Pippi Goes to School

by Ast

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 
             her feet.

NARRATOR 2: This was no ordinary girl. She was the strongest girl in the world, and her name was 
            Pippi Longstocking.

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!

ANNIKA:     Hurray!

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!


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 
            first place?

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.


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 
            waved goodby.

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!