The Adventures of Pinocchio - Chapter
Very little time did it take to get
poor old Geppetto to
prison. In the meantime that rascal, Pinocchio, free now
from the clutches of the Carabineer, was running wildly
across fields and meadows, taking one short cut after
another toward home. In his wild flight, he leaped over
brambles and bushes, and across brooks and ponds, as if
he were a goat or a hare chased by hounds.
On reaching home, he found the house door half open.
He slipped into the room, locked the door, and threw
himself on the floor, happy at his escape.
But his happiness lasted only a short time, for just then
he heard someone saying:
"Who is calling me?" asked
Pinocchio, greatly frightened.
Pinocchio turned and saw a large cricket crawling
slowly up the wall.
"Tell me, Cricket, who are
"I am the Talking Cricket
and I have been living in this
room for more than one hundred years."
"Today, however, this room is mine," said
"and if you wish to do me a favor, get out now, and
turn around even once."
"I refuse to leave this spot," answered
"until I have told you a great truth."
"Tell it, then, and hurry."
"Woe to boys who refuse
to obey their parents and run
away from home! They will never be happy in this world,
and when they are older they will be very sorry for it."
"Sing on, Cricket mine,
as you please. What I know is,
that tomorrow, at dawn, I leave this place forever. If
stay here the same thing will happen to me which happens
to all other boys and girls. They are sent to school, and
whether they want to or not, they must study. As for me,
let me tell you, I hate to study! It's much more fun, I
to chase after butterflies, climb trees, and steal birds'
"Poor little silly! Don't
you know that if you go on like
that, you will grow into a perfect donkey and that you'll
be the laughingstock of everyone?"
"Keep still, you ugly Cricket!" cried
But the Cricket, who was a wise old philosopher,
instead of being offended at Pinocchio's impudence,
continued in the same tone:
"If you do not like going
to school, why don't you at
least learn a trade, so that you can earn an honest living?"
"Shall I tell you something?" asked
Pinocchio, who was
beginning to lose patience. "Of all the trades in
there is only one that really suits me."
"And what can that be?"
"That of eating, drinking,
sleeping, playing, and
wandering around from morning till night."
"Let me tell you, for your own good, Pinocchio," said
the Talking Cricket in his calm voice, "that those
follow that trade always end up in the hospital or in prison."
"Careful, ugly Cricket!
If you make me angry, you'll be sorry!"
"Poor Pinocchio, I am sorry
"Because you are a Marionette
and, what is much worse,
you have a wooden head."
At these last words, Pinocchio jumped up in a fury, took
a hammer from the bench, and threw it with all his
strength at the Talking Cricket.
Perhaps he did not think he would strike it. But, sad
to relate, my dear children, he did hit the Cricket, straight
on its head.
With a last weak "cri-cri-cri" the
poor Cricket fell from
the wall, dead!