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Chapter V:

Topo Gigio wants to grow up.

As it is usual when humans fall asleep, we puppets start talking, sometimes even aloud, we play and kibitz and do all that we can’t really do during daytime, without being noticed. One night we found ourselves in the sleeping car of a train, as we traveled from New York to Los Angeles, the airports were shut as the fog has set in thickly, not to mention the tedious weather including snow. No one had a clue of our departure, but it was imperative to be in Los Angeles the next day, so we opted for a train.

Anytime we would be on a long trip, Maria would open the suitcase where I would usually traveled, so that I would be close to her, she thought I would wrinkle and crease, as she would tell me, but in reality she did not want to leave me in the dark, locked up in a suitcase. I still had on the nightgown of the previous night when during the show, before 50 million spectators, I would be put to bed by Ed Sullivan and I with my cute self I ask: “Ed... Edy... Kiss me goodnight...” a phrase that became a popular slogan in the America of the time and would get me my goodnight kiss from Ed, who melted away with love.

It was that kiss that brought on my sleep, and I would have happily fallen asleep if it wasn’t for that cursed image - the nightgown. Because I was a boy (OK, a bit strange as I was a mix between a little mouse, a marionette and a boy, but always a boy) and differently from all the other boys in the world, instead of wearing a pajama, I had to wear that ridiculous nightgown, that was rendered even more ridiculous by the night cap with pompom. It was an insufferable discrimination!!!

So that night in the train’s sleeping car, I took the decision to get me a pajama. I got the scissors, went out of Maria’s cabin and entered John’s (the producer’s) cabin, which by chance was sleeping just with his pajama pants on. I found the top to the pajamas at the foot of his bed, cut out some pieces that I would use to make mine by leaving it as intact as possible, hoping that they didn’t find out right away, went back to my cabin and tried to piece it together, a bit with glue and other parts by sowing, so that I also could wearing a pajama in the morning.

Perhaps it was not of great couture, but I thought that my silk pajama with light blue and dark blue stripes it was the very best I could dream of. I fell asleep happily; I was deep in my slumber dreaming of little angels with striped pajamas playing nicely with clouds when I was suddenly woken up by John’s screams. He entered like a bolt, furiously blaming Maria with his pajama top in his hands, waving it under her nose.

We all knew that Maria was not a happy person in the morning, so he must have been really mad to enter the cabin and blame her, as she was first stunned not understanding what he wanted, then busted out laughing for the first time in her life even if it was morning. John, not having gotten any satisfaction, even more feeling derided and misunderstood, left slamming the door. Maria took me by the hand and scolded me. Then in a soft voice she said: “You must think you are real?”. But then when we were in Los Angeles at the hotel in addition to the usual flowers and fruit, we found a nice pajama in my size with a note from John, assuring that Topo Gigio could also have worn the pajama even during the show, as he realized that modern children would identify themselves in a little mouse dressed like them.

The note continued… certainly he would have understood even if Maria would have not destroyed his pajama. Maria busted again in laughter, but left it alone.

Chapter VI - Topo Gigio grows up >>