Karlsson on the Roof
Eric was crying … what good would it do if Daddy came home? Everything was sad now, and the birthday was spoiled. Nothing would make any difference.
A little later he heard Daddy come home … but he cried. He would never be happy again. It would be better to die, and then Bobby and Betty could keep their velvet dog and never, never forget how horrid they had been to their little brother when he was alive and had his birthday.
Suddenly they were all standing by his bed, Daddy and Mommy and Bobby and Betty. He buried his face even deeper in the pillow.
“Eric! There’s someone waiting for you out in the hall,” said Daddy.
Eric did not answer. Daddy shook him by the shoulder.
“There’s a little friend of yours in the hall; listen to me!”
“Is it Bridget or Christopher?” muttered Eric crossly.
“No, it’s somebody called Bimbo,” said Mommy.
“I don’t know anyone called Bimbo,” mumbled Eric, even more crossly.
“Perhaps not,” said Mommy. “But he very much wants to get to know you.” As she spoke a short little yapping bark was heard from the hall.
Eric’s muscles all went tense and he gripped the pillow hard … No! he really must stop imagining things.
But once more he heard the little yapping sound. Eric bolted upright in bed.
“Is it a dog?” he said. “Is it a real dog?”
“Yes, it’s your dog,” said Daddy.
Then Bobby rushed out into the hall, and a second later he returned, and in his arms he was carrying—oh, it couldn’t be true! In his arms he was carrying a small, wire-haired dachshund puppy.
“Is it my real dog?” whispered Eric.
There were tears still in his eyes when he stretched out his arms for Bimbo. He looked as if he thought the puppy would at any moment go up in smoke and disappear.
But Bimbo did not disappear. Bimbo was in his arms, and Bimbo licked his face and whined and barked and snapped at Eric’s ears. Bimbo was really real.
“Are you happy now, Eric?” asked Daddy.
Eric sighed. How could Daddy ask such a question? He was so happy that it hurt—somewhere in his soul, or in his tummy, or wherever it does hurt when you are perfectly happy.