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Pippi Goes on Board

Astrid Lindgren




  Translated by Florence Lamborn Illustrated by Nancy Seligsohn


  New York Toronto London Auckland Sydney

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  without written permission of the publisher. For information

  regarding permission, write to Viking Penguin, a division of Penguin

  Putnam Inc., 375 Hudson Street, New York, NY 10014.

  ISBN 0-590-41177-2

  Copyright � 1957 by Astrid Lindgren. Special contents copyright �

  1960 by Scholastic Books, Inc.

  All rights reserved. Published by Scholastic Inc.,

  555 Broadway, New York, NY 10012, by arrangement with Viking

  Penguin, a division of Penguin Putnam Inc.

  SCHOLASTIC and associated logos are trademarks and/or registered

  trademarks of Scholastic Inc.

  48 47 46 45 44 2 3/0

  Printed in the U.S.A.


  1. Pippi at Home in Villa Villekulla .... 1

  2. Pippi Goes Shopping .... 5

  3. Pippi Writes a Letter and Goes to School-But Only a Little Bit .... 23

  4. Pippi Goes to the School Picnic .... 33

  5. Pippi Goes to the Fair .... 46

  6. Pippi Is Shipwrecked .... 63

  7. Pippi Gets Unexpected Company .... 85

  8. Pippi Has a Farewell Party .... 95

  9. Pippi Goes Aboard .... 106

  Pippi Goes On Board


  Pippi at Home in Villa Villekulla

  IF A stranger should come to a certain little Swedish town and

  should happen one day if) find himself at a certain spot on the edge

  of it, he would see Villa Villekulla. Not that the cottage is much to

  look at-it's rather a ramshackle old place with a tangled garden

  around it. But it would be natural for a stranger to pause and wonder

  who lived there, and why there was a horse on the porch. If it was

  evening, and beginning to get dark, and if he caught a glimpse of a

  little girl strolling around in the garden looking as if she had no

  idea of going to bed, he might think, "Now I wonder why that little

  girl's mother doesn't see that she goes to bed. All the other

  children are fast asleep by this time of night." If the little girl

  came to the gate-as she would almost certainly do, because she liked

  talking to people- then he would be able to take a good look at her.

  And he would very likely think, "She's one of the most freckled and

  red-haired children I've ever seen." Later on he would probably

  think, "Freckles and red hair are really very nice-that is, if the

  person who has them looks as happy as this child does."

  Any stranger would probably be interested to know the name of this

  little redhead sauntering around by herself in the twilight, and he

  would ask, "What's your name?"

  And she'd answer gaily, "My name's Pippilotta Deli- catessa

  Windowshade Mackrelmint Efraim's Daughter Longstocking, daughter of

  Captain Efraim Longstocking, formerly the Terror of the Sea, now a

  cannibal king. But everybody calls me Pippi."

  She really believed it when she said her father was a cannibal

  king, because he had once been blown overboard and had vanished from

  sight when he and Pippi were sailing on the sea. Pippi's father was

  rather stout, so she was sure he couldn't have drowned. It was

  perfectly reasonable to think that he had been washed up on an island

  and become king of the cannibals there. This is what Pippi was sure

  must have happened.

  If the stranger went on talking with Pippi, he would learn that

  Pippi lived all alone at Villa Villekulla-alone, that is, except for

  the horse on the porch and a monkey called Mr. Nilsson. If he was a

  kindhearted man, he would naturally wonder, "How does this poor

  youngster live?"

  But he needn't have worried. "I'm rich as a troll," Pippi used to

  say. And she was. She had a whole suitcase full of gold coins that

  her father had given her, and she got along beautifully with neither

  a father nor a mother. Because there was nobody there to tell her

  when to go to bed, Pippi told herself. Sometimes, to be sure, she

  didn't tell herself until around ten o'clock, because she had never

  been able to see why children should go to bed at seven. After seven

  was when you could have the most fun. So the stranger shouldn't have

  been surprised to see Pippi roaming around the garden even after the

  sun had gone down and the air was getting cold and Tommy and Annika

  had been tucked into bed long ago.

  Tommy and Annika were the children Pippi played with. They lived

  next door. They had both a father and a mother, and both father and

  mother thought it was a good thing for children to go to bed at


  If the stranger stayed after Pippi had said good night and gone

  away from the gate, and if he saw Pippi go up on the porch and pick

  up the horse in her strong arms and carry him out into the garden, he

  would certainly rub his eyes and wonder if he was dreaming.

  "What an extraordinary child this is!" he would say to himself.

  "Why, she can actually lift that horse! She's the most extraordinary

  child I've ever seen!"

  He'd be right, too. Pippi was the most extraordinary child-in that

  town, at any rate. There may be more ex traordinary children in other

  places, but in that little town there was no one to compare with

  Pippi Long-stocking. And nowhere in the world, in that town or any

  other, was there anyone half so strong as she was.


  Pippi Goes Shopping

  ONE lovely spring day when the sun was shining, the birds were

  singing, and water was running in all the ditches, Tommy and Annika

  came skipping over to Pippi's. Tommy had brought along a couple of

  lumps of sugar for Pippi's horse, and both he and Annika stopped on

  the porch to pat the horse before they went into the house. Pippi was

  asleep with her feet on the pillow and her head way under the covers.

