Karlsson on the Roof
“Daddy!” said Eric, when he had finished thinking. “If I’m worth a hundred thousand million dollars, couldn’t I have ten of it to buy a little dog?”
Chapter 6 - Karlsson Plays Ghost
It was not until the following day at the dinner table that they asked Eric how he had managed to get up on the roof.
“Did you climb through the skylight in the attic?” asked Mommy.
“No, I flew up with Karlsson-on-the-Roof” said Eric.
Mommy and Daddy looked at each other.
“No, it can’t go on any longer,” said Mommy. “That Karlsson-on-the-Roof is driving me crazy.”
“Eric, there is no Karlsson-on-the-Roof,” said Daddy.
“Isn’t there?” said Eric. “He was there yesterday.”
Mommy shook her head.
“It’s a good thing this term’s nearly finished so that you can go and stay with your Grannie,” she said. “I hope Karlsson-on-the-Roof won’t be going there with you, at any rate.”
This was a problem that Eric had overlooked. He was going to Grannie’s for the summer vacation, and he would not see Karlsson for two months. It wasn’t that he didn’t like it at Grannie’s (he always had a good time there), but, oh, how he would miss Karlsson! And supposing Karlsson was not living on the roof any more when Eric came home again!
With his elbows on the table and his head resting on his hands, he sat there and tried to imagine what life would be like without Karlsson.
“Take your elbows off the table; you should know better,” said Betty.
“Mind your own business,” said Eric.
“Take your elbows off the table, Eric,” said Mommy. “Will you have some more cauliflower?”
“No, I’d rather be dead.”
“Eric, that’s no way to speak,” said Daddy. “You should say, ‘No, thank you.’ ”
What a way to order a hundred-thousand-million-dollar child about, thought Eric, but he did not say so. Instead he said, “Don’t you know that when I say, ‘I’d rather be dead,’ I mean ‘No, thank you’?”
“But that’s not the way a gentleman would speak,” Daddy said firmly. “And you want to be a gentleman, don’t you, Eric?”
“No, I’d rather be like you, Daddy,” said Eric.