But Annika didn't fall. She reached Tommy safely, and a moment later Pippi followed.
"Isn't it grand here?" said Tommy.
And Annika had to admit that it was. It wasn't nearly so dark as she had thought, because light came in through the crack. She peeked through and announced that she too could see the coffee pot outside on the grass.
"We'll have this for our secret hiding place," said Tommy. "Nobody will know that we are here. And if they should come and hunt around outside for us, we can see them through the crack. And we'll have a good laugh."
"We can have a little stick and poke it out through the crack and tickle them, and then they'll think the place is haunted," said Pippi.
At this idea the children were so delighted that they hugged each other, all three. Then they heard the "ding-dong" that meant the bell was ringing for dinner at Tommy's and Annika's house.
"Oh, bother!" said Tommy. "Now we've got to go home. But we'll come over tomorrow as soon as we get back from school."
"Do that," said Pippi.
And so they climbed up the ladder, first Pippi, then Annika, and Tommy last. And then they climbed down out of the tree, first Pippi, then Annika, and Tommy last.
6 Pippi Arranges a Picnic
"We don't have any school today because we're having Scrubbing Vacation," said Tommy to Pippi.
"Scrubbing Vacation? Well, I like that!" said Pippi. "Another injustice! Do I get any Scrubbing Vacation? Indeed I don't, though goodness knows I need one. Just look at the kitchen floor. But for that matter," she added, "now I come to think of it, I can scrub without any vacation. And that's what I intend to do right now, Scrubbing Vacation or no Scrubbing Vacation. I'd like to see anybody stop me! You two sit on the kitchen table, out of the way."
Tommy and Annika obediently climbed up on the kitchen table, and Mr. Nilsson hopped up after them and went to sleep in Annika's lap.
Pippi heated a big kettle of water and without more ado poured it out on the kitchen floor. She took off her big shoes and laid them neatly on the bread plate.