"The tale of The Golden Key or Buratino's adventures" by Aleksey Tolstoy.
When the Great Russian writer Aleksey Tolstoy was a child, he often read a very interesting book "Pinocchio or the adventures of a wooden puppet". But soon the boy lost his favorite book and began to retell its the story to his friends, devising new adventures by himself. Many years passed and young Aleksey soon became a prominent writer. It was then when Tolstoy decided to write his own version of the story which he loved so much in his childhood.
Once upon a time an old craftsman Juzeppe lived in a small Mediterranean Sea town. One day he found a log at the shore and carried it home deciding to make carve it into something. But when Juzeppe began fashioning it with his axe he heard a meek little voice say, "Ease off a bit." This frightened Juzeppe and took the piece of wood to his old friend Carlo who was an organ grinder. He was able to give the log away to Carlo so that he would not have to deal with the mysterious log.
Juzeppe told Carlo, "Take this log and make of it a wooden puppet, teach it to dance, speak and sing and you will be able to earn money, showing it to people."
Carlo was very poor and lonely. He lived in a small room and the only thing he owned was a beautiful painting depicting a hearth with a boiling copper. This painting concealed a tiny secret door, which would turn out to be very important later. At home Carlo began cutting out a puppet. While he was working he heard the incredible ability that the log had to speak and laugh. Soon Juzeppe created a wooden puppet, which could speak, run and dance. This living puppet, whom he called Buratino was a boy who had a long nose, arms and legs, and a cap with a tassel.
Buratino was a mischievous boy, fooled around, and did not obey his father Carlo. One day Buratino decided to change his ways and go to school. Poor Carlo sold his only jacket and bought a grammar book so that Buratino could take it with him to school. Buratino took the book and ran to school. On the way to school he saw a sign for the theatre saying, "Puppet Show."
Buratino could not resist the temptation of the showing, so he sold the book that Carlo bought him and bought a ticket.
He was delighted with the performance. The actors in the play were the wooden puppets like Buratino. During the play in full swing of the performance the puppets shouted, "Buratino, Buratino". They lifted him onto the stage, kissed, and embraced him while singing songs. After the performance, the wicked and mean owner of the theater, Karabas-Barabas caught Buratino and wanted to burn into ashes. Somehow Karabas-Barabas heard that Buratino lived in the small room with the tiny secret door and he changed his mind. He released Buratino and gave him five golden coins so he could go about his way. However Buratino realized that Karabas-Barabas knew a secret connected with that door.
On the way home Buratino met the fox Alisa and the blind Cat Basilio. They found out that Buratino had five golden coins and wanted to rob him. The fox Alisa said to him, " We will show you a wonderful Fool's Land. If you bury your coins in the field of Wonder located in that Land, the big tree with golden coins instead of leaves will grow in that place. You will be very rich." Buratino agreed and they went to the Fool's Land. But soon Buratino lost his new friends and at night two robber (the Fox Alisa and the Cat Basilio in masks and disguised in new clothing) attacked him, but fortunately Buratino managed to escape. He was very tired and he could hardly walk. After travelling a great distance he came to a lovely small house. A beautiful, blue-haired puppet girl Malvina lived there. She fed Buratino and then tried to teach him how read and write. Buratino did not appreciate what Malvina was doing for him and she decided to lock him in the shed.
In the shed Buratino met the Black Bat who helped him to get out of the shed and led him to the Fool's Land where once again he met up with Basilio and Alisa. They persuaded Buratino to bury his coins in the field of Wonder. Poor Buratino did it and waited for the emergence of the magic tree with golden coins. The Fox Alisa and the Cat Basilio couldn't get his money because Buratino was sitting near the spot where he had buried his coins. To get Buratino away from the spot where he was sitting the two crooks went to the police station and told the Bulldog-Policeman that Buratino was a thief. Immediately after the report at the station two police dogs approached Buratino. They arrested Buratino, searched him, and then threw him in a pond because they did not find anything on him that was stolen.
Finding himself in the pond Buratino met the old Tortoise Tartila. Tartila felt sorry for poor Buratino and gave him a golden key. On the way home Buratino met the melancholy puppet Pierot. Pierot told Buratino that he had overheard a conversation between Karabas-Barabas and his cohort Duremar. Kareabas-Barabas told Duremar that he was looking for a golden key in order to open some secret door and become rich. Buratino said nothing, and showed Pierot the golden key.
Pierot and Buratino decided to go to Malvina's house. There they met the toad who told them that Karabas-Barabas knew that the old Tortoise Tartila had given the golden key to Buratino. The puppets realized that since Karabas-Barabas knew Buratino had the key he would not hesitate to kill him for it. Buratino, Malvina, and Pierot were soon hurrying to Carlo's house, but soon the police dogs and Karabas-Barabas caught up to them. Fortunately, the puppets managed to escape and Buratino was able to figure out the golden key's secret.
When the puppets found Carlo they all went into the room with the secret door and tore away the painting, opened the door with the golden key, and they found themselves in a marvelous theatre with exquisite and expensive stage settings. A fantastic garden with silver and gold trees, birds of paradise, and exotic animals appeared before their eyes.
The puppets and Carlo decided to open a new theater for puppet shows and they were an immediate success. All of the puppets who worked for Karabas-Barabas left him and began working at the Buratino's theatre. Their first performance was about the fascinating tale about the adventures of Buratino and his friends. Audiences loved the new theater and everybody lived happily ever after.