"Yes, and he was our little brother. I think that was why"—she thought for a moment, still smiling to herself—"yes, why he told us such impossible stories, such strange imaginings. He was jealous, I think, because we were older—and because we could read better." (1.34)
"The child is right," she announced firmly.
Arrietty's eyes grew big. "Oh, no—" she began. It shocked her to be right. Parents were right, not children. Children could say anything, Arrietty knew, and enjoy saying it—knowing always they were safe and wrong. (6.60-61)
"All the same," said Pod uncertainly, "the risk's there. I never heard of no girl going borrowing before."
"The way I look at it," said Homily, "and it's only now it's come to me: if you had a son, you'd take him borrowing, now wouldn't you? Well, you haven't got no son—only Arrietty. Suppose anything happened to you or me, where would Arrietty be—if she hadn't learned to borrow?" (6.70-71)