Tuesday, March 21, 2023

Something Wooden This Way Comes

 Okay, I understand the despair and resulting need and would have probably done something similar if I had the skills. And the time. And perhaps some magical ‘other worldly’ help. Maybe I should start at the beginning…

Geppetto was a lonely woodcutter, living somewhere in the wilds of Italy. (Are there wilds in Italy?) He longed for a friend/son. But, as that wish seemed unlikely to be granted, he resorted to making his own.

Once my parents told me to go make some friends, but it never occurred to me that they could have been talking literally, rather than directionally. Hmmm…I wonder what I could have come up with? Moving on…

That Geppetto, he was one talented woodcarver. The small boy he carved was both beautiful and functional. But not real. I want to stress that here, because the rest of the story will try to suggest otherwise.

This is where the ‘other worldly’ comes into play. Blue Fairy had her eye on kind and gentle Geppetto. Perhaps because he was k&g? (see above) And saw an opportunity to put her wand to good use.

Now I’m a little ‘iffy’ on the whole ‘Blue’ fairy bit. Was she really blue? As in colour. Or just really depressed. None of the versions of this story explain. I think it needs to be explored.

Anyways, regardless of her personal real-or-imagined mental struggles, the Blue Fairy saw a chance to help someone who was suffering. And did what she could to alleviate it. I’m beginning to like her. A lot.

Her spell went something like this: “Now, remember, Pinocchio: be a good boy. And always let your conscience be your guide. Prove yourself brave, truthful, and unselfish, and someday, you will be a real boy.” Oh, boy.

Right now, I’m wishing someone had chanted that over my four boys. It might have eliminated a lot of ‘Mama’ angst/sleepless nights. Oh, well. It may have taken a little longer, but they made it eventually.

Pinocchio, having realized sentience, immediately went on to wreck the room and burn his own feet off. Okay, yes, it was a rocky start. But he improved. He moved up to truancy, running away and poor decisions.

And lying. Let’s not forget that little gem. But he discovered that a lie, though small at first, “grows and grows until it’s as plain as the nose on your face.” Which in Pinocchio’s case, meant: gi-normous.

True story. Whenever he attempted to tell a lie, his little, wooden bud of a nose grew longer. And longer. Finally sprouting branches and even residents. And no, I’ve never actually seen a nose do that. Horrifying.

The Blue Fairy came to his rescue, sending woodpeckers to peck his tree of a nose back into a standard and acceptable ‘nose’ shape once more. Lesson learned right? Right?! Sadly, there were still other ‘adventures’ brewing…

Listing them. Hang on tight! Running away instead of going to school. Getting puppetnapped by a fairly nasty puppeteer intent on making the best of a little, stringless puppet. Running off again at the enticement of some other nasties.

Only to end up at the enticing-sounding ‘Land of Toys’, and discovering that, in reality, young boys were turning themselves into little beasts and being caged and sold accordingly. That particular scene haunted me for decades. Yikes.

From there, sporting some spanking new ‘donkey’ parts, Pinocchio escapes and, returning finally home, discovers his beloved Geppetto has gone in search of him. There follows some angst as the two of them search desperately for eachother.

Complicated by the fact that Geppetto, and his entire household (ie. cat, fish) have been swallowed by the huge, terrifying and, let’s just say it: doggone rude Dog Fish. Pinocchio has his work cut out for him.

But he has become clever and resilient whist making his bad decisions and figures out that the best way to escape the behemoth that now has them all captive is to make it sneeze. In a word: Ewww.

But it works. Before you can say Gesundheit, Pinocchio et al are skimming the waves ahead of a ‘no more Mr. Nice Guy’ big fish. Pinocchio sacrifices himself to save his beloved Geppetto. And all is well.

Except for the ‘sacrifices himself’ part. Re-enter the Blue Fairy. (I don’t know about you, but I’d like to keep her around. Just sayin’.) Who rewards him for his bravery with life (again) making him a real boy.

Headline: Little Wooden Head Runs for Political Office.
News at 11.
I knew it!

Today’s post is a word challenge! Each month one of us chooses a number between 12 and 50 and the rest craft a post using that number of words one or multiple times.

This month’s word count number is 37. And was brought to you by: Karen of Baking in a Tornado!

Links to the other Word Counters posts:

Baking In ATornado


  1. I will never hear someone sneeze and not duck again.

  2. From Menopausal Mother: I think we all need a little bit of the Blue Fairy in our daily lives!

  3. My late mother in law visited Italy some 25 years ago and what did she bring back for my son but a little Pinocchio Christmas ornament? We still have it, too. I don't remember most of the story but I loved your retelling.

  4. He was quite the mischief maker in his day. Excellent word counting and story telling!


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