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Karlsson on the Roof

” said Eric. “This is my dog.”

“You can hardly say that,” said Christopher.

“You haven’t got a dog, I bet,” said Bridget, looking at Karlsson.

“Me! I’ve got a thousand dogs in my house,” said Karlsson. “The World’s Best Dog-keeper …”

“I didn’t see any dogs when I visited,” said Eric.

“They were out flying,” said Karlsson. “Mine are Flying Dogs.”

Eric took no notice of Karlsson. A thousand flying dogs were not nearly as interesting as this sweet little puppy.

“I don’t think he belongs to anybody,” he said again.

Bridget stooped down over the dog.

“But it says Nicholson on his collar,” she said.

“You see! That’s the people he belongs to,” said Christopher.

“Perhaps Nicholson is dead,” said Eric.

Whoever this Nicholson might be, he disliked him. But then he had a bright idea.

“Maybe it’s the puppy that’s called Nicholson,” he said, with a pleading look toward Christopher and Bridget. They laughed teasingly.

“I’ve got several dogs that are called Nicholson,” said Karlsson. “Hello, Nicholson!”

The puppy took a little leap toward Karlsson, barking playfully.

“See that!” shouted Eric. “He knows his name is Nicholson. Come along, little Nicholson!”

Bridget grabbed the puppy. “There’s a telephone number on his collar, as well,” she said, without considering Eric’s feelings.

“The dog’s got his own telephone,” said Karlsson. “Tell him to call up his master to say that he’s run away. My dogs always do that when they’ve run away. One of my dogs, called Nicholson, lost his way the other day, so he phoned to let me know. But he had some trouble with the dial, and an old lady at the other end of the town answered instead. When she found that it was a dog on the telephone, she said, ‘Wrong number.’ ‘Why did you answer, then?’ asked Nicholson, because he’s a very sensible dog.”

Eric was not listening to Karlsson. At present his whole attention was on the puppy, and he took no notice even when Karlsson said that he felt like a little fun. But Karlsson pouted and said, “I’m leaving, if you’re going to play with that dog all the time.

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