Karlsson on the Roof
But since he did not know what tricks Karlsson had decided to play this time, he could not tell Bridget and Christopher. So he only said, “Shut up! You said Karlsson-on-the-Roof was make-believe. You told me yesterday that he’s only an invention.”
“And he is, isn’t he?” said Bridget, laughing, and as she laughed the dimples appeared in her cheeks.
“As it happens, he isn’t,” Eric replied.
“Of course he is,” said Christopher.
“Of course he isn’t,” said Eric.
He wondered if it was any use going on with this “sensible discussion,” or if it wouldn’t be better to give Christopher a black eye right then. But before he had time to decide, a loud and clear “Cock-a-doodle-do” was heard from the depths of the closet.
“What was that?” said Bridget, and her mouth, which was small and red like a cherry, opened in astonishment.
“Cock-a-doodle-do,” they heard once more, and it sounded exactly like a real rooster.
“Have you got a rooster in the closet?” asked Christopher, surprised. Joffa growled. But Eric laughed; he could not explain, so he just laughed.
“Cock-a-doodle-do,” came from the closet.
“I’m going to open the door and have a look,” said Bridget.
She opened it and peeped in. Christopher joined her and he looked, too. At first they could see nothing but a lot of clothes hanging there. But then they heard a tittering from above, and when they looked up they saw a fat little man on the shelf. He was lying down comfortably, leaning on one elbow, and dangling a chubby leg, which swung slowly to and fro. He had shining, happy blue eyes.
Both Bridget and Christopher were speechless. Joffa uttered a growl.
But when Bridget found her tongue she said, “Who’s that?”
“Only a little Make-Believe,” said the strange figure on the shelf, waggling his chubby leg more rapidly. “A small Make-Believe taking a rest. In short … an Invention!”
“Is it … is it … ?” stuttered Christopher.
“A small Invention is lying here, just crowing, that’s all,” said the little man.
“Is it Karlsson-on-the-Roof?