little black
which now and then lifted a leg or an arm in the air.
One would have thought that Pinocchio had turned into
a porpoise playing in the sun.
After swimming for a long time, Pinocchio saw a large
rock in the middle of the sea, a rock as white as marble.
High on the rock stood a little Goat bleating and calling
and beckoning to the Marionette to come to her.
There was something very strange about that little
Goat. Her coat was not white or black or brown as that
of any other goat, but azure, a deep brilliant color that
reminded one of the hair of the lovely maiden.
Pinocchio's heart beat fast, and then faster and faster.
He redoubled his efforts and swam as hard as he could
toward the white rock. He was almost halfway over,
when suddenly a horrible sea monster stuck its head out
of the water, an enormous head with a huge mouth, wide
open, showing three rows of gleaming teeth, the mere
sight of which would have filled you with fear.
Do you know what it was?
That sea monster was no other than the enormous Shark,
which has often been mentioned in this story and which,
on account of its cruelty, had been nicknamed
"The Attila of the Sea" by both fish and fishermen.
Poor Pinocchio! The sight of that monster frightened
him almost to death! He tried to swim away from him,
to change his path, to escape, but that immense mouth
kept coming nearer and nearer.
"Hasten, Pinocchio, I beg you!" bleated
the little Goat on the high rock.
And Pinocchio swam desperately with his arms, his body,
his legs, his feet.
"Quick, Pinocchio, the monster
is coming nearer!"
Pinocchio swam faster and faster, and harder and harder.
"Faster, Pinocchio! The
monster will get you! There he is!
There he is! Quick, quick, or you are lost!"
Pinocchio went through the water like a shot--swifter
He came close to the rock. The Goat leaned over and gave
of her hoofs to help him up out of the water.
Alas! It was too late. The monster overtook him and
the Marionette found himself in between the rows of
gleaming white teeth. Only for a moment, however,
for the Shark took a deep breath and, as he breathed,
he drank in the Marionette as easily as he would have
sucked an egg. Then he swallowed him so fast that Pinocchio,
falling down into the body of the fish, lay stunned for
a half hour.
When he recovered his senses the Marionette could not
remember where he was. Around him all was darkness,
a darkness so deep and so black that for a moment he
thought he had put his head into an inkwell. He listened
for a few moments and heard nothing. Once in a while a
cold wind blew on his face. At first he could not understand
where that wind was coming from, but after a while
he understood that it came from the lungs of the monster.
I forgot to tell you that the Shark was suffering from
so that whenever he breathed a storm seemed to blow.
Pinocchio at first tried to be brave, but as soon as he
became convinced that he was really and truly in the
Shark's stomach, he burst into sobs and tears. "Help!
Help!" he cried. "Oh, poor me! Won't someone
to save me?"
"Who is there to help you, unhappy boy?" said
voice, like a guitar out of tune.
"Who is talking?" asked
Pinocchio, frozen with terror.
"It is I, a poor Tunny swallowed
by the Shark at the
same time as you. And what kind of a fish are you?"
"I have nothing to do with
fishes. I am a Marionette."
"If you are not a fish,
why did you let this monster swallow you?"
"I didn't let him. He chased
me and swallowed me
without even a `by your leave'! And now what are we
to do here in the dark?"
"Wait until the Shark has
digested us both, I suppose."
"But I don't want to be digested," shouted
starting to sob.
"Neither do I," said the Tunny, "but
I am wise enough
to think that if one is born a fish, it is more dignified
under the water than in the frying pan."
"What nonsense!" cried
"Mine is an opinion," replied the Tunny, "and
should be respected."
"But I want to get out of
this place. I want to escape."
"Go, if you can!"
"Is this Shark that has swallowed us very long?" asked
"His body, not counting
the tail, is almost a mile long."
While talking in the darkness, Pinocchio thought he
saw a faint light in the distance.
"What can that be?" he
said to the Tunny.
"Some other poor fish, waiting
as patiently as we to
be digested by the Shark."
"I want to see him. He may
be an old fish and may
know some way of escape."
"I wish you all good luck,
"Good-by, Marionette, and
"When shall I see you again?"
"Who knows? It is better
not to think about it."