  That was the way she always slept.

  Annika pinched her big toe and said, "Wake up!" Mr. Nilsson was

  already awake and had jumped up and seated himself on the overhead

  light. Something began to stir under the quilts, and suddenly a red

  head popped out. Pippi opened her bright eyes and smiled broadly.

  "Oh, it's you pinching my toes? I thought it was my father, the

  cannibal king, looking to see if I had any corns."

  She sat down on the edge of the bed and pulled on her

  stockings-one brown and one black.

  "No, sir, you'll never get corns as long as you wear these," she

  said, and thrust her feet into her large black shoes, which were

  exactly twice as long as her feet.

  "Pippi," said Tommy, "what shall we do today? An-nika and I don't

nbsp; have any school."

  "Well, now, that's worth thinking about," said Pippi. "We can't

  dance around the Christmas tree because we threw it out three months

  ago. Otherwise we could have dashed around on the ice all morning

  long. Gold-digging would be fun, but we can't do that either because

  we don't know where to dig. Furthermore, most of the gold is in

  Alaska, where there are so many gold-diggers already that there

  wouldn't be room for us. No, we'll have to think of something


  "Yes, something jolly," said Annika.

  Pippi braided her hair into two tight braids that stuck straight

  out. She considered.

  "How would it be if we went into town and did some shopping?" she

  said at last.

  "But we haven't any money," said Tommy.

  "I have," said Pippi, and to prove it opened her suitcase, which

  of course was chock full of gold pieces. She carefully scooped up a

  good handful and put them into her apron pocket, which was just

  exactly on the middle of her stomach.

  "If I only had my hat now, I'd be all ready to start," she said.

  The hat was nowhere to be seen. Pippi looked first in the woodbox,

  but, remarkable as it may seem, the hat was not there. Then she

  looked in the bread crock in the pantry, but there were only a

  garter, a broken alarm clock, and a little rusk. At last she looked

  even on the hat shelf, but there was nothing there except a frying

  pan, a screwdriver, and a piece of cheese.

  "There's no order here at all, and you can't find a single thing,"

  said Pippi disgustedly, "though to be sure I have missed this piece

  of cheese for a long time and it's lucky it turned up at last.

  "Hey, Hat," she shrieked, "are you going shopping oraren't you? If

  you don't come out this minute it will betoo late."

  No hat came out.

  "Well, then, it can blame itself if it's so stupid, but when I get

  home I don't want to hear any complaining," she said sternly.

  A few minutes later they were marching down the road to

  town-Tommy, Annika, and Pippi with Mr. Nilsson on her shoulder. The

  sun was shining so gloriously, the sky was so blue, and the children

  were so happy! And in the gutter along the roadside the water flowed

  merrily by. It was a very deep gutter with a great deal of water in


  "I love gutters," said Pippi and, without giving much thought to

  the matter, stepped into the water. It reached way over her knees,

  and if she skipped along briskly it splattered Tommy and Annika.

  "I'm making believe I'm a boat," she said, plowing through the

  water. Just as she spoke she stumbled and went down under.

  "Or, to be more exact, a submarine," she continued calmly when she

  got her nose in the air again.

  "Oh, Pippi, you're absolutely soaked," said Annika anxiously.

  "And what's wrong with that?" asked Pippi. "Is there a law that

  children should always be dry? I've heard it said that cold showers

  are very good for the health. It's only in this country that people

  have got the notion that children shouldn't walk in gutters. In

  America the gutters are so full of children that there is no room for

  the water. They stay there the year round. Of course in the winter

  they freeze in and their heads stick up through the ice. Their

  mothers have to carry fruit soup and meat balls to them because they

  can't come home for dinner. But they're sound as nuts, you can be

  sure of that."

  The little town looked pleasant and comfortable in the spring

  sunshine. The narrow cobblestone streets wound in and out every which

  way among the houses. Almost every house was surrounded by a little

  yard in which snowdrops and crocuses were peeping up. There were a

  good many shops in the town, and on this lovely spring day so many

  people were running in and out that the bells on the shop doors

  tinkled unceasingly. The ladies came with baskets on their arms to

  buy coffee and sugar and soap and butter. Some of the children were

  also out to buy candy or chewing gum. Most of them, however, had no

  money for shopping, and the poor dears had to stand outside the shops

  and just look in at all the good things in the windows.

  When the day was at its sunniest and brightest, three little

  figures appeared on Main Street. They were Tommy and Annika and

  Pippi-a very wet Pippi, who left a little trickle of water in her


  "Aren't we lucky, though?" said Annika. "Look at all the shops,

  and we have a whole apron pocketful of gold pieces!"

  Tommy was so happy when he thought of this that he gave a high


  "Well, let's get going," said Pippi. ^'First of all I want to buy

  myself a piano."

  "But, Pippi," said Tommy, "you can't play the piano, can you?"

