Karlsson on the Roof
Only a day or two later Karlsson turned up again. Eric was lying face down on the floor in his room, reading, when he heard the buzzing sound once more, and in through the window Karlsson buzzed like a giant bumble-bee. He hummed a happy little tune while he circled around the walls. Now and then he hovered to look at the pictures. He cocked his head to one side and his eyes narrowed.
“Fine pictures,” he said. “Very fine pictures indeed! But maybe not quite so good as mine.”
Eric jumped up from the floor and stood there, wildly excited. It pleased him very much that Karlsson had come back.
“Have you got a lot of pictures in your house?” he asked.
“Several thousand,” said Karlsson. “Paint them myself in my spare time. Masses of little roosters and birds and other pretty things. I’m the World’s Best Rooster Painter,” and he landed beside Eric with an elegant, gliding turn.
“Really!” said Eric. “Couldn’t I come up with you to look at your house and your steam engines and your pictures?”
“Of course,” said Karlsson. “Naturally! You’re most welcome to come … another day.”
“Soon, please,” begged Eric.
“Calm, be calm!” said Karlsson. “I’ve got to tidy up a bit first, but it won’t take long. The World’s Fastest Tidy-upper—guess who that is,” said Karlsson with a twinkle in his eye.
“Perhaps it’s you,” said Eric.
“Perhaps!” shouted Karlsson. “Perhaps? Don’t doubt it for a moment. The World’s Fastest Tidy-upper, that’s Karlsson-on-the-Roof, and everyone knows it.”
Eric was only too willing to believe that Karlsson was the “World’s Best” everything. He was the world’s best playmate, too; you could certainly say that. Bridget and Christopher were lots of fun, but they were not exciting like Karlsson-on-the-Roof. Eric made up his mind to tell Bridget and Christopher about Karlsson next time they walked home from school together. Christopher was always talking about his dog Joffa. Eric had been jealous of Christopher for a long time because of that dog.
If he comes out with stories about his old Joffa tomorrow, I shall tell him about Karlsson, thought Eric.