Pinocchio, the Rocker

Pinocchio, the Rocker

By Vittoria Fumelli

Once upon a time there was a boy called Pinocchio. Although his body was made of wood, he had a big heart and a strong passion for music.

One night he was more excited than ever because in a few days he was going to attend a prestigious college in the UK. He went to his room and prepared his luggage before going to bed. The next day, he took an airplane and flew to London and reached Cambridge by bus.

His heart was beating so fast because of the emotions he was feeling. He entered the school and stopped for a moment looking around him. He went to his room and, as soon as he opened the door, he saw a guy looking at him. He looked like a rocker. He had a lot of piercings in his eyebrows and lips and of course he had a very nice guitar on his lap. Pinocchio immediately understood that this was his roommate. He was very happy that this guy loved music as well. Maybe he could become Pinocchio’s new best friend and they could play in a band together.

Pinocchio was curious and finally said to him, “Hello my name is Pinocchio and—”

“Hey, you almost scared me. What are you,” asked the roommate and, as soon as he said those inflaming words, Pinocchio ran into the bathroom and started crying. He felt his wooden heart in his tongue. He was always hurt when people were uncomfortable with him just because he was made of wood. When he came back, he explained himself and spoke to his roommate who was called “Peter.” Peter apologized and told him that he didn’t want to seem rude or make him feel sad but it was the first time for him to share a room with such a “strange” boy. He also told him that he was playing in a band and asked Pinocchio if he would like to join them.

Weeks passed and Pinocchio got used to the new school, studying many subjects and doing well. But the most exciting part of his new life was his new rock band which practiced every day and had a lot of fun.

One day, Peter arrived in the music room excitedly with a letter that said that their band had been admitted to the “Battle of the Bands,” the most important rock contest in all the UK.

Now they only had to choose some songs for the contest and practice every day in order to be ready for this big event. What an opportunity to become a real rock star!

One day, Pinocchio received a letter from his father, Geppetto, which said:

Dear Pinocchio,

How are you? Do you miss me? Well, I certainly do. I love you and remember that you are my special son. I am really proud of you. All these years, you have been an angel for me. Because you have helped me with everything I needed. I still remember when you saved me from the whale’s stomach. Anyway, yesterday I heard that you are going to participate it the Battle of the Bands. I would like to come and see you play live but, unfortunately as you know, we are not as rich as other people. However, whenever you come home, you will tell me all about the contest, OK? I love you.

Your dad, Geppetto

Pinocchio was really sad that his father couldn’t come to see him in the Battle of the Bands. He would have done anything for him so he decided to go and work at McDonald’s and try and earn some money for his father to see him at the contest.

He worked days and days and hours upon hours at McDonald’s. He was so tired that he failed his school exams and some days he didn’t even attend his lessons. He just went straight to McDonald’s and worked the whole day till five p.m. At the end of the McDonald’s term (which was one month), Pinocchio stopped working to see how much money he had earned. When he finally had the right amount, he put the money in a letter and sent it to his father.

A few days later, the postman got the letter and delivered it just in front of Geppetto’s house door. Patricia—who was the new wife of Pinocchio’s father—opened the door on a Sunday evening and saw the letter. She took it and realized that Pinocchio had sent some money for his father to attend the contest. Patricia was furious. She hated Pinocchio and had always been jealous of him because Geppetto always loved Pinocchio more than her, so she took the check and hid it somewhere secret. After a few days, Pinocchio wanted to check if his father had received the money so he wrote a letter to him. It said:

Dear Father,

I sent you some money to come and see me at the rock contest, Battle of the Bands. I hope you will come and see me, of course. I have made a lot of sacrifices this month to get you this money. I know that the money is sufficient for the trip. I cannot wait to see you and hug you again!

Love, Pinocchio

When his father had read the letter two or three times, he wondered where the money could have gone. He suddenly realized what must have happened and went to Patricia and told her that if she didn’t tell him where she put the money than he would throw her out of the house. So, because she was scared of him, she immediately told him the truth. Then she gave him the money and ran away without another word; she was finally gone forever.

