The story of Pinocchio and the Talking Cricket,in which one sees that bad children do not liketo be corrected by those who know more than they doVery little time did it take to get poor old Geppetto toprison. In the meantime that rascal, Pinocchio, free nowfrom the clutches of the Carabineer, was running wildlyacross fields and meadows, taking one short cut afteranother toward home. In his wild flight, he leaped over brambles and bushes, and across brooks and ponds, as ifhe were a goat or a hare chased by hounds.
On reaching home, he found the house door half open.
He slipped into the room, locked the door, and threwhimself on the floor, happy at his escape.
But his happiness lasted only a short time, for just thenhe heard someone saying:
"Cri-cri-cri!""Who is calling me?" asked Pinocchio, greatly frightened.
"I am!"Pinocchio turned and saw a large cricket crawlingslowly up the wall.
"Tell me, Cricket, who are you?""I am the Talking Cricket and I have been living in thisroom for more than one hundred years.""Today, however, this room is mine," said the Marionette,"and if you wish to do me a favor, get out now, and don'tturn around even once.""I refuse to leave this spot," answered the Cricket,"until I have told you a great truth.""Tell it, then, and hurry.""Woe to boys who refuse to obey their parents and run away from home! They will never be happy in this world,and when they are older they will be very sorry for it.""Sing on, Cricket mine, as you please. What I know is,that tomorrow, at dawn, I leave this place forever. If Istay here the same thing will happen to me which happensto all other boys and girls. They are sent to school, andwhether they want to or not, they must study. As for me,let me tell you, I hate to study! It's much more fun, I think,to chase after butterflies, climb trees, and steal birds' nests.""Poor little silly! Don't you know that if you go on likethat, you will grow into a perfect donkey and that you'llbe the laughingstock of everyone?""Keep still, you ugly Cricket!" cried Pinocchio.
But the Cricket, who was a wise old philosopher,instead of being offended at Pinocchio's impudence,continued in the same tone:
"If you do not like going to school, why don't you atleast learn a trade, so that you can earn an honest living?""Shall I tell you something?" asked Pinocchio, who wasbeginning to lose patience. "Of all the trades in the world,there is only one that really suits me.""And what can that be?""That of eating, drinking, sleeping, playing, andwandering around from morning till night.""Let me tell you, for your own good, Pinocchio," said the Talking Cricket in his calm voice, "that those whofollow that trade always end up in the hospital or in prison.""Careful, ugly Cricket! If you make me angry, you'll be sorry!""Poor Pinocchio, I am sorry for you.""Why?""Because you are a Marionette and, what is much worse,you have a wooden head."At these last words, Pinocchio jumped up in a fury, tooka hammer from the bench, and threw it with all hisstrength at the Talking Cricket.