One day an old man named Geppetto sees a beautiful bluebird resting on a log. "This is a magic log for you," whistles the bird. "It will make your dreams come true." Not quite knowing what to make of the bird, Geppetto accepts the gift. He decides to carve a puppet from the wood.
"I'm going to make a marvelous puppet that can laugh, dance, and turn
somersaults!" he says. Geppetto has always wanted a son.
Geppetto begins carving the wood. Using his tools, he whittles two feet, two legs, a body, two arms, and two hands. "Now all you need, dear puppet, is a kind face and a warm smile," says the old man.
He sets about crafting two twinkly eyes, an upturned mouth, and a little nose. But the nose does not stay little. As soon as Geppetto finishes it, the nose grows and grows and grows.
"Such a mischievous nose!" cries the old man. "I will fix it at once." Geppetto trims the nose to its proper size and steps back to admire the puppet. "I will call you Pinocchio," he says.
When Pinocchio hears his name, he stands up on the workbench and winks at Geppetto. The old man's heart fills with love. Pinocchio jumps from the bench and begins to walk around the room. "Look how easily you can move," says Geppetto, filling with pride.
Pinocchio walks faster and faster and faster. As quick as a flash, Pinocchio darts out the door! "Come back, Pinocchio!" cries Geppetto. "You must obey me."
The unruly Pinocchio does not listen and runs toward the town square. As he runs, Pinocchio's nose grows. Geppetto tries to catch the puppet, but the old man lags behind. A policeman in the square sees the puppet dashing toward him, and, with an easy gesture, the policeman grabs Pinocchio by the nose and plucks him from the road. The puppet's legs spin in the air.
©2007 Publications International, Ltd.
"Where are you going in such a hurry?" asks the angry policeman. "You should be in school."
"I don't want to go to school," replies Pinocchio, speaking his first words. "I want to play all day."
"That is very foolish," says the policeman. "Don't you know that if you run around like an animal, you will grow up to be a donkey, and everyone will make fun of you? How would you like that?" Pinocchio does not believe the policeman.
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