". . . sixty-five, sixty-six, sixty-seven, sixty-eight, sixty-nine, sixty-ten, sixty-eleven, sixty-twelve, sixty-thirteen, sixty-sixteen—whew, it makes my throat feel like sixty! Goodness, there must be some more numbers in the arithmetic— oh, yes, now I remember—one hundred four, one thousand. That certainly is a lot of money," said Pippi.
There was a loud knock on the door.
"Walk in or stay out, whichever you choose!" shouted Pippi. "I never force anyone against his will."
The door opened and the two tramps came in. You can imagine that they opened their eyes when they saw a little red-headed girl sitting all alone on the floor, counting money.
"Are you all alone at home?" they asked craftily.
"Of course not," said Pippi. "Mr. Nilsson is at home too."
The thieves couldn't very well know that Mr. Nilsson was a monkey sleeping in a little green bed with a doll's quilt around his stomach. They thought the man of the house must be named Mr. Nilsson and they winked at each other. "We can come back a little later" is what they meant, but to Pippi they said, "We just came in to ask what your clock is."
They were so excited that they had forgotten all about the sandwich.
"Great, strong men who don't know what a clock is!" said Pippi. "Where in the world were you brought up? The clock is a little round thingamajig that says 'tick tack, tick tack,' and that goes and goes but never gets to the door. Do you know any more riddles? Out with them if you do," said Pippi encouragingly.
The tramps thought Pippi was too little to tell time, so without another word they went out again.
"I don't demand that you say 'tack' " [thanks in Swedish], shouted Pippi after them, "but you could at least make an effort and say 'tick.' You haven't even as much sense as a clock has. But by all means go in peace." And Pippi went back to her counting.
No sooner were the tramps outside than they began to rub their hands with delight. "Did you see all that money? Heavenly day!" said one of them.
"Yes, once in a while luck is with us," said the other.
The Adventures of Haroun-al-Raschid, Caliph of Bagdad
Category: Arabic folktales
Read times: 15