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Karlsson on the Roof

” said Karlsson. “I should imagine that’s one up on a dog!”

He tilted his head and looked at Eric. “I wonder what sort of presents you’ll get,” he said. “I wonder if you’ll get any toffee. If you do, I think it ought to go straight to a Deserving Charity.”

“Oh, yes! If I get a bag of toffee I’ll give it to you,” said Eric. There was nothing he would not do for Karlsson, and besides, they would soon have to part.

“Karlsson! The day after tomorrow I’m going away to stay with Grannie, and I will be there all summer,” said Eric.

Karlsson looked a little sulky at first, but then he said importantly, “I’m going to my grannie’s, too. And she’s much grannier than yours!”

“Where does your grannie live?” asked Eric.

“In a house,” Karlsson replied. “What did you think? She wouldn’t be out running around all night, would she?”

After that not much more was said about Karlsson’s grannie, or about Eric’s birthday presents, or anything, because it was getting late, and Eric wanted to go to bed to make sure that he would wake up early on his birthday.

The minutes when he was lying in bed, waiting for the door to open and for the family to troop in—with presents and everything—were almost too exciting. Eric felt tense with eager expectation.

But at last they came. Now they started singing “Happy birthday to you.” Now the door opened, and there they were, all of them, Mommy and Daddy and Bobby and Betty.

Eric sat up in his bed, straight as a ramrod, and his eyes sparkled.

“Happy birthday, darling!” said Mommy.

They all wished him happy birthday. The cake with eight candles was there on a tray with some of the presents—several presents, but perhaps not quite so many as he usually had on his birthday. But Daddy said, “There may be more presents later in the day. They don’t all necessarily come in the morning.”

Eric was very pleased with all of his presents. There were a box of paints, a toy pistol, a book, and a pair of blue jeans, and he liked everything. How kind they were —Mommy and Daddy and Bobby and Betty!

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