From Pippi Goes On Board, my children's book club selection for December:
After [Pippi's disgraceful showing at a school picnic], the teacher decided to have a little talk with Pippi about her behavior. "Listen, little Pippi," she said in a friendly voice, "you want to be a really fine lady when you grow up, don't you?"
"You mean the kind with a veil on her nose and three double chins under it?" asked Pippi.
"I mean a lady who always knows how to behave and is always polite and well bred. You want to be that kind of lady, don't you?"
"It's worth thinking about," said Pippi, "but you see, Teacher, I had just decided to be a pirate when I grow up." She thought a while. "But don't you think, Teacher, one could be a pirate and a really fine lady too? Because then--"
The teacher didn't think one could.
"Oh, dear, oh, dear, which one shall I decide on?" said Pippi unhappily.
The teacher said that whatever Pippi decided to do when she grew up, it would not hurt her to learn how to behave--because Pippi's behavior at the table was really impossible.
"To think it should be so hard to know how to behave." Pippi sighed. "Can't you tell me the most important rules?"
The teacher did the best she could, and Pippi listened attentively. One mustn't help oneself until one was invited; one mustn't take more than one cake at at time; one mustn't eat with a knife; one mustn't scratch oneself while talking with other people; one mustn't do this and one mustn't do that.
Pippi nodded thoughtfully. "I'll get up an hour earlier every morning and practice," she said, "so I'll get the hang of it in case I decide not to be a pirate."
Now the teacher said it was time to go home. All the children stood in line except Pippi. She sat still on the lawn with a tense face, as if she were listening to something.
"What's the matter, little Pippi?" asked the teacher.
"Teacher," asked Pippi, does a really fine lady's stomach ever rumble?"
She sat quiet, still listening.
"Because if it doesn't," she said at last, "I might just as well decide to be a pirate."