Title: Pippi in the South Seas.
Author: Astrid Lindgren.
Genre: Fiction, children's lit, YA, humour.
Publication Date: 1948.
Summary: Pippi and her friends, Tommy and Annika, set sail for the Canny Canny Islands, where Pippi's father is king. They explore secret caves, and play marbles with real pearls. Luckily, the pirates and sharks they meet are no match for Pippi Longstocking!
My rating: 9/10.
♥ Pippi looked down at the fine gentleman and said, "It was fun to solve riddles with you a while ago. Come to think of it, I know one more. Can you tell me what the difference is between my horse and my monkey?"
The fine gentleman was really not in the mood to solve riddles any more, but he had gained so much respect for Pippi that he didn't dare not answer.
"The difference between your horse and your monkey - that I really couldn't say.
"It's quite tricky," said Pippi, "but I'll give you a small hint. If you should see them both together under a tree and one of them should start to climb up the tree, then that one isn't the horse."
♥ After a while she asked with concern, "How are you feeling these days, Aunt Laura?"
"Awful," replied Aunt Laura, "just awful. I'm so nervous and worried about everything."
Pippi jumped up. "Exactly like my grandmother!" she exclaimed. "She got nervous and excited about the least little thing. If she was walking in the street and a brick happened to fall on her head, she'd start to scream and make such a fuss you'd think something terrible had happened.
"And once she was at a ball with my father and they were dancing a hambo together. My father is quite strong, and quick as a wink he swung my grandmother around so hard that she flew straight across the ballroom and landed with a crash right in the middle of the bass fiddle. There she was, screaming and carrying on like anything. My father picked her up and held her outside the window - it was four floors up - so that she'd cool off and not be so fidgety. But she didn't like that a bit. She just hollered, "Let me go this minute!" My father did, of course, and can you imagine, she wasn't pleased about that either! My father said he's never seen anything like the fuss the dear old lady made over nothing at all. It certainly is too bad when people have trouble with their nerves." Pippi finished sympathetically, and dunked her zwieback into her fruit juice.
....Tommy crept over to Aunt Laura and whispered in her ear, "Don't mind anything Pippi says, Anut Laura. She's just making it up. She doesn't even have a grandmother."
Aunt Laura nodded understandingly. But Pippi had sharp ears, and she heard what Tommy whispered.
"Tommy's quite right," she said. "I don't have a grandmother. She doesn't exist. Since that's the case, why does she have to be so terribly nervous?"
♥ After a few minutes Aunt Laura said, "Do you know, something very strange happened yesterday-"
"But it couldn't be nearly as strange as what I saw the day before yesterday," Pippi said reassuringly. "I was riding in a train, and we were going along full speed when suddenly a cow came flying through the open window with a big suitcase hanging on her tail. She sat down in the seat across from me and began to look through the timetable to see what time we'd get to Falkoping. I was eating a sandwich - I had load of sandwiches, some sausage and some smoked-herring - and I thought she might be hungry, so I offered her one. She took a smoke-herring one and swallowed it practically whole!"
Pippi fell silent.
"That was really very strange," said Aunt Laura politely.
"Yes, you'd go a long way before you'd find another cow as strange as that one," Pippi agreed. "Just imagine, she took a smoked-herring sandwich when there were still lots of sausage ones left!"
♥ "What did you discover anyway, Pippi?"
"A new word," said Pippi, and looked at Tommy and Annika as if she had just this minute noticed them. "A brand-new word."
"What kind of word?" said Tommy.
"A wonderful word," said Pippi. "One of the best I've ever heard."
"Say it then," said Annika.
"Spink," said Pippi triumphantly.
"Spink," repeated Tommy. "What does that mean?"
"If only I knew!" said Pippi. "The only thing I know is that it doesn't mean vacuum cleaner."
♥ "What is the matter with you?" said the doctor.
Pippi opened her clear blue eyes and pulled in her tongue. "I'm afraid I've got spink," she said, "because I itch all over. And when I sleep my eyes close. Sometimes I have the hiccups and on Sunday I didn't feel very well after having eaten a dish of shoe polish and milk. My appetite is quite hearty, but sometimes I get the food down my windpipe and then nothing good comes of it. It must be the spink which bothers me. Tell me, is it contagious?"
♥ He felt the shark's teeth scrape against his leg. But just at that instant Pippi grabbed the blood-thirsty beast with both hands and lifted him out of the water.
