The story of Trumpinocchio
Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin was a solitary child with no interest in things that amused other children. His sole plaything was a fat red crayon with which he drew world maps.
His crayoned maps showed a world in which Russia was given greater space and prominence. One showed Greenland as part of the United States. A later one showed the U.S., including Greenland, a part of Russia.
Vladimir Spiridonovich Putin and Maria Ivanova Putina worried that their son Vladi was too introspective, too sullen. They consulted a child psychiatrist who recommended a hobby for the boy, so they bought him a wood carving set.
Vladi was delighted. His first project was a puppet. He carved the legs, arms, body from tamarack and the head from soft pine. He glued on yellow straw for hair.
Then he strung all the pieces together with strings attached to an X crossbar.
He practised manipulating the crossbar so the puppet danced and jumped and did whatever Vladi wanted it to do.
He wanted to name his puppet Goldilocks but it did not translate well into Russian. So he called it Trumpinocchio, which translates as pine seed brain.
Vladi worked the strings so expertly that the puppet looked like a real person – arms and legs moving, eyes blinking.
Then one day the puppet’s lips moved. They just twitched at first, then fluttered, then flapped at hurricane force speed.
“I want to be a real person,” Trumpinocchio began jabbering. “A real guy who does really big things and makes things really great again. Are there any cheeseburgers here?”
Vladi was excited. But as the weeks passed the blabbering puppet became annoying, pestering relentlessly about becoming a real person.
So Vladi took him to see Baba Yaga, a mystical woman who lived in a dark forest nearby, and was known for her magic.
Baba Yaga granted magical favours to important and powerful people, and could see into the future that Vladi would become a spymaster, spin doctor and powerful politician. She agreed to turn Trumpinocchio into a real person.
“But I can’t guarantee how he will turn out,” she warned. “It’s hard to predict when the head is made of pine. He needs to go to school.”
So the Putins enrolled Trumpinocchio in school, bought him a laptop computer and signed him up for a Twitter account. He blabbered and Twittered incessantly, bragging about his accomplishments and spreading fake news about teachers and students at his school.
At home he preened at the bathroom mirror for long periods, causing other household members to have bladder accidents. There was constant arguing over the television because he hogged it to watch American shows.
Trumpinocchio refused to learn to spell or to add numbers. The school nurse observed that his nose grew whenever he lied, which was often. The school principal reported complaints from female students.
“He’s ruining our lives,” Mr. Putin Sr. told his family. “He’s taken over the bathroom! He’s taken over the TV! Yesterday he walked into the door and punched a hole in it with his nose. He’s got to go!”
“Send him to America,” said Mrs. Putin. “He’s always talking about Big Macs and Cokes.”
So Vladi called his friend Mitchikov and asked him to help settle Trumpinocchio in America where Vladi expected that he might become useful.
Vladi financed his puppet in various business ventures, including real estate, but they all failed because Trumpinocchio could not add. There was Trumpinocchio Airlines, Trumpinocchio Hotels, Trumpinocchio University. Even Trumpinocchio Vodka with its 24-karat gold labelling went bankrupt.
As predicted, Vladi became a powerful Russian spymaster, who was increasingly frustrated that Trumpinocchio could not get focused and become useful.
So he returned to the dark forest to consult Baba Yaga. Her advice was cryptic.
“Look beyond what you can see, Vladimir,” she said. “Reality is what you tell people it is. There are always alternate facts and alternate realities. Go back to Moscow and think about what I have told you.”
Vladi spent days in his Kremlin office pondering Baba Yaga’s enigmatic advice. Then it hit him like a lightning bolt. He grabbed his telephone and called America.
Some months later Trumpinocchio became a reality TV star.
And, as they say, the rest is history.