Karlsson on the Roof
“Never saw such a greedy little girl!” he said.
Then he helped himself to another large slice. “The World’s Biggest Cake-Eater, that’s Karlsson-on-the-Roof,” he said with a sunny smile.
“Come, let’s go,” said Mommy.
“Don’t let me stop you,” said Karlsson.
“Promise me one thing,” said Daddy to Mommy when they had shut the door behind them. “Promise me one thing, all of you—you too Bobby and Betty! Don’t tell anybody about this—not anybody!”
“Why not?” asked Bobby.
“No one would believe us,” said Daddy. “And if they did believe us we wouldn’t have a moment’s peace for the rest of our lives.”
Daddy, Mommy, Bobby, and Betty promised each other not to tell a single person about the strange playmate Eric had found.
And they kept their word. No one has ever heard them so much as mention Karlsson. That is why Karlsson can go on living in his little house that no one knows anything about, although it stands on an ordinary roof of an ordinary house on a perfectly ordinary street in Stockholm. Karlsson can walk about and play tricks undisturbed, and this is exactly what he does. Because he’s the World’s Best Tricker.
All the sandwiches, all the cakes, and the whole of the birthday cake were finished, and Bridget and Christopher had gone home; Bimbo slept, and Eric was saying good-by to Karlsson. Karlsson was sitting on the window ledge, ready to fly off. The curtains fluttered to and fro, the air was soft, for it was summertime.
“Dear Karlsson, you’ll still be living on the roof when I come back from Grannie’s, won’t you?” said Eric.
“Calm, be calm!” said Karlsson. “So long as my grannie lets me go. But you never can tell, because she thinks I’m the World’s Best Grandchild.”
“Are you?” asked Eric.
“Of course! Who else? Can you think of anybody better?” asked Karlsson.
Then he turned the button in the middle of his tummy and the engine began to buzz.
“When I come back, we shall have lots of cake,” he shouted, “because this wasn’t enough to fatten anybody. Hi-ho, Eric!”
The King of Erin and the Queen of the Lonesome Island
Category: Irish folktales
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