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Karlsson on the Roof

“Where did you get that?” asked Eric, very much surprised.

“From my usual dairy,” said Karlsson. “A balcony a few streets away!”

“Have you pinched it?” said Eric in alarm.

“I have borrowed it,” said Karlsson.

“Borrowed! When are you going to take it back, then?” asked Eric.

“Never,” said Karlsson.

Eric looked at him sternly, but Karlsson spread his fingers and said, “A bottle of milk—it’s a small matter! The people I borrowed it from have triplets, and they put out masses and masses of bottles in buckets of ice on the balcony, and they like me to borrow their milk for Curliwig.”

Curliwig stretched out her little hands for the bottle and squeaked hungrily.

“I’ll warm it a bit,” said Eric briskly, and handed Curliwig over to Karlsson. Karlsson shouted, “Coo-oo,” and heaved Curliwig up to the ceiling while Eric went into the kitchen to warm the milk.

A little later Curliwig lay sleeping in her crib like a little angel. She was full and contented after Eric had tucked her in. Karlsson had prodded her with his finger and shouted, “Coo-oo,” and in spite of it Curliwig had gone to sleep because she was tired and full of milk.

“Now we’ll play some jokes before we go off,” said Karlsson.

He went into the kitchen and fetched the cold sausages. Eric looked at him, wide-eyed.

“Watch these tricks!” said Karlsson, balancing a sausage on the kitchen door handle.

“Number one,” he said, and nodded, pleased with himself. Then he went with quick steps to the chest of drawers. There stood a beautiful, white china dove, and, before Eric knew what was happening, the white dove had a sausage in its beak.

“Number two!” said Karlsson. “And number three is for Curliwig.”

He stabbed the sausage on a little stick and put the stick into the hand of the sleeping Curliwig. It looked comical, rather as if Curliwig herself had gone to fetch a sausage and fallen asleep before she had had time to eat it. But Eric said, “I wish you wouldn’t do that!”

“Calm, be calm!” said Karlsson. “This is to stop her mommy and daddy from going gadding about in the evenings.

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