“Pinocchio! Come back here right now!”

  I yell at the top of my lungs as I see the mischievous, rebellious boy run away.

 “I know he can hear me. I’m his conscious.” I mumble, “I shouldn’t be trying this hard to be his conscious.”

This was going to be another long day. All the stories say that he became this nice puppet and saved his father and everything but that’s completely wrong. Pinocchio will never, and I mean never, be a good boy. Ever since he got into that fight with that lowly wolf, he has been acting like he’s the best in the world. Not that he’s a real kid anyway. Poor Geppetto, he’s too kind-hearted to scold Pinocchio. After all, he was the one who made him.

            Yesterday was one of my worst days with Pinocchio. It was just a blur of horrific events that made me want to throw Pinocchio into a wood grinder. Pinocchio, who was supposed to go to school like a good boy, got into a fight that nearly got him made into firewood. He technically didn’t even win the fight but kept telling everyone he won. Stupid boy. I told him it was a bad idea, but he never listens.

            We were getting ready for school early in the morning; Pinocchio was trimming his green hair and I was getting my cane and suit on.

            “Pinocchio! Don’t forget to take your new schoolbook!” yelled Geppetto from his workshop.

            “Okay Dad! I won’t forget! Bye!” Pinocchio yelled back while rolling his eyes.

            We ran out the front door and headed to school.  As I was hopping next to him I asked,

            “Hey Pinocchio! What are you going to get for your dad’s birthday?”

            He thought about it for a moment with a facial expression I couldn’t read.

            “Hm. Maybe I’ll get him a new coat or something . . .” he trailed off.

            Something was on his mind but I decided to brush it off. It was too early in the morning and the scenery walking to school was beautiful. Green, soft fields full of flowers, precious bird songs, and a beautiful sunrise. Nothing could’ve been better than this. As we walked on this beautiful road, I saw a shaggy mound of fur walking toward us. Beside him were two little mounds of fur.  As they were getting closer I could see that the big mound of fur was a wolf and the smaller ones were dogs. The wolf had on a worn out coat, a hat full of holes and a sturdy looking cane. As for the axe on his back . . . well, let’s forget about that. Walking like he had all the riches in the world, he approached us.

            “Say here little boy! Where ya up to?” he questioned.

            “I’m going to school like a good boy! My father even bought me a schoolbook and gave a fourpence for lunch!” he happily replied.

            “Psst. Pinocchio. We better get going. We’re going to be late for school!” I whispered loudly. Pinocchio didn’t budge. I swear, one day I’m going to sell him as firewood.

            “School huh? Ha! School is for the weak minded I tell ya! See here, give me your fourpence and I’ll leave ya alone. Alright?” he says.

            “What? My fourpence? No! My father gave that to me for my lunch!” he replied.

            “No? Alright, I didn’t want to do this with a little guy but I guess I have to,” he replied angrily. He raised his fists up to fight with Pinocchio.

            “Pinocchio! Run!” I yelled. But he didn’t move at all and stared directly into the wolf’s eyes. 

            “Who do you think you are? Stealing people’s money? You worthless piece of trash!” he defiantly said.

            “What! This little . . . . Get him boys!” he yelled to his little minions.

            The little dogs rushed in to try to tackle Pinocchio. Pinocchio grabbed his book firmly with two hands and hit one of the dogs and sent it flying. The other dog managed to bite Pinocchio’s leg and hang on.

            “Ha! I’m made of wood so I don’t feel little bites like yours!” Pinocchio said with triumph on his face.

            Pinocchio kicked the other dog away and brushed the dust off his shoulders.

            “Is that all you got?” Pinocchio said.

            “Hmph. Those dogs didn’t know how to fight anyway. Time to fight the master!” the wolf yelled. He took out his axe and swung it around. Pinocchio froze in fear. The only time he had ever seen an axe was when he was chopped down as a tree.

            Hm. Should I just let him get chopped up? Then I won’t have to deal with this brat anymore.  I thought to myself.  Nah. The old man Geppetto's heart will break. Sigh. Time to save that poor excuse of a boy.

            “Ha! Not so mighty and strong now are we?” the wolf laughed.

            “Th . . . That’s cheating! You can’t do that!”

            I prepared myself to launch into the wolf's ear. As disgusting as it looked, there was no other way I could save him. I stepped back as I prepared myself to jump. The wolf stepped in to swing at Pinocchio, and I felt the muscles in my legs go. In less than a second, I landed on his ear and immediately start chewing.

            “Ow! What’s on my ear? Get it off!” he howled in pain.

            “Run Pinocchio! Run!” I yelled to him.

            He ran away toward home as I jumped off the wolf’s ear and hopped away. If I ever have to save that boy again . . . maybe I’ll really sell him as firewood.


© Nancy Choi