Once upon a time, a kindly old wood-carver named Gepetta was making a wooden marionette shaped like a dog. She carved it out of wood, shaping the head, body and legs.  Then she added white fleece for the hair. She touched up her creation with black and white paint, and she added the strings. Finished at last, she set her puppet on the floor.

She tested the strings.

"What a beautiful puppet!" thought Geppetta. "I shall call him Pinocchio." .

Even though her puppet was very handsome, Geppetta was not happy. For a long time she had been very lonely, and she wished with all her heart that Pinocchio was a real live dog.

That night, after Geppetta drifted off to sleep, a beautiful Fairy, who had heard her wish, appeared in the room, waved her magic wand and brought Pinocchio to life. "Am I a real live dog?" asked Pinocchio. "NO, Pinocchio," answered the Fairy, "you will be made of wood UNTIL you have proven yourself to be TRUTHFUL, GOOD, and BRAVE."

After the Fairy left, Christopher, a handsome Cockatoo who had been sitting on the window sill, said. "To be truly GOOD, you have to have a conscience. I will be your conscience until you get one of your own."

When Geppetta awoke, she could not believe her eyes. "My wish has come true!" she shouted. "Pinocchio is alive!" It didn’t matter to her that Pinoccho was still made out of wood. "I shall love you just as you are," she told Pinocchio.

It wasn’t long before Foulfellow, an evil doer, saw Pinocchio. "I’ll bet Stromboli, the puppeteer, would pay a pretty price for such a clever puppet," he thought, and, when Geppeta wasn’t looking, Foulfellow stole Pinocchio and sold him to Stromboli.

Stromboli was delighted to have such a life-like puppet. He convinced Pinocchio that acting and dancing was the life for him.

Pinocchio performed to rounds of applause.

At first, Pinocchio thought it was really cool being famous, and when Christopher said, "Geppeta misses you, Pinocchio, and she loves you. Shouldn’t you let her know where you are? " But Pinocchio was having too much fun being famous to listen.

Pinocchio soon discovered that he missed Geppetta, and he decided to go home. However, Stromboli was making lots of money on Pinocchio’s performances and told him. "You’re staying right here with me, little puppet! You’re going to make me RICH!! And he locked Pinocchio in a cage.  "How am I going to get out of this horrible place?" thought Pinocchio.

Suddenly, the Fairy appeared. "Pinocchio, what are you doing in this awful place?" Pinocchio didn’t want the Fairy to know he had been beguiled by fame so he lied, "I – um – was kidnapped by a huge monster who was going to cook me for his supper, and that’s why I’m in this cage." Pinocchio’s nose began to grow and grow. "You’re lying, Pinocchio," said the Fairy. "It’s as plain as the nose on your face! I will give you ONE more chance to be TRUTHFUL!" she said, and she set Pinocchio free.

As Pinocchio sat trying to decide what to do, Gideon, a gypsy dog, skipped up to him and said, "Hi there! You wanna have fun? When you don’t have a home, you can do whatever you want." After his experience with Stromboli, Pinocchio thought it must be fun to do whatever he wanted, and he forgot that the Fairy said he had to be GOOD.

Pinocchio and Gideon dug up flowers, ransacked garbage, and barked and howled all night. Christopher said, "Pinocchio being bad does not lead to happiness. Gideon is naughty because she doesn’t have a wonderful home like yours." But Pinocchio was too busy chewing on a shoe to listen.

Well, it wasn’t long before the neighbors complained, and Pinocchio and Gideon ended up in doggy jail.

This time when the Fairy appeared and asked what happened, Pinocchio told her every bit of the truth. He remembered all too well what had happened to his nose before. The Fairy said, "Well, I see that you’ve learned your lesson. I’m happy to see you being TRUTHFUL," and she set them free.

As he and Gideon left the jail, Pinocchio said, "Come home with me, Gideon. Geppetta and I would love to have you live with us." Christopher said, "What a great idea! You are a GOOD boy, Pinocchio."

And, Pinocchio and Gideon ran straight home to Geppetta.

But, when they got there, a robber was stealing the silverware . . . and Geppetta was lying unconscious on the floor.

Bravely, Pinocchio ran to confront the robber.  He grabbed the robber's shirt and held on -- then he knocked him down and bit his arm.  The robber broke free, grabbed the bag of silver and dashed out the door.

Meanwhile, Gideon was helping.  She found a phone . . . dialed 911 . . . and said, "HURRY!"

Well, it turns out Geppetta was okay. She had merely fainted from not eating because she had been so worried about Pinocchio. When she learned that Pinocchio had chased away the robber and saved the silver, she said, "What a BRAVE boy you are!"

The Fairy appeared and said, "Pinocchio, you’ve proven yourself to be TRUTHFUL, GOOD, and BRAVE." "Now you will be a real dog, just like Gideon." Pinocchio wagged his tail. He was alive and no longer made of wood.

Geppetta was delighted to have not one, but two, real dogs.  And she, Pinocchio, and Gideon lived happily ever after.

And, Christopher too!

Copyright June 2010