Pinocchio as told by Wee Granny Bella

Pinocchio: as told by Wee Granny Bella
Pinocchio: as told by Wee Granny Bella
Pinocchio: as told by Wee Granny Bella
Pinocchio: as told by Wee Granny Bella

Once upon a time there wis an old wood carver called Gepetto, who wis very poor. He had a cat and a goldfish, but they couldnae have been much company cos he was lonely. One day a pal geed him a log, wi him bein a wood carver, an’ he decided tae make a puppet that wid be just like a son tae him. A wee hard man wi nae brains, as thick as a tree trunk an’ no much tae say fur himsel – aye, awfie life-like right enough, thought he. So he went aboot carvin the puppet boy, heid first. After he carved the eyes they seemed tae be lookin’ at him. When he carved the nose it kept getting longer and he kept havin tae chop a bit aff, over an’ over till he though he wis goin aff his heid. An’ when he carved the mooth it stuck its tongue oot at him.

‘Ah must be makin’ a cheeky wee bastard,’ says Gepetto. ‘Ah didnae want him tae be that realistic! I shall give you a name,’ says he to the puppet. ‘Your name is Pinocchio.’

‘It’s whit?’ says the puppet. ‘Ye’re havin’ a laugh, are ye no?’

Noo, he wis gettin’ fair worried aboot this puppet’s attitude, but he carried on makin’ it till it wis finished. When he stood it on the floor, it started walkin’. Mind you, it’s legs were as stiff as a new pair o’ jeans, but after a minute he soon got the hang of it, an he wis offski –  oot the door an’ doon the road like a jet-propelled burglar fleein’ with his stash.

‘Come back here ya ungrateful wee tosser!’ Gepetto shouted after him, but it wis nae use. Pinocchio had done a runner.

A policeman caught the puppet but he wriggled free, turned roon’ an’ ran back home. But Gepetto wisnae there cos he wis still oot lookin’ fur him. Suddenly he heard a wee voice fae somewhere in the hoose.

‘Who’s there?’ shouts Pinocchio.

‘It’s me!’ says the wee voice. ‘A’m Jimminy Cricket an’ A’ve lived here fur a hunner years.’

‘Aye right, a talkin’ cricket?’ says the wooden boy.

‘Aye, an’ that’s no all. A’m yer conscience.’

‘Ye’ll be unconscious if ye don’t shut up,’ says Pinocchio.

Says Jimminy Cricket, ‘You’ve no tae run away. You’ll have to be like other boys an’ go to school.’

‘Ah don’t want tae be like other boys,’ says Pinocchio. ‘An’ A’m no goin’ tae school.’

The cricket looked at him an’ says, ‘Well, one out o’ two’s no bad. Ye’re goin’ tae school, nae arguin’. If ye don’t go to school ye’ll grow up tae be a donkey.’

Pinocchio looked doon at himsel. ‘That might no be too bad,’ says he.

‘Please yersel’, says the cricket, an’ he buggered aff an’ jumped oot the window.

Pinocchio waited ages fur Gepetto to return, and as night time came he got hungry an’ tired, an’ he fell asleep in front o’ the fire. The next mornin’ Gepetto returned, an’ wis fair delighted tae see that Pinocchio had come home. But the stupit wee git hud lay too near the fire an’ his feet were burnt aff.

‘A’m no makin’ new feet fur ye unless ye promise you’ll no run away again.’

‘Ah promise,’ says Pinocchio, but he wis a lyin’ wee twig.

‘Will ye go to school?’ says Gepetto.

‘Ye’re pushin’ it noo,’ says Pinocchio.

‘Listen here, Ah made ye who ye ur, an’ ye’re no gettin’ feet till ye promise tae go to school.’

‘Aye awright,’ says Pinocchio.

The next mornin’ Gepetto sent Pinocchio oot to school wi’ his new feet, clothes, an’ a packed lunch.

‘Ah cannie go,’ says Pinocchio.

‘How no?’ says Gepetto. ‘Whit is it noo?’

‘A’ve nae spellin’ book. Ah cannie even spell ma own name.’

‘Ah cannie spell yer name either,’ says Gepetto, and so he went oot and selt his coat fur tae buy Pinocchio a spellin’ book.

‘Awright noo?’ says he, shiverin’ after walkin’ back withoot his coat.

Pinocchio geed him a big hug, and felt that he had tae go to school now. ‘Thank you Papa. A’m away tae school noo.’

‘Don’t talk tae any strangers,’ Gepetto warned.

‘Ah wulnie, Papa,’ says Pinocchio. An’ aff he went.

