Karlsson on the Roof
No one could have a kinder family than he had, he thought.
He took a couple of shots with his pistol, and it made a fine noise. The whole family sat on his bed and listened. Oh, how he loved them all!
“To think that eight years have gone by since this little boy came into the world!” said Daddy.
“Yes,” said Mommy, “how time flies! Do you remember how it poured in Stockholm that day?”
“Mommy! I was born in Stockholm, wasn’t I?” said Eric.
“Yes, of course you were,” said Mommy.
“But Bobby and Betty—they were born in Malmö?”
“Yes, they were.”
“And you, Daddy, you were born in Gothenburg, you said.”
“Yes, I’m a Gothenburger,” said Daddy.
“And where were you born, Mommy?”
“In Eskilstuna,” said Mommy.
Eric threw his arms around her neck.
“Wasn’t it terrifically lucky that we all met!”
They all thought it was. And then they sang “Happy Birthday” again, and he fired his pistol and it made a splendid noise.
He had plenty of time to shoot with his pistol during the day while he waited for the hour of the birthday party. He also had ample time to think over what Daddy had said … that there might be more presents later. For a brief, happy moment he wondered if, after all, perhaps a miracle might happen and he would have a dog—but then he came to the conclusion that it was impossible. He was cross with himself for having such an idea. He remembered he had decided not to think of a dog at all on his birthday and to be happy all the same.
Eric was happy. Later in the afternoon Mommy began to set the table in his room very festively. She put a big vase of flowers on it and her best pink cups and saucers—three of them.
“Mommy, we want four cups,” said Eric.
“Why?” asked Mommy, surprised.
Eric swallowed. He must tell Mommy that he had invited Karlsson-on-the-Roof, although she would not like it.
“Karlsson-on-the-Roof is coming as well,” said Eric, looking his mommy steadily in the eye.
“Ooh!” said Mommy. “Well, I suppose it’s all right. It is your birthday, after all.”
She patted Eric’s fair head.