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Karlsson on the Roof

Besides, most people don’t notice little houses like Karlsson’s, not even if they trip over them.

A chimney sweep once caught sight of Karlsson’s house when he was about to sweep the chimney. He was astonished. “It’s odd,” he said to himself. “There’s a house here. It’s hard to believe, but there’s actually a house on the roof! How could it have got here?”

But then he began to sweep the chimney and forgot all about the house and never gave it another thought.

It was nice for Eric to become acquainted with Karlsson, because, whenever Karlsson flew past, life became adventurous and exciting. Maybe Karlsson was pleased to make the acquaintance of Eric, too, for it must be a little dull sometimes to live all alone in a house which nobody knows is there. It must be pleasant to hear somebody calling out, “Hi-ho, Karlsson!” when you fly past.

This is what happened when Karlsson and Eric first met.

It was one of those days when everything went wrong and when it was no fun at all to be Eric. As a rule, it was quite nice to be Eric. He was the darling and pet of the whole family, and they spoiled him for all they were worth. But there were days when things kept going wrong. Then you were scolded by Mommy because you had worn a hole in your trousers, and Betty would say, “Blow your nose, child,” and Daddy would make a fuss because you were late coming home from school.

“Why do you hang around the street corners?” asked Daddy.

“Hang around the street corners?” Of course, Daddy didn’t know that Eric had met a dog—a nice, beautiful, friendly dog, who had sniffed at Eric and wagged his tail and looked as if he would very much like to be Eric’s own dog.

If Eric had had any choice, it would certainly have become his at once. But the difficulty was that Daddy and Mommy did not want a dog in the house. And also a lady had suddenly appeared, shouting, “Rickey, come here!” and then Eric knew that this dog could never belong to him.

“It doesn’t look as if I’ll ever have a dog as long as I live,” said Eric bitterly that day when everything seemed to go wrong.

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