Karlsson on the Roof
He crouched down beside the steam engine and his eyes were shining. “Now it’ll soon begin to chuff,” he said.
And it did. The steam engine began working. Chuff-chuff-chuff, it went. Oh, it was the most splendid steam engine you could wish for, and Karlsson looked as proud and happy as if he had made it himself.
“I must adjust the safety valve,” said Karlsson, fiddling eagerly with a little gadget. “Accidents always happen if you don’t adjust the safety valve.”
Chuff-chuff-chuff, said the steam engine. It went faster and faster and faster: Chuff-chuff-chuff. In the end it sounded as if in full gallop, and Karlsson’s eyes shone. Eric stopped bothering about the stains on the bookshelf, he felt so very happy about his steam engine and about Karlsson, who was the World’s Best Steam Engineer, and who had adjusted the safety valve so well.
“You see, Eric,” said Karlsson, “this is what you might call chuff-chuff-chuff! The World’s Best Steam Eng—”
He got no farther, for at that moment there was a dreadful bang, and suddenly there was no more steam engine—only pieces of steam engine, scattered all over the room.
“It’s exploded,” said Karlsson with delight, as if it was the finest performance you could possibly expect of a steam engine. “Indeed, it’s exploded! A super bang, wasn’t it?”
But Eric could not bring himself to feel quite so happy. Tears came into his eyes. “My steam engine,” he said. “It’s broken!”
“It’s a small matter,” said Karlsson, and he waved his chubby little hand in the air. “You can soon have another steam engine.”
“How?” asked Eric.
“I’ve got several thousand up at my house.”
“Where’s that?” Eric asked.
“Up at my house on the roof,” said Karlsson.
“Have you got a house on the roof?” said Eric. “With several thousand steam engines in it?”
“Yes, I should think there are about two hundred, anyway,” said Karlsson.
“Oh! I would like to see your house,” said Eric. It sounded like a miracle that there could be a house on top of the roof, and that Karlsson lived there.