On his way tae school he heard music, an’ bein’ a nosy wee bastard, he went tae see where it wis comin’ fae. He saw a sign ootside a building, but he couldnae read cos he hudnae been tae school yet.

‘Whit the fuck does that say?’ he asked the folk in the queue waitin’ tae get in.

‘Puppet Theatre,’ says one man.

WGB
Wee Granny Bella’s brilliant collection of bedtime stories (adult).

Noo, Pinocchio wis dyin’ tae get inside an’ meet the other puppets, but he had nae money fur a ticket. So he found a street pedlar and sold his spellin’ book, then he bought a ticket and went intae the theatre. As soon as he saw aw they puppets dancin’ aboot an’ havin’ fun on the stage, he leapt up and joined them. The puppet master wis fair bamboozled by a puppet wi’ nae strings, so after the show he grabbed Pinoccho and put him in a big box wi’ the other puppets. But it wis a cold night an’ he didnae huv any wood fur the fire, so he decided to burn the wooden puppet fur tae get a heat.

‘Naw, wait a minute,’ says Pinocchio, as the puppet master wis aboot tae chop him up fur fire wood. ‘A’m no supposed tae be here.’ An’ he telt him the story aboot poor Gepetto sellin’ his coat fur tae buy the book, an’ him sellin’ the book fur tae buy a ticket, just so he could play wi’ the other puppets. Well, the puppet master wis a big softie, so he geed Pinocchio some money – five gold coins –  tae get his book back and fur tae buy a new jacket fur his papa.

‘Nae spendin’ it on fags an’ sweeties mind!’ he warned Pinocchio.

‘Awright. Thanks mister,’ says he, an’ he scarpered before the puppet master changed his mind.

Pinocchio wis skippin’ doon the road tae find a new spellin’ book, when he saw a fox wi’ a walkin’ stick, an’ a cat wi’ it’s eyes shut. The lame fox and the blind cat were beggin’ at the side o’ the road, an’ they called to him as he passed.

‘Haw you, Pinocchio! Hiya!’

‘How do yous know ma name?’ says he.

‘Yer father, Gepetto, has been askin’ fur ye,’ says the fox.

‘He wis oot here in this weather wi’ nae coat, freezin’ his whiskers aff… so the fox telt me,’ says the cat.

‘It’s awright, A’ve got money tae buy Papa a new coat,’ says Pinocchio, an’ he held up the money tae show them.

Well, the fox stretched oot his lame leg an’ the cat opened his eyes.

‘C’moan wi’ us,’ says the fox. ‘We’ll do lunch at the Inn then we’ll help ye find a coat fur yer papa.’

‘Uh uh,’ a wee voice said in Pinocchio’s ear.

‘No you again!’ says he tae the wee talkin’ cricket.

‘Aye, A’m watchin’ yer back.’

‘Fuck off,’ says Pinocchio, an’ he went away wi’ the fox an’ the cat.

At the Inn the fox had rabbit stew, the cat had fried fish, and Pinocchio had a ham and cheese laminate fried in teak oil.

So Pinocchio paid fur the lunch wi’ one gold coin, an’ the fox an’ cat buggered off an’ left him. He set off fur tae walk home, but on the way he wis chased by two muggers, each disguised in a black sack. They hurtled after him, their hands wavin’ aboot in the top corners of their sacks, an’ their eyes peepin’ oot two holes in the canvas, shoutin’, ‘Geez yer money!’ They nearly caught him but he clambered up a tree an’ blended in with it, so the muggers couldnae find him. After a while the two guys in the sacks saw Pinocchio, an’ they set fire tae the tree. Well, poor Pinocchio wis pure panic-stricken, an’ he jumped oot the tree an’ ran off, wi’ the two theivin’ bastards in pursuit. When he came tae a brook he jumped over it, but the guys in the sacks didnae make it an’ landed in the water. The sacks came off an’ it wis none other than the sly fox and the wicked cat, an’ Pinocchio knew he’d been shafted. He ran on intae the woods, an’ he came upon a wee white cottage. He knocked on the door, an’ a wuman wi’ blue hair opened it. She wis a big fairy.

‘Whit dae you want?’ says she.

‘A’ve been chased by two thieves,’ says Pinocchio.

‘Well ye better come in,’ says she.

Pinocchio told the fairy his life story so far.

‘An’ where’s yer gold coins noo?’ asked the fairy.

‘Ah lost them,’ says Pinocchio. But he wis lyin’ cos the coins were still in his pocket.

As soon as he telt the lie, his nose got longer.

