" asked their mother.
"We're going to see the new girl next door," said Tommy.
"We may stay all day," said Annika.
That morning Pippi was busy making pepparkakor—a kind of Swedish cookie. She had made an enormous amount of dough and rolled it out on the kitchen floor.
"Because," said Pippi to her little monkey, "what earthly use is a baking board when one plans to make at least five hundred cookies?"
And there she lay on the floor, cutting out cookie hearts for dear life.
"Stop climbing around in the dough, Mr. Nils-son," she said crossly just as the doorbell rang.
Pippi ran and opened the door. She was white as a miller from top to toe, and when she shook hands heartily with Tommy and Annika a whole cloud of flour blew over them.
"So nice you called," she said and shook her apron—so there came another cloud of flour. Tommy and Annika got so much in their throats that they could not help coughing.
"What are you doing?" asked Tommy.
"Well, if I say that I'm sweeping the chimney, you won't believe me, you're so clever," said Pippi. "Fact is, I'm baking. But I'll soon be done. You can sit on the woodbox for a while."
Pippi could work fast, she could. Tommy and Annika sat and watched how she went through the dough, how she threw the cookies onto the cookie pans, and swung the pans into the oven. They thought it was as good as a circus.
"Done I" said Pippi at last and shut the oven door on the last pans with a bang.
"What are we going to do now?" asked Tommy.
"I don't know what you are going to do," said Pippi, "but I know I can't lie around and be lazy. I am a Thing-Finder, and when you're a Thing-Finder you don't have a minute to spare."
"What did you say you are?" asked Annika.
"What's that?" asked Tommy.
"Somebody who hunts for things, naturally. What else could it be?" said Pippi as she swept all the flour left on the floor into a little pile.
"The whole world is full of things, and somebody has to look for them. And that's just what a Thing-Finder does," she finished.