"What a lovely, lovely wood!" cried Annika in delight as she climbed up on all the stones she could see. Tommy had brought along a dagger Pippi had given him, and with it he cut walking sticks for Annika and for himself. He cut his thumb a little too, but that didn't matter.
"Maybe we ought to pick some mushrooms," said Pippi, and she broke off a pretty, rosy one. "I wonder if it's possible to eat it?" she continued. "At any rate, it isn't possible to drink it—that much I know; so there is no choice except to eat it. Maybe it's possible."
She took a big bite and swallowed it. "It was possible," she announced, delighted. "Yes sirree, we'll certainly stew the rest of this sometime," she said and threw it high over the treetops.
"What have you got in your basket?" asked Annika. "Is it something good?"
"I wouldn't tell you for a thousand dollars," said Pippi. "First we must find a good picnic spot."
The children eagerly began to look for such a place. Annika found a large flat stone that she thought was satisfactory, but it was covered with red ants. "I don't want to sit with them," said Pippi, "because I'm not acquainted with them."
"And besides, they bite," said Tommy.
"Do they?" said Pippi. "Bite back then."
Then Tommy found a little clearing among the hazel bushes, and he thought that would be a good place.
"Oh, no, that's not sunny enough for my freckles," said Pippi, "and I do think freckles are so attractive."
Farther on they came to a hill that was easy to climb. On one side of the hill was a nice sunny rock just like a little balcony, and there they sat down.
"Now shut your eyes while I set the table," said Pippi. Tommy and Annika squeezed their eyes as tightly shut as possible. They heard Pippi opening the basket and rattling paper.
"One, two, nineteen—now you may look," said Pippi at last.
They looked, and they squealed with delight when they saw all the good things Pippi had spread on the bare rock. There were good sandwiches with meatballs and ham, a whole pile of sugared pancakes, several little brown sausages, and three pineapple puddings.
How Greed for a Trifling Thing Led a Man to Lose a Great One
Category: Chinese folktales
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