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Home: The Toast

“That morning Pippi was busy making pepparkakor–a kind of Swedish cookie. She had made an enormous amount of dough and rolled it out on the kitchen floor.

“Because,” said Pippi to her little monkey, “what earthly use is a baking board when one plans to make at least five hundred cookies?”

And there she lay on the floor, cutting out cookie hearts for dear life.”


“One way is to put cookies in it. Then it becomes a delightful Jar with Cookies. Another way is not to put cookies in it. Then it becomes a Jar without Cookies. That certainly isn’t quite so delightful, but still that’s good too.”


“At that time Pippi was usually grooming her horse or dressing Mr. Nilsson in his little suit. Or else she was taking her morning exercises, which meant turning forty-three somersaults in a row. Then she would sit down on the kitchen table and, utterly happy, drink a large cup of coffee and eat a piece of bread and cheese.”


“In a little while Pippi had the coffee ready. She had made buns the day before. She came and stood under the oak and began to toss up coffee cups. Tommy and Annika caught them. Only sometimes it was the oak that caught them, and so two cups were broken. Pippi ran in to get new ones. Next it was the buns’ turn, and for a while the air was full of flying buns. At least they didn’t break. At last Pippi climbed up with the coffeepot in one hand. She had cream in a little bottle in her pocket, and sugar in a little box.”


“First!” cried Pippi and was up by the table in two skips. She heaped as many cakes as she could onto a plate, threw five lumps of sugar into a coffee cup, emptied half the cream pitcher into her cup, and was back in her chair with her loot even before the ladies had reached the table.

Pippi stretched her legs out in front of her and placed the plate of cakes between her toes. Then she merrily clunked cakes in her coffee cup and stuffed so many in her mouth at once that she couldn’t have uttered a word no matter how hard she tried. In the twinkling of an eye she had finished all the cakes on the plate. She got up, struck the plate as if were a tambourine, and went up to the table to see if there were any cakes left. The ladies looked disapprovingly at her, but that didn’t bother her. Chatting gaily, she walked around the table, snatching a cake here and a cake there.”


“On the table stood a large cream pie, decorated in the center with a piece of red candy. Pippi stood with her hands behind her back and looked at it. Suddenly she bent down and snatched the candy with her teeth. But she dived down a little too hastily, and when she came up again her whole face was covered with whipped cream.”


“It was a warm and beautiful day toward the end of August. A pear tree that grew close to the fence stretched its branches so low down that the children could sit and pick the best little red-gold pears without any trouble at all. They munched and ate and spit pear cores out onto the road.”


“Meanwhile they had come out into the kitchen, and Pippi cried,

Now we’re going to make a pancake, Now there’s going to be a pancake. Now we’re going to fry a pancake.

Then she took three eggs and threw them up in the air. One fell down on her head and broke so that the yolk ran into her eyes, but the others she caught skillfully in a bowl, where they smashed to pieces.

When the pancake was brown on one side she tossed it halfway up to the ceiling, so that it turned right around in the air, and then she caught it on the griddle again. And when it was ready she threw it straight across the kitchen right onto a plate that stood on the table.

“Eat!” she cried. “Eat before it gets cold!” And Tommy and Annika ate and thought it a very good pancake.”


“That was exactly what they were, though they hardly dared to say so. Pippi went to the pantry and took out bread and cheese and butter, ham and cold roast and milk; and they sat around the kitchen table–Bloom and Thunder-Karlsson and Pippi–and ate until they were almost four-cornered.”


“When Mr. Nilsson had emptied his cup he turned it upside down and put it on his head. When Pippi saw that, she did the same, but as she had not drunk quite all her chocolate a little stream ran down her forehead and over her nose. She caught it with her tongue and lapped it all up.”


“But what do they do in school?” asked one little boy.

“Eat caramels,” said Pippi decidedly. “There is a long pipe that goes from a caramel factory nearby directly into the schoolroom, and caramels keep shooting out of it all day long so the children have all they can do to eat them up.”


“They looked, and they squealed with delight when they saw all the good things Pippi had spread on the bare rock. There were good sandwiches with meatballs and ham, a whole pile of sugared pancakes, several little brown sausages, and three pineapple puddings.”

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