"Don't you have any shame in you?" she asked. The shark looked around, surprised and ill at easy. He wasn't able to breathe above the surface.
"Promise never to do that again and I'll let you go," said Pippi gravely. With all her force she flung him far out into the sea. He lost no time in getting away from there and decided to head for the Atlantic Ocean instead.
In the meantime Tommy had managed to scramble up on a small plateau, and he sat there trembling all over. His leg was bleeding. Then Pippi came up. She behaved very strangely. First she lifted Tommy up in the air and then she hugged him so hard that he lost his breath. Then all of a sudden she let go of him and sat down on the cliff. She put her head in her hands. She cried. Pippi cried! Tommy and Annika and all the Kurrekurredutt children looked at her, surprised and frightened.
"You cry because Tommy almost eaten up?"
"No," Pippi answered crossly, and wiped her eyes. "I cry because poor little hungry shark no get breakfast today."
♥ "Nonsense," said Buck, and he shouted to Pippi, "Are you the one who is saying that it's dangerous to swim here?"
"No," said pippi, "I never said that."
"That's funny," said Jim. "Didn't you just tell me that there were sharks here?"
"Yes, that's what I said. But dangerous - no, that I wouldn't say. My grandfather swam here last year."
"Well, then," said Buck.
"And Grandfather got back from the hospital already last Friday," Pippi went on, "with the fanciest wooden leg you've ever seen on an old man." She spat thoughtfully into the water. "So I couldn't reakky say that it's dangerous. Of course a few arms and legs do disappear if one swims here. But as long as wooden legs don't cost more than a dollar a pair I don't think yhou should deprive yourself of an invigorating swim just because of miserliness."
♥ "Besides, I'd like to have you know that my grandfather has the longest nose in the world. He has five parrots and all of them can sit next to each other on his nose."
By now Buck was really angry. "You little redheaded vixen, do you know that you're the worst liar I've ever met? Aren't you ashamed of yourself? Are you really tryinh to make me believe that five parrots can sit in a row on your grandfather's nose? Confess that it's a lie!"
"Yes," said Pippi sadly. "It's a lie."
"There, you see," said Buck. "Isn't that what I said?"
"It's a terrible, horrible lie," said Pippi, still sadder.
"What's what I thought from the beginning," said Buck.
"Because the fifth parrot," sobbed Pippi and burst out into a flood of tears, "the fifth parrot has to stand on one leg."
♥ But Villa Villekulla lay in complete darkness and was covered with snow.
Annika was terribly unhappy at the thought of Pippi's going back there alone. "Please, Pippi, won't you stay with us the first night?" Annika asked.
"Oh no," said Pippi and jumped down in the snow outside the gate. "I have to get some things in order at Villa Villekulla."
She waded through the deep snowdrifts which reached all the way up to her stomach. The horse plowed along behind her.
"Yes, but think of how cold it will be in there," said Tommy. "It hasn't been heated for such a long time."
"Nonsense," said Pippi. "If the heart is warm and beats the way it should, there is no reason to be cold."
♥ Pippi was sitting at the table with her head propped against her arms. She was staring at the flickering flame of a candle that was standing in front of her. She seemed to be dreaming.
"She - she looks so alone," said Annika, and her voice trembled a little. "Oh, Tommy, if it were only morning so that we could go to her right away!"
They stood there is silence and looked out into the winter night. The stars were shining over Villa Villekulla's roof. Pippi was inside. She would always be there. That was a comforting thought. The years would go by, but Pippi and Tommy and Annika would not grow up. That is, of course, if the strength hadn't gone out of the chililug pills. There would be new springs and summers, new autumns and winters, but their games would go on. Tomorrow they would build a snow hut and make a ski slope from the roof of Villa Villekulla, and when spring came they would climb the hollow oak where soda pop sprouted up. They wound hunt for treasure and they would ride Pippi's horse. They would sit in the woodbin and tell stories. Perhaps they would also take a trip to Kurrekurredutt Island now and then, to see Momo and Moana and the others. But they would always come back to Villa Villekulla.
And the most wonderful, comforting thought was that Pippi would always be in Villa Villekulla.
"If she would only look in this direction we could wave to her," said Tommy.
But Pippi continued to stare straight ahead with a dreamy look. Then she blew out the light.