An island can be dreadful for someone from outside. Everything is complete, and everyone has his obstinate, sure and self-sufficient place. Within their shores, everything functions according to rituals that are as hard as rock from repetition, and at the same time they amble through their days as whimsically and casually as if the world ended at the horizon.

Everything’s much too big here,’ thought Moominmamma. ‘Or perhaps I’m too small.

Quite, quite,’ she thought with a little sigh. ‘It’s always like this in their adventures. To save and be saved. I wish somebody would write a story sometime about the people who warm up the heroes afterward.

It’s strange, Moominmamma thought. Strange that people can be sad, and even angry because life is too easy. But that’s the way it is, I suppose. The only thing to do is to start life afresh.

But that’s how it is when you start wanting to have things. Now, I just look at them, and when I go away I carry them in my head. Then my hands are always free, because I don’t have to carry a suitcase.

Gathering is peculiar, because you see nothing but what you’re looking for. If you’re picking raspberries, you see only what’s red, and if you’re looking for bones you see only the white. No matter where you go, the only thing you see is bones.

The quiet transition from autumn to winter is not a bad time at all. It’s a time for protecting and securing things and for making sure you’ve got in as many supplies as you can. It’s nice to gather together everything you possess as close to you as possible, to store up your warmth and your thoughts and burrow yourself into a deep hole inside, a core of safety where you can defend what is important and precious and your very own.

“No dishes to wash today. Perhaps I will never ever have to wash them again.”

It was a particularly good evening to begin a book.

Welcome home, Moomin, safe and sound, and welcome, friends! Come gather around!

But think how lonely the Groke is, since nobody likes her and she doesn’t like anyone either.

He could only just hear the barrel organ playing in the farthest corner of the valley, if he listened very closely.
Moomintroll looked down into the water and tried to remember the time when the ice had stretched away and melted into the darkness of the horizon.

When one’s dead, one’s dead… This squirrel will become earth all in his time. And still later on, there’ll grow new trees from him, with new squirrels skipping about in them. Do you think that’s so very sad?

“Moominpappa missed his family and his veranda. He suddenly got the feeling that only there could he be as free and as adventurous as a good father should be.”

‘If you’re sore, you’re sore,’ observed Little My, peeling her potatoes with her teeth. ‘You have to be angry sometimes. Every little creep has a right to be angry.’

But that’s how it is when you start wanting to have things. Now, I just look at them, and when I go away I carry them in my head. Then my hands are always free, because I don’t have to carry a suitcase.

Walking had been easy, because his knapsack was nearly empty and he had no worries on his mind. He felt happy about the wood and the weather, and himself. Tomorrow and yesterday were both at a distance, and just at present the sun was shining brightly between the birches, and the air was cool and soft.

One can’t be too dangerous, if they like to eat pancakes. Especially with jam on it.

The Hemulen woke up slowly and recognised himself and wished he had been someone he didn’t know.

One by one, the snowflakes floated down on to his warm snout, and melted. He reached out to grab them so he could admire them for a fleeting moment. He looked towards the sky and watched them drift down towards him, more and more, soft and light as a feather. ‘So that’s how it works,’ thought Moomintroll. ‘And I thought somehow that the snow grew from the ground up!

“I do not understand why the heroine in the book is always prettier than the one at home.”

There are such a lot of things that have no place in summer and autumn and spring. Everything that’s a little shy and a little rum. Some kinds of night animals and people that don’t fit in with others and that nobody really believes in. They keep out of the way all the year. And then when everything’s quiet and white and the nights are long and most people are asleep—then they appear.

‘I’m frightened’, whispered the smallest little one, pulling on Snufkin’s sleeve.
‘Keep hold of me. Everything will be all right,’ comforted Snufkin.
‘It’s all over now, Sniff’ said Snufkin. ‘Don’t cry, dear friend.’

Just think, never to be glad or disappointed. Never to like anyone and get cross at him and forgive him. Never to sleep or feel cold, never to make a mistake and have a stomach-ache and be cured from it, never to have a birthday party, drink beer, and have a bad conscience…

How terrible.