"It's going to be quite a fire." She laughed. "Make all the moonshine look silly."
They looked towards the hilltop at the same time and saw a yellow flame rising in the sky. Too-ticky had lit the bonfire.
It wrapped itself in flames at once, from ground to top; it gave a roar like a lion and threw its reflection straight down on the black ice. A lonely little tune came running past Moomintroll: it was the musical shrew, who was late for the ritual.
Small and great shadows were solemnly skipping round the fire on the hilltop. Tails were beginning to thud on drums.
"Goodbye to your garden seat," said Little My.
"I've never needed it," Moomintroll replied impatiently. He stumbled up the icy slope. It was glittering in the firelight. The snow was melting from the heat, and warm water wet his paws.
"The sun's coming back again," Moomintroll thought in great excitement. "No darkness, no loneliness any more. Once again I'll sit in the sun on the verandah and feel my back warming..."
Now he was at the top. The air was hot around the fire. The invisible shrew was blowing another wilder tune.
But the dancing shadows were already gliding away, and the drums were thudding on the other side of the fire.
"Why did they go away?" asked Moomintroll.
Too-ticky looked at him with her calm blue eyes. Still, he wasn't quite sure that she really did see him. She was looking into her own private winter world that had followed its own strange rules year after year, while he had lain sleeping in the warm Moominhouse.
From Moominland Midwinter
By Tove Jansson