‘Whit the fuck’s goin’ on here?’ says he, goin’ skelly lookin’ at his nose.

‘An’ where did ye lose the gold coins?’ asked the fairy.

‘In the woods,’ Pinocchio said, but it wis another lie an’ his nose got even longer.

He looked at the beautiful fairy wuman, an’ wondered if Gepetto had put his winkie where his nose should be, by mistake.

‘We’ll go an’ find yer coins,’ says the fairy.

‘Naw – Ah swallowed them,’ says Pinocchio.

Well, the snout grew even longer, like a branch of a tree. The fairy whistled tae some birds, an’ they flew in the window an’ perched on Pinocchio’s nose, an’ began tae peck at it.

‘Fuck off yous!’ shouts Pinocchio, ‘A’m no a fuckin’ tree!’

‘Aye ye ur,’ says one o’ the birds.

‘Shut it,’ says another bird. ‘We’re doin’ ye a favour, we’re woodpeckers.’

‘A’ve no got a wood pecker, that’s ma nose,’ says he, fair worried.

An’ his nose grew a wee bit longer.

The birds pecked his nose doon tae the right size again.

The fairy smiled, fair chuffed wi’ the result. ‘Ah wis gonnie get ma chainsaw, but Ah thought ye’d prefer the gentle way,’ says she tae Pinocchio. ‘Noo, beat it, an’ be a good boy from now on.’

So Pinocchio started on his way home again, an’ soon he met a pigeon.

‘Have ye seen ma father, Gepetto?’ says he.

‘Aye,’ says the pigeon. ‘He wis doon at the shore wi’ a wee boat. Ah think he wis goin’ tae look fur you.’

‘Is it far tae the shore?’ Pinocchio asked.

‘Aye, but jump on ma back an’ A’ll gee ye a lift,’ offered the pigeon.

So the pigeon took Pinocchio tae the shore, but it wis too late. Gepetto wis sailin’ away on the wee boat, an’ there wis a storm comin’.

‘Nae wonder A’m so stupit, wi’ a daft edgit fur a father,’ thought Pinocchio.

The waves got choppy an’ the wee boat wis bouncin’ aboot like a hyperactive wean on a bouncy castle, an’ Gepetto stood up an’ waved his cap tae the folk on the shore.

‘Help!’ shouts he. ‘A’m oot ma depth here, an’ A’ve no even sunk yet.’

‘A’ll save ye Papa,’ shouts Pinocchio, an’ he dived intae the water. As luck wid have it, he wis able to swim, but he wisnae that lucky cos he couldnae find the boat. He swam all through the night, all through the storm. Fair druchit an’ completely knackered, he eventually came tae the beach a bit further doon the shore.

WGB
Wee Granny Bella’s brilliant collection of bedtime stories (adult).

Although he still had the four gold coins in his pocket, Pinocchio begged all the folk he met, fur tae give him food and water. They all told him tae fuck off, except one kind lady.  She took him tae her hoose an’ geed him water an’ a meal, and some freshly baked cookies. When she took aff her shawl it wis none other than the fairy wi’ the blue hair! Well, he wis fair delighted tae see her, an’ told her whit had happened. ‘A’m sick o’ bein’ a puppet,’ says he. ‘Ah want tae be a real boy.’

Says the fairy, ‘Ye’ll become one when ye deserve it. First ye have tae be a good boy an’ go to school, an’ nae more o’ they lies ye tell.’

‘Aye right,’ says he. ‘An’ whit aboot ma father?’

The fairy bribed him wi’ the same deal. ‘Ye’ll find him if ye’re a good boy,’ says she.

So Pinocchio went tae a boarding school, but it wisnae long before he got in wi’ the wrong crowd. When they wanted him tae dog aff school one day, Pinocchio heard a wee voice in his ear, sayin’,

‘Remember tae be a good boy. Ye promised the fairy.’

It wis the cricket.

‘No you again,’ says Pinocchio. ‘A’d forgot aboot you. Piss off, A’m goin’ wi’ ma new pals.’

Noo, the new pals got Pinocchio intae all kinds of mischief. His NBF (new best friend) wis a naughty boy called Candlewick – aye, it wis nearly as bad as Pinocchio. Anyway, this Candlewick and Pinocchio planned tae run away fae school.

‘Ah know this great place where ye don’t huv tae go tae school an’ ye can dae whit ye like, cos every day’s a holiday,’ says Candlewick.

‘Sounds good tae me,’ says Pinocchio, an’ the next day they waited fur the coach that wid take them to this wonderful place.

‘Don’t go, Pinocchio,’ the cricket says in his lug.

