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Pippi Longstocking

They continued to talk.

"If my Rosa were only clean," said Mrs. Berggren, "then maybe I could keep her. But she's a regular pig—"

"Say, you ought to have seen Malin," Pippi interrupted. "Malin was so outrageously dirty that it was a joy to see her, Grandmother said. For the longest time Grandmother thought she had a very dark complexion but, honest and true, it was nothing but dirt that would wash off. And once at a bazaar at the City Hotel she got first prize for the dirt under her nails. Mercy me, how dirty that girl was!" said Pippi happily. Mrs. Settergren looked at her sternly.

"Can you imagine!" said Mrs. Granberg. "The other evening when Britta was going out she borrowed my blue satin dress without even asking for it. Isn't that dreadful?"

"Yes, indeed," said Pippi, "she certainly seems to be cut from the same piece of cloth as Malin, from what you say. Grandmother had a pink undershirt that she was specially fond of. But the worst of it was that Malin liked it too. And every morning Grandmother and Malin argued about who was to wear the undershirt. At last they decided it would be fair to take turns and each wear it every other day. But imagine how tricky Malin could be! Sometimes she'd come running in when it wasn't her turn at all and say, 'No mashed turnip today if I can't wear the pink woolen undershirt!' Well, what was Grandmother to do? Mashed turnip was her very favorite dish. There was nothing for it but to give Malin the shirt. As soon as Malin got the shirt she went out into the kitchen as nice as could be and began to mash turnip so that it spattered all over the walls."

There was silence for a little while, and then Mrs. Alexandersson said, "I'm not absolutely certain but I strongly suspect that my Hulda steals. In fact I've noticed that things disappear.".

"Malin," began Pippi, but Mrs. Settergren interrupted her. "Children," she said decidedly, "go up to the nursery immediately!"

"Yes, but I was only going to tell that Malin stole too," said Pippi.

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