The Familial Liar




Giuliano held the yellowed paper in his trembling hands. His green eyes narrowed even as he drew the letter close enough to bury his long nose.

“Where are your glasses?” Eleonora asked her husband.

“I lost them,” Giuliano lied without batting a lid, as he re-read the letter he had just chanced upon, hidden behind his grandfather’s photo frame.

Dear son,

I lie on my deathbed, terribly sick. I intend for this letter to reach you after my death. You know the legend that surrounds me, and I am grateful for all my popularity. But I want to refute three rumours.

Rumour 1-My nose elongates every time I lie through it.

Had it grown each time I lied, I would have a wooden ladder right up to the moon!

Papa Geppetto was a sweetheart, sacrificing for me. But he never understood, I never wanted to study. So, I lied my way through. The sorry turn of events as a result of my habit of lying is now famous.

Rumour 2- I stopped lying and became a good boy.

No! I would have said lying was in my blood, but well, I was only a wooden marionette back then. But I learned from my life experiences. To be smart, to not get caught, and to wriggle out of the mess when I did get caught. And that, I practiced with utmost sincerity. I eventually became the most reputed lawyer in Tuscany.

Rumour 3- Impressed with my progress, God-fairy made me human, presenting me with a bag of forty gold coins.

But I turned human because I lied too much! A mortal, whose survival depended on lying well.

And survive I did. I have a wife, a son, and a lot of wealth. Poppy Geppetto lived to a ripe old age.

I have regrets. Mothers cite my example to teach their kids what not to do. You, my son, grew to despise me, for I had built an empire on deceit. I presume my grandkids would know nothing of me.

So here is my last revelation. The bag of gold coins that God-fairy gave is a magical one. It replenishes itself. I have instructed a friend to hide it near my grave. Perhaps you would visit my grave at least once if you believe me.

                                                                                                                Love,                                                                                                              Pinocchio.

 

“So, you are a familial liar.” Eleonora quipped.

Giuliano knew his connection with the fabled marionette would be brought up in every argument with his wife henceforth.

“Let us look for the gold coins.”

“It is already dark. Let's go tomorrow.” Eleonora advised.

***

The next morning, Giuliano dug the place thoroughly. No bag was found.

“I think, there is none.”  Eleonora gestured towards the tombstone. It read,

Pinocchio 1881-1942 Let me lie in peace

Giuliano slumped, disappointed. Eleonora smoothened the folds in her skirt. She hoped the bag hidden beneath it was not visible. Silly Fairy Grandma! She had gone about all her life donating magical family heirlooms!

Smiling faintly, she whispered, “Everyone lies.”

***

Authors Note:

Pinocchio is an Italian fictional character and the protagonist of the children's novel The Adventures of Pinocchio (1883) by Italian writer Carlo Collodi of Florence, Tuscany.Pinocchio was carved by a woodcarver named Geppetto in a Tuscan village. He was created as a wooden puppet but he dreams of becoming a real boy. He is known for his long nose, which grows when he lies.

Pinocchio is a cultural icon. He is one of the most reimagined characters in children's literature. His story has been adapted into many other media, notably the 1940 Disney film Pinocchio.

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