Pinocchio Will Not Take His Medicine
Reading Comprehension Activity

Author: Carlo Collodi

Chapter XVII passage: In 1883 Carlo Collodi wrote “The Adventures of Pinocchio.” This classic tale of the puppet whose nose grew when he lied has been loved by generations. Students will read this passage and answer questions on the language and the details.

Topic(s): Fairy Tales & Fables. Skill(s): Summary, Context Clues. Genre(s): Prose

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The Adventures of Pinocchio is the story of a woodcarver named Geppetto who makes a wooden puppet. The puppet, who Geppetto names Pinocchio, is very naughty and gets into trouble all the time.

In this part of the story,  Pinocchio has been given coins that he is suppose to take to Geppetto. Before he can get home, he has an adventure where he is injured. The Fairy with the Turquoise Hair has rescued him and has made him take medicine to get well.


“And the four pieces-where have you put them?” asked the Fairy.

“I have lost them!” said Pinocchio, but he was telling a lie, for he had them in his pocket.

He had scarcely told the lie when his nose, which was already long, grew at once two inches longer.

“And where did you lose them?”

“In the wood near here.”

At this second lie his nose went on growing.

“If you have lost them in the wood near here,” said the Fairy, “we will look for them and we shall find them: because everything that is lost in that wood is always found.”

“Ah! now I remember all about it,” replied the puppet, getting quite confused; “I didn’t lose the four gold pieces, I swallowed them whilst I was drinking your medicine.”

At this lie his nose grew to such an extraordinary length that poor Pinocchio could not move in any direction. If he turned to one side he struck his nose against the bed or the window-panes, if he turned to the other he struck it against the walls or the door, if he raised his head a little he ran the risk of sticking it into one of the Fairy’s eyes. And the Fairy looked at him and laughed.

“What are you laughing at?” asked the puppet, very confused and anxious at finding his nose growing so prodigiously.

“I am laughing at the lie you have told.”

“And how can you possibly know that I have told a lie?”

“Lies, my dear boy, are found out immediately, because they are of two sorts. There are lies that have short legs, and lies that have long noses. Your lie, as it happens, is one of those that have a long nose.”

Pinocchio, not knowing where to hide himself for shame, tried to run out of the room; but he did not  succeed, for his nose had increased so much that it could no longer pass through the door.

Comprehension Questions

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