"Hi, all you ghosts!" shrieked Pippi.
But if there was any ghost there he certainly didn't answer.
"Well, I might have known," said Pippi, "they've gone to a council meeting of the Ghost and Goblin Society."
Annika sighed with relief and hoped that the meeting would last a long time. But just then an awful sound came from one of the corners of the attic.
"Whoo-ooo-ooo!" it said, and a moment later Tommy saw something come rushing toward him in the dimness. He felt it brush his forehead and saw something disappear through a little window that stood open.
He shrieked to high heaven, "A ghost! A ghost!"
And Annika shrieked with him.
"That poor thing will be late for the meeting," said Pippi. "If it was a ghost. And not an owl. For that matter, there aren't any ghosts," she continued after a while. "If anybody insists that there are ghosts, I'll tweak him in the nose."
"Yes, but you said so yourself," said Annika.
"Is that so? Did I?" said Pippi. "Well, then I'll certainly tweak my own nose."
And she took a firm grip on her nose and tweaked it.
After that Tommy and Annika felt a little calmer. In fact they were now so courageous that they ventured to go up to the window and look out over the garden. Big dark clouds sailed through the sky and did their best to hide the moon. And the wind sighed in the trees.
Tommy and Annika turned around. But then—oh, horrors—they saw a white figure coming toward them.
"A ghost!" shrieked Tommy wildly.
Annika was so scared she couldn't even shriek. The ghost came nearer and nearer. Tommy and Annika hugged each other and shut their eyes.
But then they heard the ghost say, "Look what I found! Papa's nightshirt in an old sea chest over here. If I hem it up around the bottom I can wear it."
Pippi came up to them with the nightshirt dangling around her legs.
"Oh, Pippi, I could have died of fright," said Annika.
"But nightshirts aren't dangerous," Pippi assured her. "They don't bite anybody except in self-defense."
Pippi now decided to examine the sea chest thoroughly.
The Election of the King Bird (the black-and-white Fishing Eagle)
Category: Nigerian folktales
Read times: 28