Monday, August 27, 2012

Pinocchio Ch. 11

Fire Eater sneezes and forgives Pinocchio, who saves his friend, Harlequin, from death

A totally logical sequence of events.

     In the theater, great excitement reigned.

    Fire Eater (this was really his name) was very ugly, but he was far from being as bad as he looked. Proof of this is that, when he saw the poor Marionette being brought in to him, struggling with fear and crying, "I don't want to die! I don't want to die!" he felt sorry for him and began first to waver and then to weaken. Finally, he could control himself no longer and gave a loud sneeze.

    At that sneeze, Harlequin, who until then had been as sad as a weeping willow (Hey now, this is an unfair stereotype! Weeping willows can be just as happy as anyone else! IT'S A CONSPIRACY MAN!) , smiled happily and leaning toward the Marionette, whispered to him:

    "Good news, brother mine! Fire Eater has sneezed and this is a sign that he feels sorry for you. You are saved!"


    For be it known, that, while other people, when sad and sorrowful, weep and wipe their eyes, Fire Eater, on the other hand, had the strange habit of sneezing each time he felt unhappy. The way was just as good as any other to show the kindness of his heart.

Other than making no sense.

    After sneezing, Fire Eater, ugly as ever, cried to Pinocchio:

    "Stop crying! Your wails give me a funny feeling down here in my stomach and--E--tchee!--E--tchee!" Two loud sneezes finished his speech.

His nose is on his stomach?

    "God bless you!" said Pinocchio.

    "Thanks! Are your father and mother still living?" demanded Fire Eater.

    "My father, yes. My mother I have never known."

    "Your poor father would suffer terribly if I were to use you as firewood. Poor old man! I feel sorry for him! E--tchee! E--tchee! E--tchee!" Three more sneezes sounded, louder than ever.

    "God bless you!" said Pinocchio.

    "Thanks! However, I ought to be sorry for myself, too, just now. My good dinner is spoiled. I have no more wood for the fire, and the lamb is only half cooked. Never mind! In your place I'll burn some other Marionette. Hey there! Officers!"

    At the call, two wooden officers appeared, long and thin as a yard of rope, with queer hats on their heads and swords in their hands.

    Fire Eater yelled at them in a hoarse voice:

    "Take Harlequin, tie him, and throw him on the fire. I want my lamb well done!"

    Think how poor Harlequin felt! He was so scared that his legs doubled up under him and he fell to the floor.

    Pinocchio, at that heartbreaking sight, threw himself at the feet of Fire Eater and, weeping bitterly, asked in a pitiful voice which could scarcely be heard:

    "Have pity, I beg of you, signore!"

    "There are no signori here!"

    "Have pity, kind sir!"

    "There are no sirs here!"

    "Have pity, your Excellency!"

    On hearing himself addressed as your Excellency, the Director of the Marionette Theater sat up very straight in his chair, stroked his long beard, and becoming suddenly kind and compassionate, smiled proudly as he said to Pinocchio:

    "Well, what do you want from me now, Marionette?"

Seriously? You're falling for that?
    "I beg for mercy for my poor friend, Harlequin, who has never done the least harm in his life."

    "There is no mercy here, Pinocchio. I have spared you. Harlequin must burn in your place. I am hungry and my dinner must be cooked."

    "In that case," said Pinocchio proudly, as he stood up and flung away his cap of dough, "in that case, my duty is clear. Come, officers! Tie me up and throw me on those flames. No, it is not fair for poor Harlequin, the best friend that I have in the world, to die in my place!"


    These brave words, said in a piercing voice, made all the other Marionettes cry. Even the officers, who were made of wood also, cried like two babies.

    Fire Eater at first remained hard and cold as a piece of ice; but then, little by little, he softened and began to sneeze. And after four or five sneezes, he opened wide his arms and said to Pinocchio:

    "You are a brave boy! Come to my arms and kiss me!"


    Pinocchio ran to him and scurrying like a squirrel up the long black beard, he gave Fire Eater a loving kiss on the tip of his nose.

    "Has pardon been granted to me?" asked poor Harlequin with a voice that was hardly a breath.

    "Pardon is yours!" answered Fire Eater; and sighing and wagging his head, he added: "Well, tonight I shall have to eat my lamb only half cooked, but beware the next time, Marionettes."

