Once upon a time there was a hemulen who worked in a pleasure ground, which doesn't necessarily mean having a lot of fun. The hemulen's job was to punch holes in tickets, so that people wouldn't have fun more than once, and such a job is quite enough to make anyone sad if you have to do it all your life. The hemulen punched and punched, and while punching he used to dream of the things he would do when he got his pension at last. In case someone doesn't know what a pension is, it means that you can do what you like in all the peace you wish for, when you're old enough. At least that was how the hemulen's relatives explained it to him.

 "You're lonely and have nothing to do," the other hemulens used to tell him in their friendly way. "So it might cheer you up a bit to lend a hand and be among people." "But I'm never lonely," the hemulen tried to explain. "I can't find the time to be. There's always such a lot of people who want to cheer me up. If you don't mind, I'd like so much to..." "Splendid," the relatives said and slapped his back. "That's the thing. Never lonely, always on the go."

 The hemulen punched along, dreaming about a great wonderful silent loneliness, and hoped he would grow old as soon as possible. The whirligigs whirled, the trombones trumpeted, gaffsies and whompers and mymbles shrieked in the roller coaster every night. Edward the Booble won a first prize in china smashing, and all around the sad and dreamy hemulen people danced and whooped, laughed and quarreled, and ate and drank, and by and by the hemulen grew simply afraid of noisy people who were enjoying themselves.

Tove Jansson. The Hemulen Who Loved Silence, 1962.

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