"If you would first tell me your whole name," said the teacher, "then I'll register you in school."
"My name is Pippilotta Delicatessa Window-shade 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 that Pippilotta was too long to say."
"Indeed?" said the teacher. "Well, then we shall call you Pippi too. But now," she continued, "suppose we test you a little and see what you know. You are a big girl and no doubt know a great deal already. Let us begin with arithmetic. Pippi, can you tell me what seven and five are?"
Pippi, astonished and dismayed, looked at her and said, "Well, if you don't know that yourself, you needn't think I'm going to tell you."
All the children stared in horror at Pippi, and the teacher explained that one couldn't answer that way in school.
"I beg your pardon," said Pippi contritely. "I didn't know that. I won't do it again."
"No, let us hope not," said the teacher. "And now I will tell you that seven and five are twelve."
"See that!" said Pippi. "You knew it yourself. Why are you asking then?"
The teacher decided to act as if nothing unusual were happening and went on with her examination.
"Well now, Pippi, how much do you think eight and four are?"
"Oh, about sixty-seven," hazarded Pippi.
"Of course not," said the teacher. "Eight and four are twelve."
"Well now, really, my dear little woman," said Pippi, "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. Furthermore, if you are so childishly interested in that foolishness, why don't you sit down in a corner by yourself and do arithmetic and leave us alone so we can play tag?"
The teacher decided there was no point in trying to teach Pippi any more arithmetic. She began to ask the other children the arithmetic questions.
"Can Tommy answer this one?" she asked.