Wouldn't it be bad for his business to use the puppets who are used in his show as firewood instead of actually getting, y'know, real firewood or even old chairs or something? Those things are what provide his income, burning them for his every meal seems rather financially unsound. I'm quite sure it's more expensive to have a carefully carved and constructed marionette made than it is to find some old junk wood or firewood somewhere.

    At the news that pardon had been given, the Marionettes ran to the stage and, turning on all the lights, they danced and sang till dawn.

And no one was brave enough to point out that the theater was stuffed to the brim with clearly possessed bits of timber, which should be burned immediately.

Once again, no pic for this one because the only characters here to be drawn are all puppets and THEY CREEP ME OUT.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Pinocchio Ch. 10

The Marionettes recognize their brother Pinocchio, and greet him with loud cheers; but the Director, Fire Eater, happens along and poor Pinocchio almost loses his life

Poor nothing, I'm rooting for the fire on this one.

     Quick as a flash, Pinocchio disappeared into the Marionette Theater. And then something happened which almost caused a riot.

Everyone realized there was a clearly possessed talking pile of scrap wood standing there and promptly went crazy, spontaneously producing pitchforks and torches as they moved to destroy the heathen lumber.

    The curtain was up and the performance had started.

    Harlequin and Pulcinella were reciting on the stage and, as usual, they were threatening each other with sticks and blows.

    The theater was full of people, enjoying the spectacle and laughing till they cried at the antics of the two Marionettes.

People were easily amused back then. It happens when you've got nothing better to do than pick fleas off your sheep.
    The play continued for a few minutes, and then suddenly, without any warning, Harlequin stopped talking. Turning toward the audience, he pointed to the rear of the orchestra, yelling wildly at the same time:

    "Look, look! Am I asleep or awake? Or do I really see Pinocchio there?"

    "Yes, yes! It is Pinocchio!" screamed Pulcinella.

    "It is! It is!" shrieked Signora Rosaura, peeking in from the side of the stage.

    "It is Pinocchio! It is Pinocchio!" yelled all the Marionettes, pouring out of the wings. "It is Pinocchio. It is our brother Pinocchio! Hurrah for Pinocchio!"

    "Pinocchio, come up to me!" shouted Harlequin. "Come to the arms of your wooden brothers!"

They know him? More importantly-they are all talking flipping puppets. Why has the crowd not set them all aflame for being heathen monsters? Back then people flipped out if you had an odd wart, and no one's batting an eyelash at the talking lumps of wood?

    At such a loving invitation, Pinocchio, with one leap from the back of the orchestra, found himself in the front rows. With another leap, he was on the orchestra leader's head. With a third, he landed on the stage.

    It is impossible to describe the shrieks of joy, the warm embraces, the knocks, and the friendly greetings with which that strange company of dramatic actors and actresses received Pinocchio.

    It was a heart-rending spectacle, but the audience, seeing that the play had stopped, became angry and began to yell:

    "The play, the play, we want the play!"

Because all audiences are composed purely of irrational, heartless man-children.

    The yelling was of no use, for the Marionettes, instead of going on with their act, made twice as much racket as before, and, lifting up Pinocchio on their shoulders, carried him around the stage in triumph.

Triumph? It's not as though they've accomplished anything! Pinocchio certainly hasn't accomplished a thing, and we just met the other puppets so we don't know anything about them! What have they got to be triumphant about?
    At that very moment, the Director came out of his room. He had such a fearful appearance that one look at him would fill you with horror. His beard was as black as pitch, and so long that it reached from his chin down to his feet. His mouth was as wide as an oven, his teeth like yellow fangs, and his eyes, two glowing red coals. In his huge, hairy hands, a long whip, made of green snakes and black cats' tails twisted together, swished through the air in a dangerous way.

Totally the kind of person you have running a performance with children as the target audience. I'm surprised he doesn't run a day-care center.

    At the unexpected apparition, no one dared even to breathe. One could almost hear a fly go by. Those poor Marionettes, one and all, trembled like leaves in a storm.

    "Why have you brought such excitement into my theater;" the huge fellow asked Pinocchio with the voice of an ogre suffering with a cold.

    "Believe me, your Honor, the fault was not mine."

    "Enough! Be quiet! I'll take care of you later."

