Once upon a time there was a carver. His name was Geppetto, and he made puppets. He was alone and he wanted a son very much. One day he managed to carve a very beautiful wooden boy. He named the puppet Pinocchio.
“If only Pinocchio were alive and not wooden,” sighed Geppetto, praying to the starry sky. He believed that his lucky star was shining on him.
At night, while Geppetto slept, a star came down from the sky and turned into a fairy.
“I will grant you your wish, Geppetto,” whispered the fairy, waving her magic wand. At that moment, Pinocchio came to life.
“I am alive! Like a normal boy!” Pinocchio rejoiced.
“Yes, but you must be honest, sincere and brave. Know right from wrong and make Geppetto happy.”
“But how do I know what’s good and what’s bad?” Pinocchio asked.
“You have to choose wisely,” the fairy instructed him and disappeared.
When Geppetto woke up the next morning, he was overjoyed that he finally had a son. He couldn’t believe how lucky he was. Pinocchio helped him, but after a few days he wanted to go to school.
“Daddy,” said Pinocchio, “I want to go to school like normal children.”
So Geppetto used the money he saved to buy school things and books. Pinocchio took the things, said thank you, and started on his way to school.
As he walked, he heard happy music. Because he was curious, he went out of his way to see where it came from. There was a circus a short distance from the road. Pinocchio longed to look inside and immediately asked how he could get there.
“You have to buy a ticket,” the man from the circus told him.
“But I don’t have any money. Only books for school.”
So Pinocchio traded the books for a ticket to the circus. The wooden puppets were performing a show on the stage. Pinocchio saw that they looked like him, so he joined them. The owner of the circus, when he saw a puppet that moved by itself, thought that such a puppet would be good for the circus. He caught Pinocchio and locked him in a cage. Pinocchio explained that he couldn’t stay there, that he had to go to school. He was just curious about the show, but now he regrets it. He did it wrong.
“Oh, boy, boy. Well, here’s your books back, your money, and off you go.”
He let Pinocchio out of the cage. Pinocchio took the books, said thank you, and headed off to school. Now he knew what a mistake he had made, and he resolved to do the right thing next time.
Soon a cunning fox crossed his path.
“Where are you going, little boy?”
“What’s school for? I’ll show you a fairy-tale place you’ll like.”
And Pinocchio went out of the way and let the fox take him into the forest. It was a beautiful forest. The fox wasn’t lying. There was candy and sweets everywhere, toys and lots of children as big as him. These will be playmates, he thought excitedly. Only, after playing there for a while, he noticed something pressing on his head. He felt his head and felt his ears grow and become covered with hair! He looked in the mirror. He had grown donkey ears! And a tail! The forest was enchanted, again he didn’t know what was right, and he believed the fox. He ran as fast as his legs would carry him.
When he finally got out of the enchanted forest, his ears and tail were gone. But as Pinocchio ran, he wasn’t even paying attention to where he was going. He stopped at the coast. There, the sea was already beginning. Suddenly he heard voices and footsteps behind him. It must be the fox from the enchanted forest chasing me, he thought, and quickly jumped into the water.
Pinocchio swam and wondered how he was going to get out of this mess. Then a whale appeared in front of him, opened its giant mouth and swallowed Pinocchio whole. Pinocchio made his way into its belly, where a man was sitting sadly.
“Daddy? Is that you?” Pinocchio said with joy when he recognized Geppetto, and jumped into his arms.
“My Pinocchio! What have I looked for you. Where have you been?”
“When I went to school this morning, I was ambushed by robbers and dragged away. I couldn’t resist them,” Pinocchio began to lie, but no sooner had he finished, his nose grew again. “And when they found out I was just a wooden puppet, they threw me into the sea,” Pinocchio continued, but his nose grew longer and longer.
“Really?” Geppetto asked?
“Yes,” lied Pinocchio, but his nose had grown so big again that it could hardly fit into the whale’s belly.
And that’s when Pinocchio felt ashamed. You’re not supposed to lie, he realised. And so, although he was very ashamed of all the mistakes he had made, he explained to Geppetto how it really was. Once he confessed, his nose shrank back to its original size. Geppetto, in return, told him how he had gone looking for him. When he found him nowhere on land, he sailed out to sea on a boat. But the whale swallowed him.
By the time the two of them were done talking, the whale got tired and fell asleep. And because it snored with its mouth open, both Geppetto and Pinocchio could easily escape from the whale. They both returned home, happy that things had gone so well.
In the evening, a fairy appeared in their house. She asked Pinocchio how he was doing. Pinocchio confessed that he didn’t know right from wrong. He was afraid the fairy would turn him back into a puppet, but the fairy just smiled.
“At least now you know what’s right. You were brave and honest. In the end, you figured out that you shouldn’t lie. We learn to know right from wrong all our lives. So learn from your mistakes and become a real boy.”
The fairy waved her wand and Pinocchio became a real boy. From then on, he knew that he must not trust everyone right away, that he should listen to Geppetto and never lie. And so Geppetto and his Pinocchio lived together happily and contentedly.