The Moomins, Autumn

Long ago I stumbled on a Wikipedia description of a Swedish series of children’s books about an imaginary family of imaginary beings called The Moomins. They sounded weird and whimsical and philosophical and goofy. I mean, listen:

“They are a family of trolls who are white and roundish, with large snouts that make them resemble hippopotamuses. The carefree and adventurous family live in their house in Moominvalley, in the forests of Finland, though in the past their temporary residences have included a lighthouse and a theatre. They have many adventures along with their various friends.”

But then I pretty much forgot about this resolution to read them, until one day when I passed the Swedish museum on Clark St., and I saw them in the window. THE MOOMINS. Duh. Of course. Hello, Moomins. I began with Moominvalley in November, in honor of the fall. It starts thusly, which is perfect:

“Early one morning in Moominvalley Snufkin woke up in his tent with the feeling that autumn had come and that it was time to break camp.

Breaking camp in this way comes with a hop, skip and a jump! All of a sudden everything is different, and if you’re going to move on you’re careful to make use of every single minute, you pull up your tent pegs and douse the fire quickly before anyone can stop you or start asking questions, you start running, pulling on your rucksack as you go, and finally you’re on your way and suddenly quite calm, like a solitary tree with every single leaf completely still. Your camping-site is an empty rectangle of bleached grass. Later in the morning your friends wake up and say: he’s gone away, autumn’s coming.”

— Tove Jansson

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