Mummutown isn’t even really much of a town after all. It is more like a big, old estate with a good-sized creek running through it, and a number of farmhouses and barns scattered along both sides of the creek. At the top of the little hill stands a cozy, old manor where Annamari lives.
Annamari, the sole owner of the estate, is the last descendant of a very rich, noble family from back in the times of princes and princesses. But, sadly, the family had gradually lost its fortunes and the workers who lived on the estate had, one by one, moved away in search of better pay, and Annamari’s relatives had slowly pawned away what was left of their gold, silver and jewels.
Still, Annamari had everything she needed. She had a beautiful home, fancy clothes, a lush garden, and a creek with a rather run down little bridge crossing it. She had more than we can even mention here. And since – as we just mentioned– she was the sole owner of these lands, there was no one around to tell her to clean up her room, brush her teeth, or not to go on the swing in her fancy clothes.
Even so, Annamari was not entirely happy. She wished she had someone around to help her care for the estate – to do repairs on the houses, cut the grass, paint the fence. But even more than that she wished she had someone to play on the swings with and someone to make her laugh. In short, she wished she had some friends.
So, one day, she decided to take out an ad in the local paper, which read:
Wanted: 0–4 legged, kind, polite and fun-loving creatures willing to do various odd jobs on a farm, including care taking, in exchange for room and board. Password: True Adventurers
Annamari would have liked to write lots of other things, too. Like that the applicants should have exquisite table manners and also like to share their toys (if they had any). But the nice lady working in the classified section explained to her that it was a bad idea to be overly specific, because then maybe no one would dare to answer her ad. Besides, nobody likes to feel that they aren’t qualified for a job, so maybe nobody would apply. It was also the woman’s idea to be flexible regarding the number of legs the applicants had– and a suggestion that really impressed Annamari. Once she found out that they had to invent a password, which was essentially a secret code that only the two of them could know, Annamari was overcome by the beauty of it all, since she absolutely loved secrets and everything about them.
And that’s how all the Mummus – Rabbit, Puppy, Koala, Cat, Little Ermine, and Bear – ended up on her farm.