THE TALE OF LANKY-PANKY
our way we'll split up into five goblins again, take the teapot, the hot-water jug, the milk-jug, the sugar-basin, and the tray—one each—and scurry off!"
" Splendid! " said Tuppy. " Come on—I'm longing to begin! "
The imps borrowed a very long coat from a small giant they knew. Then Pip stood on Pop's shoulders. That was two of them. Then Snippy climbed up to Pip's shoulders and stood there, with Pip holding his legs tightly. Then Higgle, with the help of a chair, stood up on Snippy's shoulders—and last of all Tuppy climbed up on to Higgle's shoulders.
There they were, all five of them, standing on one another's shoulders, almost touching the ceiling! Somehow or other they got the long coat round them, and then buttoned it up. It just reached Pop's ankles, and buttoned nicely round Tuppy's neck at the top.
They got out of the door with difficulty. Pip began to giggle. " Sh! " said Tuppy, at the top. " No giggling down below there. You're supposed to be my knees, Pip. Knees don't giggle! "
Snippy began to laugh too, then, but Tuppy scolded him hard. " Snippy! You are supposed to be my tummy. Be quiet! We are no longer five imps, but one long, thin servant, and our name is—is— is . . ."
" Lanky-Panky," said Snippy suddenly. Everyone laughed.
" Yes—that's quite a good name," said Tuppy. " We are Lanky-Panky, and we are going to ask if we can be the Wizard Spindle-Shanks' servant. Now—not a word more! "
" Hope I don't suddenly get the hiccups! " said Pip. " I do sometimes."
" Knees don't get hiccups! " snapped Tuppy. " Be quiet, I tell you! "
The strange and curious person called Lanky-Panky walked unsteadily up the hill to the big house where the wizard lived. Tuppy could reach the knocker quite nicely, for it was just level with his head. He knocked.
" Who's there! " called a voice.
" Lanky-Panky, who has come to seek work," called Tuppy.
The wizard opened the door and stared in surprise at the long person in the buttoned-up coat. "Dear me! " he said. " So you are Lanky-Panky—well, you are certainly lanky enough! I want a tall servant who