The Adventures of Pinocchio - Chapter
Pinocchio, as soon as he had said good-by
to his good
friend, the Tunny, tottered away in the darkness and
began to walk as well as he could toward the faint light
which glowed in the distance.
As he walked his feet splashed in a pool of greasy and
slippery water, which had such a heavy smell of fish fried
in oil that Pinocchio thought it was Lent.
The farther on he went, the brighter and clearer grew
the tiny light. On and on he walked till finally he found
--I give you a thousand guesses, my dear children! He
found a little table set for dinner and lighted by a candle
stuck in a glass bottle; and near the table sat a little
man, white as the snow, eating live fish. They wriggled
so that, now and again, one of them slipped out of the
man's mouth and escaped into the darkness under the table.
At this sight, the poor Marionette was filled with such
great and sudden happiness that he almost dropped in a
faint. He wanted to laugh, he wanted to cry, he wanted
to say a thousand and one things, but all he could do was
to stand still, stuttering and stammering brokenly. At
last, with a great effort, he was able to let out a scream
joy and, opening wide his arms he threw them around the
old man's neck.
"Oh, Father, dear Father!
Have I found you at last?
Now I shall never, never leave you again!"
"Are my eyes really telling me the truth?" answered
the old man, rubbing his eyes. "Are you really my
"Yes, yes, yes! It is I!
Look at me! And you have
forgiven me, haven't you? Oh, my dear Father, how
good you are! And to think that I--Oh, but if you
only knew how many misfortunes have fallen on my head
and how many troubles I have had! Just think that on
the day you sold your old coat to buy me my A-B-C
book so that I could go to school, I ran away to the
Marionette Theater and the proprietor caught me and
wanted to burn me to cook his roast lamb! He was the
one who gave me the five gold pieces for you, but I met
the Fox and the Cat, who took me to the Inn of the Red
Lobster. There they ate like wolves and I left the Inn
alone and I met the Assassins in the wood. I ran and they
ran after me, always after me, till they hanged me to the
branch of a giant oak tree. Then the Fairy of the Azure
Hair sent the coach to rescue me and the doctors, after
looking at me, said, `If he is not dead, then he is surely
alive,' and then I told a lie and my nose began to grow.
It grew and it grew, till I couldn't get it through the
door of the room. And then I went with the Fox and the
Cat to the Field of Wonders to bury the gold pieces. The
Parrot laughed at me and, instead of two thousand gold
pieces, I found none. When the Judge heard I had been
robbed, he sent me to jail to make the thieves happy; and
when I came away I saw a fine bunch of grapes hanging on
a vine. The trap caught me and the Farmer put a collar
me and made me a watchdog. He found out I was innocent
when I caught the Weasels and he let me go. The Serpent
with the tail that smoked started to laugh and a vein in
chest broke and so I went back to the Fairy's house. She
was dead, and the Pigeon, seeing me crying, said to me,
have seen your father building a boat to look for you in
America,' and I said to him, `Oh, if I only had wings!'
he said to me, `Do you want to go to your father?' and
said, `Perhaps, but how?' and he said, `Get on my back.
take you there.' We flew all night long, and next morning
the fishermen were looking toward the sea, crying, `There
is a poor little man drowning,' and I knew it was you,
because my heart told me so and I waved to you from the
"I knew you also," put in Geppetto, "and
I wanted to
go to you; but how could I? The sea was rough and the
whitecaps overturned the boat. Then a Terrible Shark
came up out of the sea and, as soon as he saw me in the
water, swam quickly toward me, put out his tongue, and
swallowed me as easily as if I had been a chocolate peppermint."
"And how long have you been
shut away in here?"
"From that day to this,
two long weary years--two
years, my Pinocchio, which have been like two centuries."
"And how have you lived?
Where did you find the
candle? And the matches with which to light it--where
did you get them?"
"You must know that, in
the storm which swamped my
boat, a large ship also suffered the same fate. The sailors
were all saved, but the ship went right to the bottom of
the sea, and the same Terrible Shark that swallowed me,
swallowed most of it."
"What! Swallowed a ship?" asked
Pinocchio in astonishment.
"At one gulp. The only thing
he spat out was the main-
mast, for it stuck in his teeth. To my own good luck, that
ship was loaded with meat, preserved foods, crackers,
bread, bottles of wine, raisins, cheese, coffee, sugar,
candles, and boxes of matches. With all these blessings,
have been able to live happily on for two whole years,
now I am at the very last crumbs. Today there is nothing
left in the cupboard, and this candle you see here is the
last one I have."
"And then, my dear, we'll
find ourselves in darkness."
"Then, my dear Father," said Pinocchio, "there
time to lose. We must try to escape."
"We can run out of the Shark's
mouth and dive into the sea."
"You speak well, but I cannot
swim, my dear Pinocchio."
"Why should that matter?
You can climb on my shoulders
and I, who am a fine swimmer, will carry you safely
to the shore."
"Dreams, my boy!" answered
Geppetto, shaking his
head and smiling sadly. "Do you think it possible
Marionette, a yard high, to have the strength to carry
on his shoulders and swim?"
"Try it and see! And in
any case, if it is written that we
must die, we shall at least die together."
Not adding another word, Pinocchio took the candle in
and going ahead to light the way, he said to his father:
"Follow me and have no fear."
They walked a long distance through the stomach and
the whole body of the Shark. When they reached the
throat of the monster, they stopped for a while to wait
the right moment in which to make their escape.
I want you to know that the Shark, being very old and
suffering from asthma and heart trouble, was obliged to
sleep with his mouth open. Because of this, Pinocchio was
able to catch a glimpse of the sky filled with stars, as
looked up through the open jaws of his new home.
"The time has come for us to escape," he
turning to his father. "The Shark is fast asleep.
is calm and the night is as bright as day. Follow me closely,
dear Father, and we shall soon be saved."
No sooner said than done. They climbed up the throat
of the monster till they came to that immense open mouth.
There they had to walk on tiptoes, for if they tickled
Shark's long tongue he might awaken--and where would
they be then? The tongue was so wide and so long that
it looked like a country road. The two fugitives were just
about to dive into the sea when the Shark sneezed very
suddenly and, as he sneezed, he gave Pinocchio and
Geppetto such a jolt that they found themselves thrown
their backs and dashed once more and very unceremoniously
into the stomach of the monster.
To make matters worse, the candle went out and father
and son were left in the dark.
"And now?" asked Pinocchio
with a serious face.
"Now we are lost."
"Why lost? Give me your
hand, dear Father, and be
careful not to slip!"
"Where will you take me?"
"We must try again. Come
with me and don't be afraid."
With these words Pinocchio took his father by the hand
and, always walking on tiptoes, they climbed up the monster's
throat for a second time. They then crossed the
whole tongue and jumped over three rows of teeth. But
before they took the last great leap, the Marionette said
to his father:
"Climb on my back and hold
on tightly to my neck.
I'll take care of everything else."
As soon as Geppetto was comfortably seated on his
shoulders, Pinocchio, very sure of what he was doing,
dived into the water and started to swim. The sea was like
oil, the moon shone in all splendor, and the Shark continued
to sleep so soundly that not even a cannon shot would
have awakened him.