Sally was on vacation in Florence, Italy, with her parents. They visited the
famous sculpture of David that had been created by Michelangelo. Art and music have always been important
to people living in Florence. Sally liked walking around the old city and seeing
the beautiful buildings. She was puzzled, though, about why all the street
vendors and shops had Pinocchio puppets for sale.
Sally loved the movie about Pinocchio and had wallpaper in her room with
Jiminy Cricket, Figaro, Cleo, and the Blue Fairy. Finally, she asked a
shopkeeper why Pinocchio was so popular in Florence. Proudly, the Italian lady
answered, "The man who wrote Pinocchio was named Carlo and he was born in
Florence almost two hundred years ago! One day Carlo saw a small boy in the plaza. The boy was having fun, but was causing a lot
of trouble for his parents. Carlo decided to write a story about a
"real" boy who was naughty. The story is called Pinocchio, and
it begins with an old carpenter and a piece of wood. This is how the story
Once upon a time there was a piece of
wood. It was not an expensive piece of wood. Far from it. Just a common block
of firewood, one of those thick, solid logs that are put on the fire in winter
to make cold rooms cozy and warm.
I do not know how this really happened, yet the fact remains that one
fine day this piece of wood found itself in the shop of an old carpenter. His
real name was Mastro Antonio, but everyone called him Mastro Cherry, for the
tip of his nose was so round and red and shiny that it looked like a ripe
As soon as he saw that piece of wood, Mastro Cherry was filled with joy.
Rubbing his hands together happily, he mumbled half to himself:
"This has come in the nick of time. I shall use it to make the leg
of a table."
He grasped the hatchet quickly to peel off the bark and shape the wood.
But as he was about to give it the first blow, he stood still with arm
uplifted, for he had heard a wee, little voice say in a beseeching tone:
"Please be careful! Do not hit me so hard!"
What a look of surprise shone on Mastro Cherry's face! His funny face
became still funnier.
After Mastro Cherry carved the wood, Pinocchio came to life. But Pinocchio was a naughty boy and had
to learn many lessons. He and his friends (Jiminy Cricket, Cleo, and Figaro) had
many adventures. When Pinocchio told a lie, his
nose grew. Although Pinocchio gets into a lot of trouble, he finally learns to
be generous and honest. Then the Blue Fairy kept her promise and Pinocchio
became a "real" boy. The story has a happy ending: "How ridiculous I was as a Marionette! And how happy I am, now that I
have become a real boy!"
The shopkeeper told Sally that Pinocchio
has been translated into 260 languages and read to millions of children. "Wow!"
thought Sally "No wonder Florence, Italy, is so proud of Pinocchio!
Map of Italy. Rome is the capital.