  "How can I tell," said Pippi, "when I've never tried? I've never

  had any piano to try on. And this much I can tell you, Tommy-to play

  the piano without any piano, that takes a powerful lot of


  There didn't seem to be any piano store. Instead the children came

  to a perfume shop. In the show window was a large jar of freckle

  salve, and beside the jar was a sign which read: do you suffer from


  "What does the sign say?" asked Pippi. She couldn't read very well

  because she didn't want to go to school as other children did.

  "It says 'Do you suffer from freckles?'" said Annika.

  "Does it indeed?" said Pippi thoughtfully. "Well, a civil question

  deserves a civil answer. Let's go in."

  She opened the door and entered the shop, closely followed by

  Tommy and Annika. An elderly lady stood back of the counter. Pippi

  went right up to her. "Nol" she said decidedly.

  "What is it you want?" asked the lady.

  "No," said Pippi once more.

  "I don't understand what you mean," said the lady.

  "No, I don't suffer from freckles," said Pippi.

  Then the lady understood, but she took one look at Pippi and burst

  out, "But, my dear child, your whole face is covered with


  "I know it," said Pippi, 'But I don't suffer from them. I love

  them. Good morning."

  She turned to leave, but when she got to the door she looked back

  and cried, "But if you should happen to get in any salve that gives

  people more freckles, then you can send me seven or eight jars."

  Next to the perfume store was a shop that sold ladies'


  "So far we haven't done much shopping," said Pippi. "Now we must

  really get going."

  And they tramped into the store-first Pippi, then Tommy, and then

  Annika. The first thing they saw was a very beautiful dummy

  representing a fashionable lady dressed in a blue satin dress.

  Pippi went up to the dummy and grasped it cordially by the hand.

  "How do you do, how do you do!" shesaid. "You are the lady who owns

  this store, I presume. So nice to meet you!" she continued and shook

  the dummy's hand even more cordially.

  Then a dreadful accident happened-the dummy's arm came off and

  slid out of its satin sleeve, and there stood Pippi with a long

  arm in her hand. Tommy gasped with terror, and Annika was beginning

  to cry when a clerk came rushing up to Pippi and began to scold her

  most dreadfully.

  "Here, here, hold your horses," said Pippi after she had been

  listening a few minutes. "I thought this was a self-service store,

  and I was planning, to buy this arm."

  Then the clerk was angrier than ever and said that the dummy was

  not for sale, and in any, case one couldn't sell just a single arm.

  But Pippi would certainly have to pay for the whole dummy because she

  had spoiled it.

  "Well, that's very strange," said Pippi. "It's a good thing they

  aren't so foolish as all that in every store. Just imagine if next

  time I am going to have mashed turnip for dinner I go to the butcher

  to buy a shinbone to cook the turnip with, and he makes me take a

  whole pig!"

  While she was speaking she casually pulled out a few gold coins

  from her apron pocket and threw them down on the counter. The clerk

  was struck dumb with amazement.

  "Does the lady cost more than that?" asked Pippi. "No, certainly

  not, it doesn't cost nearly that much," said the clerk and bowed


  "Well, keep the change and buy something for your children," said

  Pippi and started toward the door. The clerk ran after her, bowing

  continually, and asked where he should send the dummy.

  "I just want this arm and I'll take it with me," said Pippi. "The

  rest you can portion out among the poor. Good day!"

  "But what are you going to use the arm for?" asked Tommy when they

  had come out on the street.

  "That?" said Pippi. "What am I going to use it for? Don't people

  have false teeth and false hair, maybe? And even false noses

  sometimes? Why can't I have a little false arm? For that matter, let

  me tell you that it's very handy to have three arms. I remember that

  once when Papa and I were sailing around the world we came to a city

  where all the people had three arms. Wasn't that smart? Imagine, when

  they were sitting at the table and had a fork in one hand and a knife

  in the other and suddenly needed to scratch their ears-well, then it

  wasn't so foolish to pull out a third arm. They saved a lot of time

  that way, let me tell you."

  Pippi looked thoughtful. "Oh, dear, now I'm lying again," she

  said. "It's funny, but every now and then so many lies come bubbling

  up inside me that I just can't help it. To tell the truth, they

  didn't have three arms at all in that city. They had only two."

  She was silent a minute, thinking.

  "For that matter, a whole lot of them had only one arm. Well, if

  the truth were known, there were even some who didn't have any, and

  when they were going to eat they had to lie right down on their

  plates and lap. Scratch themselves on the ear-that they couldn't do

  at all; they had to ask their mothers to! That's the way it really


  Pippi shook her head sadly. "The fact is, I've never seen a place

  where they had so few arms as they did in that city. But that's just

  like me-always trying to make myself important and wonderful and

  pretend that people have more arms than they have."

  Pippi walked on with her false arm slung jauntily over one

  shoulder. She stopped in front of a candy shop. A whole row of

  children was standing there, gazing in at the wonderful things in the

  window. There were large jars full of red and blue and green candies,

  long rows of cakes of chocolate, mounds of chewing gum, and the most

  tempting lollipops. Yes, it was no wonder that the little children

  who stood there looking in the window B now and then gave a deep

  sigh, for they had no money, not even the tiniest penny.

  "Pippi, are we going into that store?" asked Tommy eagerly,