Rabbit was the first to apply to Annamari’s call. Rabbit was an artist who just so happened to be out of work at the time. Rabbit was convinced she was perfect for the job, especially when it came to the part about being polite and fun loving. In fact, she felt that those words hardly expressed the level of intellectual sophistication she possessed. On the other hand, when it came to the ‘various odd jobs’ – she was a bit more insecure. But then she reasoned that the words ‘various’ and ‘odd’ offered some flexibility. Surely, she could pick the less ‘odd’ ones, and choose the ones that suited her particular skill set. Perhaps she could run the cafeteria. And in her free time she could paint portraits of the others, including the Mummus, all of whom she would make portraits later on, naturally in the most flattering way imaginable. So far, she has only completed one self-portrait, for which she used Annamari’s bathroom mirror.
The second to apply was Puppy, who was primarily interested in the ‘free room and board’ part of the classified ad. He’d never had a ‘room’ before and he thought that sounded pretty nice. In general, he’d had his share of hardships. And he was a dog among dogs. He’d never had an owner and he either lived in shelters with lots of other dogs or wandered the streets alone. However, Annamari took in the tired, hungry, dirty stray and fed him, bathed him and let him merely rest for days. And once he was strong enough, she named him the Mummutown postman, in addition to being the bravest guard of the estate. And ever since, day in and day out, he empties the red mailbox and uses his wagon to deliver the mail to all the Mummutown residents.
Koala had just finished his afternoon siesta, which he needed to rest after lunch and the exhaustion caused by taking his morning nap. He was perusing the classified ads and buried among all the boring announcements there was one seeking a caretaker that particularly caught his eye. It was Annamari’s advertisement. He got very excited, because he felt that there was no one more qualified for this job, especially the ‘caretaker’ part. The always kind and ever careful Koala simply loved carrying things and taking care of them, such as baby koalas, stuffed rabbits, or poor little orphaned animals. The idea that he could care for things in exchange for room, board and adventure simply mesmerized him. So much so, that he decided to finish resting for the day, and that didn’t even bother him one bit. And so he moved into the most comfortable house in Mummutown, which even has a little shed.
The restless-natured Cat, quite accidentally, moved to the estate on the very same day as Koala. They instantly became friends, as is generally the case with those who share the experience of starting something new together. Cat had answered the ad out of her pure spirit of adventure. She always liked to try new things and discover new places. She was sure that she was right for the job because she had inherited from her grandmother skillful little paws and a true determination that certainly comes in handy when doing odd jobs. It was no accident that the old camper on the property became her workshop, because she has always loved fixing things up, repairing them, cobbling them together, making something old and run-down into something spectacular and new. At times she can be a bit brusque, which occasionally offends the others, but she never really means it in a bad way.
The smallest little creature in Mummutown is a ferret, which the others, with regular imprecision, always call Little Ermine. He has a heart-wrenching story. No one ever knew the whos or whys of it, but he had been thrown out onto the streets to fend for himself. (If you would like to know more about how Little Ermine came to live in Mummutown, then you absolutely have to read the story: Little Ermine Sails in) His good fortune was thanks to blind fate and the heroism of Cat. His chief protector and supporter is Koala, whose side he hardly every leaves. If Koala has some important business to attend to, then she assigns the other animals to babysit him. At such times, they make use of Koala’s rickety old, but perfectly suitable baby carriage. In the role of stepmother, it is generally Cat who steps up, and she has even knitted a sweater for him. If, even in the face of all of Koala’s precautions, Little Ermine happens to catch a cold, then he has to put on this very sweater.
The extremely knowledgeable, warmhearted engineer of a bear, who the Mummus simply call Bear, came to the estate with the purpose of managing maintenance work. He is a genuine, theoretical expert at heart, who designs, draws and measures things day in day out, and in his free-time, in case he happens to have some, he counts at his leisure. He does the same if he is lost for words. At first he wasn’t over the moon about big company and noisy encounters, but above all, he wasn’t fond of unexpected guests. He didn’t make a secret of this, by the way. On his very first week at the estate, he hung a notice on his door to make sure all unwanted visitors were aware this was not a good time. (If you would like to know the exact wording of Bear’s notice, please read: Bear’s Feelings Get Hurt but Annamari Comes to the Rescue.) These days, he doesn’t mind the other Mummus company at all, and he is just as adventurous as everybody else, but to be sure, the biggest adventure for him is still observing the fascinations of this world and taking notes of them in his notebook.