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carrotmayor
 
Name
Athena
ACNL Town
Last Active
10/20/2017 3:06pm
Approval Rating


*Read the Back of the Book:

Cat’s Cradle is a rustic town far from the city, and the denizens are a bit stuck in their ways. In years past the town had been a bustling tourist destination for campers, and more recently had been left barren by the lack of mayors willing to move into town. Tom Nook and the eager secretary, Isabelle, sought out the recent graduate and community leader, Josie, to come give the town a boost when it most needed it! Sadly, there’s a lot of paperwork and official documents missing, and they have to be signed and dated before Josie can actually sit in her big, mayoral desk. This story follows Josie and the residents of Cat’s Cradle as she settles into her new home, gains approval rating, and earns her place as official mayor of Cat’s Cradle. It isn’t so simple as she had hoped, but her passion for public service keeps Josie grounded.
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carrotmayor
 
Name
Athena
ACNL Town
Last Active
10/20/2017 3:06pm
Chapter One: Early Risers File Paperwork Part One


         Sunrise over the low hills filled the sky between blinks. Early risers were almost always up before the sun in the small town of Cat’s Cradle. Nana imagined Mr. Nook sorting through his paperwork for the day over at his home improvement shop. Oh, he’d be busy, she thought, because he took charge of real-estate recently. Or Lionel, he would be up at the post office, beginning his daily chores. She loved her town. Humming a tone of enjoyment, Nana leaned back into the branch behind her head as a deep orange glow reached over all of Cat’s Cradle. She blinked into the distance. Nana loved this spot, up in the trees where she could look out over the long grass. On a less hazy day she could see the tops of the shops on Main Street. There were taller trees more toward the center of town, but Nana couldn’t stand anyone thinking she was too typical. As a monkey, she already adopted a nickname tied to her appearance, and wouldn’t appreciate someone like Lionel judging her for her love of nature. So, she kept to the trees out of anyone’s eyes reach. Or soon that might change. Out in the field, under the beaming sun, sat a rather bulky orange tent. With the sun rising behind it, the orange tarp material seemed to glow. The luminous eye sore suddenly shuffled. The camper punched the walls from the inside, fists and palms pressing restrictedly on the taut walls. Nana knew that was no camper, but actually a permanent resident. She had been at the greeting ceremony the previous morning. That tent signified the spot in the open field where a house would be erected by Mr. Nook’s design. And Nana suddenly felt like she’d become as blindingly obvious to the new-comer as the tent was on the dry landscape to her. She slipped down from her tree vantage point carefully. The branches were all mostly leafless now, as autumn came to an end. Nana may not have wanted to come off as a nature loving monkey-hippy, but she did maintain her fur very proudly. She dyed it all over a baby pink that would glow like neon in the now high sun. First impressions weren’t everything, but she would rather stay incognito on a lovely morning. At the trunk of the tree, Nana nonchalantly lifted her little pink tackle box and rod, and walked off toward her favorite fishing spot as the camper finally freed herself from her zippered tent.

        Josie was cold, hungry, and ached all over. Her family never camped really. Josie didn’t expect to have to camp at all during the entirety of her life either. Arriving in Cat’s Cradle, she imagined the town to be well developed and bustling with tourism. The broachers and town newspaper sent to her during her application period had given the appearance of a town that relied on its appearance. The shopping district was quant, and the restaurants had nice reviews. The beachside location seemed a bonus, and the town paper listed a myriad of local events. Well there shouldn’t be expectations, or there cannot be such contentment in her line of work. She knew, Josie did, that when a new mayor steps into office they are expected to improve a town through hard work. So what if Cat’s Cradle is a bit bare and sullen. That only means that she has a blank slate to work with. Josie fell asleep the night before contemplating her first moves as mayor. Though she still never imagined that the town would be so underdeveloped that they couldn’t accommodate her better.

         She woke the next day with a rock in her side, and a crunched up coke can under the tarp of her tent, right under her pillow. And her sleeping bag itched too. Itched all over. And she got up, and her head hit the top of the tent where the rods had collapsed overnight in the wind. And her hair frizzed, and stuck to her face and eyelashes, and it all was lame. Very lame. Josie crashed all over the walls till she found the zipper, and busted out of that claustrophobic tent in the next second. Wide awake, she wasn’t aware that the sun had just risen. The crisp air stabbed her, and each little hair on her arms shot up. If it weren’t rude, she’d have said she looked like a plucked goose all over. And a frazzled one too. She didn’t own a watch, and without electricity she couldn’t charge her phone. Her wake up alarm was the rickety old tent.

         “Hey Josie!”
        
         The Nook man? At this hour (whichever hour it was)? From around the tent, Mr. Nook came jovially out of nowhere. Strange occupation for a raccoon of his age to be a realtor, but Josie imagined that in a town like Cat’s Cradle jobs were either done by the willing or there wouldn’t be any work done. Only three residents came to her welcoming ceremony the past morning. It seemed than all others were tied up with work that had to be done to keep the town going. Maybe it would be looking too far ahead, but Josie hoped to bring in more residents to even out the workloads soon. Nook may have been a crumby realtor, but he was the only one helping Josie settle in. He’s the one who built the tent. He wasn’t so tall for a raccoon or anything, and his belly was pretty round. She could imagine Nook attempting to put up a tent alone. No wonder it was falling in.
        
         “How’s that tent doing for ya? How’s your morning doin? You sleep well? You liking our little town? We just love it here, just love it. We’re so proud to have elected a fresh face for our mayor, and we’re obliged to you, ya see, so thanks a heap for payin’ that train ticket to come out here. Couldn’t wait to meet you. Had this tent sent up days in advance.”
      
         “Oh, yes, I’m good.”
        
