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Karlsson on the Roof

Then her face broke again into a toothless smile, and she gurgled contentedly.

“It’s my coo-ing working,” said Karlsson. “It always works, I’ve tried it out thousands of times.”

“I wonder what her name is,” said Eric, stroking the soft little cheek with his finger.

“Curliwig,” said Karlsson. “That’s what most of them are called.”

Eric had never heard of a child being called Curliwig before, but he thought the World’s Best Nursemaid would be sure to know more than he did about children’s names.

“Little Curliwig,” said Eric, “I think you’re surely hungry,” because Curliwig had gripped his finger and wanted to suck it.

“So Curliwig’s hungry! Well, there are sausages and potatoes here,” said Karlsson, glancing in at the kitchen. “No child need starve to death while Karlsson has the strength to drag out sausages and potatoes.”

Eric did not think that Curliwig could eat sausages and potatoes.

“Young babies should have milk, shouldn’t they?” he queried.

“Don’t you think the World’s Best Nursemaid knows what children should have and shouldn’t have?” said Karlsson. “But just as you like! I can fly and fetch a cow.” He frowned at the window. “But it’ll be rather difficult to bring an old cow in through this measly window.”

Curliwig searched eagerly for Eric’s finger, whimpering pitifully. She really did sound hungry.

Eric looked in the kitchen, but he could not find any milk. There was nothing but three cold sausages on a plate.

“Calm, be calm!” said Karlsson. “I’ve just remembered where there’s some milk. I have a drink there myself sometimes. Hi-ho! I won’t be long.”

Karlsson turned the button on his tummy and buzzed off through the window before Eric had time to wink twice.

Eric was dreadfully worried. Supposing Karlsson stayed away for hours, as he often did! And supposing the baby’s mommy and daddy came home and found Eric with their Curliwig in his arms!

But Eric did not have to worry for long. This time Karlsson was quick. Proud as a peacock he came buzzing in through the window, and in his hand he held one of those bottles that babies drink from.

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