Pippi Goes to School
Adapted for reader's theater from Pippi Longstocking, Viking, 1950
Parts (6) Narrator 1 Narrator 2 Pippi Tommy Annika Teacher (students)
NOTE: Villekulla is pronounced "VIL-luh-KOO-luh." Annika is pronounced "AH-nik-kuh."
NARRATOR 1: In a little town in Sweden, there was a tumbledown house called Villa Villekulla. And
in this house lived a girl with carrot-colored pigtails and shoes twice as long as
NARRATOR 2: This was no ordinary girl. She was the strongest girl in the world, and her name was
NARRATOR 1: Pippi lived there all by herself‹except for a monkey named Mr. Nilsson and a horse on
the porch. There was no one to tell her what to do, so Pippi did just what she liked.
NARRATOR 2: One of the things Pippi liked best was to play with her friends Tommy and Annika. And
more than anything in the world, Tommy and Annika liked to play with Pippi. Of course,
Tommy and Annika had to go to school.
ANNIKA: (to Tommy) If only Pippi would go too, how much fun we could have!
NARRATOR 1: They decided to try to persuade her. One afternoon in Pippi's kitchen, Tommy said,
TOMMY: You can't imagine what a nice teacher we have.
ANNIKA: If you only knew what fun it is in school! I'd die if I couldn't go to school.
NARRATOR 2: Pippi sat soaking her feet in a tub. She said nothing, but just wiggled her toes so
the water splashed around everywhere.
TOMMY: You don't have to stay so long. Just until two o¹clock.
ANNIKA: Yes, and besides, we get Christmas vacation and Easter vacation and summer vacation.
NARRATOR 1: Suddenly, Pippi poured all the water out on the kitchen floor.
PIPPI: It is absolutely unfair! I won't stand for it!
TOMMY: What¹s the matter?
PIPPI: In four months, it will be Christmas, and then you'll have Christmas vacation! But
what'll I get? No Christmas vacation-not even the tiniest bit of one. Something will
have to be done about that. Tomorrow morning, I'll begin school!
TOMMY: We'll wait for you outside our gate at eight o'clock.
PIPPI: Oh, no, I can't begin as early as that! And besides, I'm going to ride to school.
NARRATOR 2: And ride she did!
NARRATOR 1: The next day, at exactly ten o'clock, Pippi lifted her horse off the porch. Then she
galloped wildly through the town.
NARRATOR 2: When she reached the schoolyard, she jumped off the horse, tied him to a tree, and
burst into the schoolroom.
PIPPI: Hi there! Did I get here in time for pluttification?
NARRATOR 1: Tommy and Annika had told their teacher that Pippi was coming. She had decided to do
all she could to make Pippi happy in school.
TEACHER: Welcome to school, Pippi. I hope you will enjoy yourself here and learn a great deal.
PIPPI: Yes, and I hope I'll get some Christmas vacation. That is the reason I¹ve come. It's only
fair, you know.
TEACHER: If you would first tell me your whole name, I'll register you in school.
PIPPI: My name is Pippilotta Delicatessa Windowshade Mackrelmint Efraim's Daughter
Longstocking, daughter of Captain Efraim Longstocking, formerly the Terror of the Sea,
now a cannibal king. Pippi is really only a nickname, because Papa thought Pippilotta
was too long to say.
TEACHER: Well, then, we shall call you Pippi, too. But now suppose we test you a little and see
what you know. Pippi, can you tell me what seven and five are?
PIPPI: (shocked) Well, if you don't know that yourself, I'm certainly not going to tell you!
OTHER CHILDREN: (gasp)
NARRATOR 2: All the children stared at Pippi in horror.
TEACHER: (gently) Pippi, we don't answer that way in school.
PIPPI: (sincerely) I beg your pardon. I didn't know that. I won't do it again.
TEACHER: No, let us hope not. And now I will tell you that seven and five are twelve.
PIPPI: See that! You knew it yourself! So why are you asking?
NARRATOR 1: The teacher decided to act as if nothing had happened.
TEACHER: Well, now, Pippi, how much do you think eight and four are?
PIPPI: Oh, about sixty-seven.
TEACHER: Of course not! Eight and four are twelve!
PIPPI: Well now, really, that is carrying things too far! You just said that seven and five
are twelve. There should be some rhyme and reason to things, even in school!
NARRATOR 2: The teacher decided there was no point trying to teach Pippi any more arithmetic.
TEACHER: Tommy, if Lisa has seven apples and Axel has nine apples, how many apples do they have
PIPPI: Yes, you tell her, Tommy, and tell me too, if Lisa gets a stomach-ache and Axel gets
more of a stomach-ache, whose fault is it, and where did they get those apples in the
NARRATOR 1: The teacher decided to give up on arithmetic altogether.
TEACHER: (getting frustrated) Pippi, maybe you would prefer to learn reading. Here is a picture
of a wild goat called an ibex. And the letter you see in front of the ibex is called
PIPPI: That I'll never believe. I think it looks exactly like a straight line with a little
fly speck over it. But what I'd really like to know is, what does the ibex have to do
with the fly speck?
NARRATOR 2: The teacher took out another card.
TEACHER: (trying to stay calm) And here is a picture of a snake, with the letter "s".
PIPPI: Speaking of snakes, I'll never ever forget the time I had a fight with a huge snake in
India. (acting out her story) You can't imagine what a dreadful snake it was‹fourteen
yards long and mad as a hornet‹and every day he ate up five Indians and then two
little children for dessert, and one time he came and wanted me for dessert, and he
wound himself around me-uhhh!-but I've been around a bit, I said, and hit him in the
head, bang!, and then he hissed uiuiuiuiuiuiuiuiuitch, and then I hit him again, and
bingo! he was dead, and indeed, so that is the letter "s"-most remarkable!
NARRATOR 1: The teacher's patience had come to an end.
TEACHER: Children, go outside so I can talk to Pippi alone.
OTHER CHILDREN: (go out)
NARRATOR 2: When Pippi and the teacher were by themselves, Pippi came over to her.
PIPPI: You know what? It was lots of fun to come to school to find out what it's like. But
I don't think I want to come anymore-Christmas vacation or no Christmas vacation.
There are altogether too many apples and ibexes and snakes and things like that. It
makes me dizzy in the head. I hope you won't be upset, Teacher.
TEACHER: I certainly am upset, Pippi, but I'm upset that you won't behave properly! Any child
who acts as badly as you do wouldn't be allowed to come to school no matter how much
she wanted to!
PIPPI: (astonished, almost starting to cry) Have I behaved badly? Goodness, I didn't know
that. You understand, Teacher, don't you, that when you have a mother who's an angel
in Heaven and a father who's a cannibal king, you don't know just how to behave in
school, with all the apples and ibexes.
TEACHER: (calming down) I understand, Pippi. I'm not annoyed anymore. Maybe you can come back
to school when you're a little older.
PIPPI: (happily) I think you are awfully nice, Teacher. And here is something for you.
NARRATOR 1: Pippi took from her pocket a lovely gold watch.
TEACHER: Pippi, I can¹t possibly accept such a valuable gift!
PIPPI: But you have to take it! Otherwise, I'll come back tomorrow, and you wouldn't like
that, would you?
NARRATOR 2: Then Pippi rushed out to the schoolyard and jumped on her horse. All the children
PIPPI: (waving and riding off) So long, kids. I won't be back for awhile. But always
remember how many apples Axel had-or you'll be sorry!