Pippi Goes to School
By Astrid Lindgren
Adapted for readers theater from Pippi Longstocking, Viking, 1950
THEME: Strong woman
GRADE LEVEL: 3-6
TIME: 10 min.
ROLES: Narrator 1, Narrator 2, Pippi, Tommy, Annika, Teacher, (Students)
NOTE: Villekulla is pronounced "VIL-luh-KOO-luh." Annika is pronounced "AH-nik-kuh."
NARRATOR 1: In a little town in Sweden, there was a tumbledown house called Villa Villekulla. And in this house lived a girl with carrot-colored pigtails and shoes twice as long as her feet.
NARRATOR 2: This was no ordinary girl. She was the strongest girl in the world, and her name was Pippi Longstocking.
NARRATOR 1: Pippi lived there all by herselfexcept for a monkey named Mr. Nilsson and a horse on the porch. There was no one to tell her what to do, so Pippi did just what she liked.
NARRATOR 2: One of the things Pippi liked best was to play with her friends Tommy and Annika. And more than anything in the world, Tommy and Annika liked to play with Pippi. Of course, Tommy and Annika had to go to school.
ANNIKA: (to Tommy) If only Pippi would go too, how much fun we could have!
NARRATOR 1: They decided to try to persuade her. One afternoon in Pippis kitchen, Tommy said,
TOMMY: You cant imagine what a nice teacher we have.
ANNIKA: If you only knew what fun it is in school! Id die if I couldnt go to school.
NARRATOR 2: Pippi sat soaking her feet in a tub. She said nothing, but just wiggled her toes so the water splashed around everywhere.
TOMMY: You dont have to stay so long. Just until two oclock.
ANNIKA: Yes, and besides, we get Christmas vacation and Easter vacation and summer vacation.
NARRATOR 1: Suddenly, Pippi poured all the water out on the kitchen floor.
PIPPI: It is absolutely unfair! I wont stand for it!
TOMMY: Whats the matter?
PIPPI: In four months, it will be Christmas, and then youll have Christmas vacation! But whatll I get? No Christmas vacationnot even the tiniest bit of one. Something will have to be done about that. Tomorrow morning, Ill begin school!
TOMMY: Well wait for you outside our gate at eight oclock.
PIPPI: Oh, no, I cant begin as early as that! And besides, Im going to ride to school.
NARRATOR 2: And ride she did!
NARRATOR 1: The next day, at exactly ten oclock, Pippi lifted her horse off the porch. Then she galloped wildly through the town.
NARRATOR 2: When she reached the schoolyard, she jumped off the horse, tied him to a tree, and burst into the schoolroom.
PIPPI: Hi there! Did I get here in time for pluttification?
NARRATOR 1: Tommy and Annika had told their teacher that Pippi was coming. She had decided to do all she could to make Pippi happy in school.
TEACHER: Welcome to school, Pippi. I hope you will enjoy yourself here and learn a great deal.
PIPPI: Yes, and I hope Ill get some Christmas vacation. That is the reason Ive come. Its only fair, you know.
TEACHER: If you would first tell me your whole name, Ill register you in school.
PIPPI: My name is Pippilotta Delicatessa Windowshade Mackrelmint Efraims Daughter Longstocking, daughter of Captain Efraim Longstocking, formerly the Terror of the Sea, now a cannibal king. Pippi is really only a nickname, because Papa thought Pippilotta was too long to say.
TEACHER: Well, then, we shall call you Pippi, too. But now suppose we test you a little and see what you know. Pippi, can you tell me what seven and five are?
PIPPI: (shocked) Well, if you dont know that yourself, Im certainly not going to tell you!
OTHER CHILDREN: (gasp)
NARRATOR 2: All the children stared at Pippi in horror.
TEACHER: (gently) Pippi, we dont answer that way in school.
PIPPI: (sincerely) I beg your pardon. I didnt know that. I wont do it again.
TEACHER: No, let us hope not. And now I will tell you that seven and five are twelve.
PIPPI: See that! You knew it yourself! So why are you asking?
NARRATOR 1: The teacher decided to act as if nothing had happened.
TEACHER: Well, now, Pippi, how much do you think eight and four are?
PIPPI: Oh, about sixty-seven.
TEACHER: Of course not! Eight and four are twelve!
PIPPI: Well now, really, that is carrying things too far! You just said that seven and five are twelve. There should be some rhyme and reason to things, even in school!
NARRATOR 2: The teacher decided there was no point trying to teach Pippi any more arithmetic.
TEACHER: Tommy, if Lisa has seven apples and Axel has nine apples, how many apples do they have together?
PIPPI: Yes, you tell her, Tommy, and tell me too, if Lisa gets a stomach-ache and Axel gets more of a stomach-ache, whose fault is it, and where did they get those apples in the first place?
NARRATOR 1: The teacher decided to give up on arithmetic altogether.
TEACHER: (getting frustrated) Pippi, maybe you would prefer to learn reading. Here is a picture of a wild goat called an ibex. And the letter you see in front of the ibex is called "i".
PIPPI: That Ill never believe. I think it looks exactly like a straight line with a little fly speck over it. But what Id really like to know is, what does the ibex have to do with the fly speck?
NARRATOR 2: The teacher took out another card.
TEACHER: (trying to stay calm) And here is a picture of a snake, with the letter "s".
PIPPI: Speaking of snakes, Ill never ever forget the time I had a fight with a huge snake in India. (acting out her story) You cant imagine what a dreadful snake it wasfourteen yards long and mad as a hornetand every day he ate up five Indians and then two little children for dessert, and one time he came and wanted me for dessert, and he wound himself around meuhhh!but Ive been around a bit, I said, and hit him in the head, bang!, and then he hissed uiuiuiuiuiuiuiuiuitch, and then I hit him again, and bingo! he was dead, and indeed, so that is the letter "s"most remarkable!
NARRATOR 1: The teachers patience had come to an end.
TEACHER: Children, go outside so I can talk to Pippi alone.
OTHER CHILDREN: (go out)
NARRATOR 2: When Pippi and the teacher were by themselves, Pippi came over to her.
PIPPI: You know what? It was lots of fun to come to school to find out what its like. But I dont think I want to come anymoreChristmas vacation or no Christmas vacation. There are altogether too many apples and ibexes and snakes and things like that. It makes me dizzy in the head. I hope you wont be upset, Teacher.
TEACHER: I certainly am upset, Pippi, but Im upset that you wont behave properly! Any child who acts as badly as you do wouldnt be allowed to come to school no matter how much she wanted to!
PIPPI: (astonished, almost starting to cry) Have I behaved badly? Goodness, I didnt know that. You understand, Teacher, dont you, that when you have a mother whos an angel in Heaven and a father whos a cannibal king, you dont know just how to behave in school, with all the apples and ibexes.
TEACHER: (calming down) I understand, Pippi. Im not annoyed anymore. Maybe you can come back to school when youre a little older.
PIPPI: (happily) I think you are awfully nice, Teacher. And here is something for you.
NARRATOR 1: Pippi took from her pocket a lovely gold watch.
TEACHER: Pippi, I cant possibly accept such a valuable gift!
PIPPI: But you have to take it! Otherwise, Ill come back tomorrow, and you wouldnt like that, would you?
NARRATOR 2: Then Pippi rushed out to the schoolyard and jumped on her horse. All the children waved goodby.
PIPPI: (waving and riding off) So long, kids. I wont be back for awhile. But always remember how many apples Axel hador youll be sorry!
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