‘Away ‘n heckle yersel’,’ says Pinocchio, an’ he got on the coach wi’ Candlewick.

This new place wis great. They never had tae wash their faces or behind their ears, they didnae huv tae do chores, and they didnae huv tae eat vegetables, an’ they could watch as much telly an’ get as much free internet as they wanted. It wis kids’ paradise. But after a while they got fed up an’ aw the fun wis borin’. So one mornin’ Pinocchio got up an’ washed his face. When he went tae wash behind his ears, he got a big fright. His ears were big and furry! He ran tae the mirror an’ saw that he had donkey’s ears. Candlewick had donkey’s ears too. When the boys laughed at each other, their laughter turned intae the hee-haw of donkey sounds. Then their feet turned intae hooves. Before they knew it, they were two donkeys instead of two boys, or a boy an’ a puppet, but Candlewick didnae seem tae have noticed that Pinocchio wis made o’ wood. The coachman put bridles on them an’ took them tae market.

A circus showman bought them, an’ fur a while they worked in the circus, performing tricks. But Pinocchio went lame an’ he got sold again, tae a man that wanted his skin fur tae make a drum. Well, Pinocchio wis fair alarmed, an’ he ran away, even though he wis lame. He ran an’ ran till he came to the edge of a cliff, an’ aff he flew. He thought he caught a glimpse o’ the fairy wi’ the blue hair wavin’ her wand, as he tumbled doon tae the sea. As if by magic, he wis a puppet again as soon as he hit the water. So he started swimmin’ an’ soon he wis swept up wi’ a school o’ fish, an’ intae a huge cave they went. But it wisnae a cave. It wis a whale’s mooth.

Noo, if ever there wis a coincidence, here it is. It wis the very whale that had come across Gepetto’s boat and ate him all up. So there he was, still in the boat, in the belly of the whale. When he saw Pinocchio he wis aboot tae say, ‘Where the fuck huv ye been ya wee troublemaker?’ but he wis too glad tae see him an’ he said, ‘Thank Christ fur that. A’m just aboot demented stuck here aw by masel’. At least A’ll huv someb’dy tae talk tae noo.’

‘Papa!’ says Pinocchio. ‘Ye’ll never believe whit happened tae me.’

An’ he didnae.

Gepetto fried an extra bit o’ fish an’ they had their tea. ‘It’s a pity this whale disnae swallow any chips,’ says he.

‘Right then, c’moan we’ll get oot o’ this smelly belly,’ says Pinocchio.

‘We cannie, A’ve tried,’ says Gepetto. ‘It’s nae use. When the mooth opens, water comes in an’ Ah cannie swim against it. In fact, Ah cannie swim at all.’

‘A’ve got an idea,’ says Pinocchio.

But Gepetto wisnae sure if he wanted tae hear it or no. ‘How can you figure it oot? Yer heid’s full o’ sawdust,’ says he.

‘Naw it’s no,’ says Pinocchio, an’ his nose grew six inches.

They made a fire in the whale’s stomach, an’ made him sneeze. He sneezed them oot, an’ cos Gepetto couldnae swim, Pinocchio carried him on his back till they met a big tuna fish.

‘Hop on guys,’ says the tuna fish.

They got on tae the tuna fish’s back an’ got a lift tae the shore. Mind you, the tuna fish didnae know that Gepetto had eaten most of his pals.

Fair exhausted, Gepetto and Pinocchio got back home late at night. They lit the fire, had a bath an’ got their onesies on, then they had hot chocolate an’ went to bed.

The next mornin’ Pinocchio woke up an’ stretched, an’ discovered he wis a real boy. The fairy wi’ the blue hair wis sittin’ by his bed, an’ her magic wand wis still sparklin.’

‘Aw thanks missus,’ says he tae her.

‘That’s awright son, ye deserved it. Ye saved yer father’s life.’

Jimminy Cricket smiled doon fae the windowsill. ‘Ma job is done,’ says he. ‘Ye’ve got a conscience noo. A’m offski. But A’ll be back if ye start that lyin’ carry on again.’

‘A’ll no,’ Pinocchio promised, an’ he went to tell his papa he wis a real boy.

Well, Gepetto wis fair flabberghastit. ‘Ma boy!’ says he.

‘Does that mean Ah can get a real name noo?’ asked Pinocchio.

‘Aye awright,’ says Gepetto. ‘A’ll call ye…  Alfonso Butch.’

Just then the phone rang.

‘A’ll get it,’ says the boy. ‘Hello… Ma name’s Pinocchio… It could be worse.’

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