    As soon as the play was over, the Director went to the kitchen, where a fine big lamb was slowly turning on the spit. More wood was needed to finish cooking it. He called Harlequin and Pulcinella and said to them:

    "Bring that Marionette to me! He looks as if he were made of well-seasoned wood. He'll make a fine fire for this spit."


    Harlequin and Pulcinella hesitated a bit. Then, frightened by a look from their master, they left the kitchen to obey him. A few minutes later they returned, carrying poor Pinocchio, who was wriggling and squirming like an eel and crying pitifully:

    "Father, save me! I don't want to die! I don't want to die!"

Well, maybe you should have considered that before being a complete prat and running off like you did.

No picture for this one because it's full of puppets and puppets only, and they creep me the heck out.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Pinocchio Ch. 9

Pinocchio sells his A-B-C book to pay his way into the Marionette Theater

Why am I not surprised?

     See Pinocchio hurrying off to school with his new A-B-C book under his arm! As he walked along, his brain was busy planning hundreds of wonderful things, building hundreds of castles in the air. Talking to himself, he said:

    "In school today, I'll learn to read, tomorrow to write, and the day after tomorrow I'll do arithmetic. Then, clever as I am, I can earn a lot of money. With the very first pennies I make, I'll buy Father a new cloth coat. Cloth, did I say? No, it shall be of gold and silver with diamond buttons.

That sounds incredibly uncomfortable, not to mention very poor at keeping out the cold.

 That poor man certainly deserves it; for, after all, isn't he in his shirt sleeves because he was good enough to buy a book for me? On this cold day, too! Fathers are indeed good to their children!"

    As he talked to himself, he thought he heard sounds of pipes and drums coming from a distance: pi-pi-pi, pi-pi-pi. . .zum, zum, zum, zum.

What exactly kind of drum goes zum-zum?

    He stopped to listen. Those sounds came from a little street that led to a small village along the shore.

    "What can that noise be? What a nuisance that I have to go to school! Otherwise. . ."

    There he stopped, very much puzzled. He felt he had to make up his mind for either one thing or another. Should he go to school, or should he follow the pipes?

    "Today I'll follow the pipes, and tomorrow I'll go to school. There's always plenty of time to go to school," decided the little rascal at last, shrugging his shoulders.

To the surprise of absolutely no one.

    No sooner said than done. He started down the street, going like the wind. On he ran, and louder grew the sounds of pipe and drum: pi-pi-pi, pi-pi-pi, pi-pi-pi . . .zum, zum, zum, zum.

Seriously, what kind of drum is that?

    Suddenly, he found himself in a large square, full of people standing in front of a little wooden building painted in brilliant colors.

    "What is that house?" Pinocchio asked a little boy near him.

    "Read the sign and you'll know."

    "I'd like to read, but somehow I can't today."

Because you haven't, y'know, been to school?!

    "Oh, really? Then I'll read it to you. Know, then, that written in letters of fire I see the words: GREAT MARIONETTE THEATER.

    "When did the show start?"

    "It is starting now."

    "And how much does one pay to get in?"

    "Four pennies."

    Pinocchio, who was wild with curiosity to know what was going on inside, lost all his pride (what pride?) and said to the boy shamelessly:

    "Will you give me four pennies until tomorrow?"

    "I'd give them to you gladly," answered the other, poking fun at him, "but just now I can't give them to you."

    "For the price of four pennies, I'll sell you my coat."

    "If it rains, what shall I do with a coat of flowered paper? I could not take it off again."

    "Do you want to buy my shoes?"

    "They are only good enough to light a fire with."

    "What about my hat?"

    "Fine bargain, indeed! A cap of dough! The mice might come and eat it from my head!"

See, at least one kid recognizes the impracticality of a hat made of dough. Really, who does that?

    Pinocchio was almost in tears. He was just about to make one last offer, but he lacked the courage to do so. He hesitated, he wondered, he could not make up his mind. At last he said:

    "Will you give me four pennies for the book?"

    "I am a boy and I buy nothing from boys," said the little fellow with far more common sense than the Marionette.

    "I'll give you four pennies for your A-B-C book," said a rag picker who stood by.

Where did the rag picker get four pennies if he's poor enough to be a rag picker, and what would he want with the book?

