They have reading on Friday, and then only if they have some books, which they never have."
"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."
"Yes, but what does the teacher do?" asked one little girl.
"Takes the paper off the caramels for the children, of course," said Pippi. "You didn't suppose they did it themselves, did you? Hardly. They don't even go to school themselves—they send their brothers." Pippi waved her big hat.
"So long, kids," she cried gaily. "Now you won't see me for a while. But always remember how many apples Axel had or you'll be sorry."
With a ringing laugh Pippi rode out through the gate so wildly that the pebbles whirled around the horse's hoofs and the windowpanes rattled in the schoolhouse.
5 Pippi Sits on the Gate and Climbs a Tree
Outside Villa Villekulla sat Pippi, Tommy, and Annika. Pippi sat on one gatepost, Annika on the other, and Tommy sat on the gate. 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.
Villa Villekulla stood just at the edge of the little town, where the street turned into a country road. The people in the little town loved to go walking out Villa Villekulla way, for the country out there was so beautiful.
As the children were sitting there eating pears, a girl came walking along the road from town. When she saw the children she stopped and asked, "Have you seen my papa go by?"
"M-m-m," said Pippi. "How did he look? Did he have blue eyes?" "Yes," said the girl.
"Medium large, not too tall and not too short?"
"Yes," said the girl.
"Black hat and black shoes?