We couldn't possibly," said Tommy. "Anyway, whatever would we do with him?"
"What would we do with him? Oh, there are plenty of things we could do with him. We could keep him in a little rabbit hutch instead of a rabbit and feed him on dandelions. But if you don't want to, I don't care. Though it does bother me to think that some other Thing-Finder may come along and grab him."
They went on. Suddenly Pippi gave a terrific yell. "Well, I never saw the like," she cried, as she picked up a large, rusty old tin can from the grass. "What a find! What a find! Cans—that's something you can never have too many of."
Tommy looked at the can doubtfully. "What can you use it for?"
"Oh, you can use it in all sorts of ways," said Pippi. "One way is to put cookies in it. Then it becomes a delightful Jar with Cookies. Another way is not to put cookies in it. Then it becomes a Jar without Cookies. That certainly isn't quite so delightful, but still that's good too."
She examined the can, which was indeed rusty and had a hole in the bottom.
"It looks almost as if this were a Jar without Cookies," she said thoughtfully. "But you can put it over your head and pretend that it is midnight."
And that is just what she did. With the can on her head she wandered around the block like a little metal tower and never stopped until she stumbled over a low wire fence and fell flat on her stomach. There was a big crash when the tin can hit the ground.
"Now, see that!" said Pippi and took off the can. "If I hadn't had this thing on me, I'd have fallen flat on my face and hurt myself terribly."
"Yes," said Annika, "but if you hadn't had the can on your head, then you wouldn't have tripped on the wire fence in the first place."
Before she had finished speaking there was another triumphant cry from Pippi, who was holding up an empty spool of thread.
"This seems to be my lucky day," she said.
However, just at that moment the gate of one of the cottages nearby opened and a boy came rushing out. He looked scared, and that was no wonder, because head over heels after him came five other boys.