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Karlsson on the Roof

You come along …”

“But I’ve promised,” said Eric.

“And I promise that where there’s an injustice, Karlsson is down on it like a ton of bricks,” said Karlsson.

He went over and patted Eric on the shoulder.

“What exactly did you promise?”

“I promised not to show myself in the sitting room all evening.”

“Well, then, you’re not going to show yourself either,” said Karlsson. “But you would like to see Betty’s new boy friend, wouldn’t you?”

“Oh! I would,” said Eric eagerly. “She had one before with terribly sticking-out ears. I’d like to see what sort of ears this new one’s got.”

“So would I,” said Karlsson. “You wait, and I’m sure I shall think up something. The World’s Best Thinker-upper—that’s Karlsson-on-the-Roof.”

He looked around the room.

“I’ve got it!” he said, nodding his head. “A blanket— the very thing! I knew I’d think up something.”

“What have you thought up?” asked Eric.

“You promised you wouldn’t show yourself in the sitting room all evening, is that right? Well, if you go in there underneath a blanket you’re not showing yourself.”

“No … but …” began Eric.

“If you go underneath a blanket you’re not showing yourself and no ‘buts,’ ” said Karlsson firmly. “If I go under a blanket I don’t show myself either, and that’s Betty’s bad luck. As she is so silly, she won’t see me—poor, poor little Betty!”

He jerked the blanket off Eric’s bed and threw it over his head.

“Enter, enter!” he shouted. “Come into my tent!”

Eric crawled under the blanket with Karlsson, who stood giggling happily.

“Betty said nothing about not wanting to see a tent in the sitting room, did she? Everybody’s pleased to see a tent, aren’t they? Especially a tent that’s lit up inside,” said Karlsson, switching on the flashlight.

Eric was not very sure that Betty would be pleased with the tent, but he himself thought it was exciting and a little creepy to be underneath the blanket with Karlsson and to shine the light. Eric thought they might as well stay where they were, playing tents, and not bother about Betty but Karlsson wouldn’t have it.

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