Meanwhile, Pinocchio had returned to his normal life: school, classes, a lot of homework, and afterwards of course, music practice. One day after school, he was walking past a famous pub on his way to rehearse with the band when he heard a rock band playing live. “These guys are really good!” he thought, “Much better than our band . . .”

He stopped for a moment because the singer asked, “Does anyone know how to play the guitar here?” Pinocchio shyly raised his hand.

“Okay, wood-face, let’s see what you can do!” Pinocchio was given a brand new electric guitar and  started to play a very famous song.

In the beginning, the band members were making fun of him but slowly they became amazed at his ability.” Hey dude, it seems you are gifted in music! Do you have a band yet? We are looking for a guitar player to replace our mate.”

At this point, Pinocchio hesitated. This was a big opportunity for him because this band seemed to be a real one, with amazing instruments and fancy musicians.

“No, actually I am not playing with any band. I would be pleased to join you guys,” Pinocchio said.

“Okay, man, than we can see each other tomorrow and practice because we have to be ready for the Battle of the Bands and you can be sure that we are going to win!”

While he was walking back to campus, he thought how lucky he was: He had a great opportunity to play in a real band, with amazing instruments and fancy clothes. At the same time, his thoughts were also with his old bandmates; what was he going to tell them? But soon, bad thoughts vanished and his mood was still positive; now he had a great chance to become a real rock star.

After a few days, he had to face Peter and the other bandmates and tell them the truth: He was playing  Battle of the Bands with another band.

“What?” said Peter, eyes wide, “I can’t believe you are betraying us!”

“Without you, we will not be able to perform at the contest. We have to drop out and cancel our participation,” said Tom, the bass player.

“Sorry guys, but I cannot help you now; find another guitar player . . .”

Pinocchio felt so guilty but the other band was waiting for him and he went to rehearse with his brand new guitar, a recent gift from his new bandmates.

Days passed quickly and Pinocchio was excited about the forthcoming event. His father was supposed to arrive in a couple of days. Peter and the other friends were ignoring him at school. He was no longer their friend and he was sorry about that but the road to success was too important. He needed to focus only on the other band.

One night he could not sleep; he was tossing restlessly in his bed and his mind was full of strange thoughts. Then, suddenly, he heard a low voice. It seemed as if someone was calling him. He stood up and started following that voice when suddenly a beautiful woman appeared in front of him.

At first, he was scared; who was that lady in his room in the middle of the night?

“I am the Fairy of Goodness,” she replied as if she had read his mind, “I am here because I heard that you are not happy, is that true?”

“I must be dreaming!” he said shaking his head, “Who are you? How dare you ask me these questions in the middle of the night in my room?”

“Please answer my question,” replied the fairy calmly.

“Of course I am happy,” Pinocchio said sharply, “What do you think?”

“You are lying, my dear and lying will not help you reach happiness. Your father would not be happy if he knew the whole truth,” said the fairy.

“Leave my father alone! This is none of your business,” replied Pinocchio.

“Listen to me very carefully, you may become rich and famous but if you don’t follow your heart, you will never be happy. Remember Pinocchio, follow the music; follow your heart!” And after that the fairy disappeared. Pinocchio could not sleep the entire night.

The next morning, Pinocchio switched on the radio and heard his favorite song which he hadn’t heard in a long time. He loved that song and he thought that this was also another sign. He needed to talk to Peter; he wanted to re-join his old band!

When Peter and the other bandmates listened to him apologizing, they could hardly believe he was the same person who had left them weeks before. He looked so sincere and sorry that they decided to give him another chance. Besides, the band could now play at the Battle of the Bands!

Pinocchio felt relieved and his mind was now at peace but he had to speak to the other band. He was actually afraid as these kids were older than him and even looked bad. “You stupid piece of wood,” was their reaction.

“If you leave us now, I swear you will never play in a rock band again,” they threatened him, “You’d better disappear from this town, you loser!”

Pinocchio walked back to campus with no worries, he felt calm and all his thoughts were now of the concert. His father would be seated among the public, all his real friends would listen to him play, all his world was there with him. No matter if his band did not win the contest, the most important thing was to play and have fun.

And he realized that this was the happiness the fairy was talking about.

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