Pippi gave each one a little poke with her finger, and they shrank away into a corner. Before they had a chance to get up again, Pippi had fetched a rope and quick as a flash had bound the arms and legs of both burglars. Now they sang a different tune.
"Please, please, miss," begged Thunder-Karlsson, "forgive us. We were only joking. Don't hurt us. We are just two tramps who came in to ask for food."
Bloom even began to cry a bit.
Pippi put the suitcase neatly back on the wardrobe. Then she turned to her prisoners. "Can either of you dance the schottische?"
"Why, yes," said Thunder-Karlsson, "I guess we both can."
"Oh, what fun!" cried Pippi, clapping her hands. "Can't we dance a little? I've just learned, you know."
"Well, certainly, by all means," said Thunder-Karlsson, a bit confused.
Pippi took some large scissors and cut the ropes that bound her guests.
"But we don't have any music," she said in a worried voice. Then she had an idea. "Can't you blow on a comb?" she said to Bloom. "And I'll dance with him " She pointed to Thunder-Karlsson.
Oh, yes, Bloom could blow on a comb, all right. And blow he did, so that you could hear it all through the house. Mr. Nilsson sat up in bed, wide awake, just in time to see Pippi whirling around with Thunder-Karlsson. She was dead serious and danced as if her life depended on it.
At last Bloom said he couldn't blow on the comb any longer because it tickled his mout. unmercifully. And Thunder-Karlsson, who had tramped the roads all day, began to feel tired.
"Oh, please, just a little longer," begged Pippi, dancing on, and Bloom and Thunder-Karlsson could do nothing but continue.
At three in the morning Pippi said, "I could keep on dancing until Thursday, but maybe you're tired and hungry."
That was exactly what they were, though they hardly dared to say so. Pippi went to the pantry and took out bread and cheese and butter, ham and cold roast and milk; and they sat around the kitchen table—Bloom and Thunder-Karlsson, and Pippi—and ate until they were almost four-cornered.
The Renowned Hero, Bova Korolevich and the Princess Drushnevna
Category: Russia folktales
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