    Then and there, the book changed hands. And to think that poor old Geppetto sat at home in his shirt sleeves, shivering with cold, having sold his coat to buy that little book for his son!

He could have been comfortable, fed and warm if he'd just made a fire out of the little monstrosity to begin with, rather than trying to raise such a horrid little beast.

No picture for this one out of a combination of not wanting to draw the puppet and having been busy making the first real post for my new blog, Faetouched in the head! Go check it out here:

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Pinocchio Ch. 8

Geppetto makes Pinocchio a new pair of feet, and sells his coat to buy him an A-B-C book

Why aren't you burning the thing yet?!

     The Marionette, as soon as his hunger was appeased, started to grumble and cry that he wanted a new pair of feet.

GAWD, this kid is a whiner!

    But Master Geppetto, in order to punish him for his mischief, let him alone the whole morning.

Not nearly punishment enough if you ask me!

 After dinner he said to him:

    "Why should I make your feet over again? To see you run away from home once more?"

    "I promise you," answered the Marionette, sobbing, "that from now on I'll be good--"

    "Boys always promise that when they want something," said Geppetto.

Huh, showing a bit of brains now. Anyone who's ever had kids will probably be nodding in agreement with the guy here.

    "I promise to go to school every day, to study, and to succeed--"

    "Boys always sing that song when they want their own will."

    "But I am not like other boys! I am better than all of them and I always tell the truth. I promise you, Father, that I'll learn a trade, and I'll be the comfort and staff of your old age."

Heh, heheh. Better than all of them and always telling the truth. Yeah.

Why isn't this kid firewood yet?

    Geppetto, though trying to look very stern, felt his eyes fill with tears and his heart soften when he saw Pinocchio so unhappy. He said no more, but taking his tools and two pieces of wood, he set to work diligently.

And the people in the town earlier were accusing him of being a rough and mean old man who would terrorize the 'poor puppet boy'.

    In less than an hour the feet were finished, two slender, nimble little feet, strong and quick, modeled as if by an artist's hands.

    "Close your eyes and sleep!" Geppetto then said to the Marionette.

    Pinocchio closed his eyes and pretended to be asleep, while Geppetto stuck on the two feet with a bit of glue melted in an eggshell, doing his work so well that the joint could hardly be seen.

    As soon as the Marionette felt his new feet, he gave one leap from the table and started to skip and jump around, as if he had lost his head from very joy.

    "To show you how grateful I am to you, Father, I'll go to school now. But to go to school I need a suit of clothes."

You're a puppet. Unless your father made you anatomically correct (and if he, well then...) I don't think you have anything to worry about.

    Geppetto did not have a penny in his pocket, so he made his son a little suit of flowered paper, a pair of shoes from the bark of a tree, and a tiny cap from a bit of dough.

    Pinocchio ran to look at himself in a bowl of water, and he felt so happy that he said proudly:

    "Now I look like a gentleman."

Gentleman of that time were well known for running about with wads of bread dough on their heads.

    "Truly," answered Geppetto. "But remember that fine clothes do not make the man unless they be neat and clean."

    "Very true," answered Pinocchio, "but, in order to go to school, I still need something very important."

    "What is it?"

    "An A-B-C book."

    "To be sure! But how shall we get it?"

    "That's easy. We'll go to a bookstore and buy it."

    "And the money?"

    "I have none."

    "Neither have I," said the old man sadly.

    Pinocchio, although a happy boy always, became sad and downcast at these words. When poverty shows itself, even mischievous boys understand what it means.

    "What does it matter, after all?" cried Geppetto all at once, as he jumped up from his chair. Putting on his old coat, full of darns and patches, he ran out of the house without another word.

And he never returned.

    After a while he returned. (LIES!) In his hands he had the A-B-C book for his son, but the old coat was gone. The poor fellow was in his shirt sleeves and the day was cold.

    "Where's your coat, Father?"

    "I have sold it."

    "Why did you sell your coat?"

    "It was too warm."

    Pinocchio understood the answer in a twinkling, and, unable to restrain his tears, he jumped on his father's neck and kissed him over and over.

And the old man suffered a terrible infection from all the facial splinters he recieved.

No picture for this one because, again, it's just the puppet and the old man...I'm not very good at drawing old people and I really, REALLY don't like puppets.