         “Good, good. Put it up myself.”
        
         “Oh yes, thanks again.”
        
         “So about that tent, I know it’s terrible. Used to be my nephews when we went camping. It’s fit for raccoon kiddos, I know. Why don’t we get to talking about upgrading to a real home as soon as you’re settled in. I know there’s some paperwork for you to finish up at the town hall. Didn’t want to bother with it yesterday. We decided to set aside yesterday for your welcoming ceremony and a tour of the town. So get that paperwork all done, and then come see me at my shop on Main Street.”
        
         “Oh, yeah that sounds good to me.” Josie mumbled. She may be mayor, but Mr. Nook really did carry a conversation all on his own.

To Be Continued...
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carrotmayor
 
Name
Athena
ACNL Town
Last Active
10/20/2017 3:06pm
Part Two


         “I trust you’ll have a very exciting day. So I won’t expect you today. Come by whenever you’re ready to do business. Have a fine day, Miss Mayor. Have a fine day!” Nook shouted as he tore off along a tight packed path that led back toward the middle of town. His little feet kicked up leaves on his way out, and his puffed up tail bobbed with each tiny bounce.

         Raccoons made good business owners, and were great at designing family homes by nature, but Nook seemed the type who didn’t mean to be a business man. Clearly he made himself a people person, but it didn’t seem to come naturally to him in Josie’s opinion. His morning chit chat was far too business oriented for someone who’s a natural people’s person. Well, Josie didn’t know Mr. Nook personally anyway, so she dropped that thought. What kind of mayor begins gossiping about the town realtor before she’s even given her office?

        Josie fumbled in her tent for a while. It was a struggle to unpack her clothes in the tiny thing. She didn’t bring much. As a college student, she never collected too many possessions to clog up her shared dorm. After she graduated, she kept all her childhood memories at her mom’s house, and began getting involved in local politics. She never expected to receive in the mail an application to enter Cat’s Cradle’s up and coming mayoral election. With little other opportunities, Josie applied, and this is where it got her. Dressed for the day, she rushed as much as she could manage to, to get to the Town Hall. She had a rudimentary map drawn on the back of a napkin. Nook seemed to think it’d be a great help. The tall grass surrounding her tent was all brown and limp, blocking the packed path. And leading into town, she might have easily lost her way in the trees. Josie took note to build some road signs soon.

        Finally, the vaguely familiar town hall loomed in the distance. The black and white images on the brochures made the town hall seem more like a classic town center type of building. It kind’ve rested symmetrically within its portraits borders; a rustic library type of a façade. Sadly, the building in person needed a face lift.

         Within, Isabelle stood at the front desk sorting out her paperwork. She stood with her heel on the rung of her short stool. She hardly sat throughout the day even when she worked at her desk. Isabelle had come to be known as high strung and a workaholic. These were both true observations. She bounced from task to task throughout the day. Unlike other workers in Cat’s Cradle, Isabelle preferred it that way. Mr. Nook always looked for spare hands, and even Miss Sable the seamstress allowed her sister to help her. Isabelle found more pride in being a lone wolf. (Well, that was a silly analogy, she knew. All the wolves she knew were very involved in team work. Isabelle was more like a lone Shih Tzu.)

         The door banged open, and a woman entered awkwardly after the racket she made with the doors little jingling bells that Isabelle kept hanging on the knob. There she is, Isabelle thought. She was of course very interested in the new mayor’s arrival. Isabelle was the biggest busy body in the town, but without a mayor to fulfill the necessary mayoral duties, Cat’s Cradle had no real direction. Isabelle was a top rate secretary, but she missed her Mayor. The town hall was just so quiet and roomy without a partner for her to bounce ideas off of.

         She had been there for the welcoming ceremony, of course. She’s the one who organized it. Well, it had been Mr. Nook’s idea. She believed he may have had an ulterior motive in greeting the newest mayor on arrival, but she thought it was in the right direction anyway. That’s what she was good at, taking a direction, and rolling with it. She planned the streamers, the balloons, and the party poppers. Isabelle was just the best party planner out there probably. Mr. Nook was able to get the supplies out on loan from his nephews at the convenience store. It all came together well, but not everyone who was invited could make it to the greeting. Isabelle had expected all the town’s dignified residents to show, but mostly those who had been walking through off-handishly stopped to see what the streamers were out for. But the train rumbled up as is always did. It was almost surprising how the rails shook the body. Isabelle was used to shaking with caffeine, but the power of the train made her strain to stand totally still. It wasn’t often the little train came to a screeching stop in their little town. It was even less often that the train came baring a new permanent resident.

         That first impression of the mayor was simply stupendous. Towns so out of the way as Cat’s Cradle was hardly saw too many sorts of animals; not like in a city at all. The shock that the newest mayor was a human girl made a few residents eyes wide. Isabelle thought that she’d be the perfect breath of fresh air that their precious town needed. Preciously. They preciously needed a breath of fresh air. Isabelle knew she would look back fondly on that greeting ceremony. She was full of certainty that Miss Josie, from wherever out in the world she had come, would be what Cat’s Cradle needed.
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carrotmayor
 
Name
Athena
ACNL Town
Last Active
10/20/2017 3:06pm
Part Three


         “Hellu! Morning, I’m Josie—“

          “Yes, Miss Josie, pleasure to see you again. We did meet yesterday. Don’t think I’d forget my newest mayor. See, I’m your new secretary, Isabelle. I handle all the business here at the town hall.”

         Josie felt a pang that she had already forgot Isabelle’s name overnight. Well, she hoped the small town would forgive her. There were many of them, and so few of her. Actually, just one of her, and not even a well-rested version, “Yes, we have met. Glad we’ll be working together—“

         “Oh! And regarding business, well, you’ll have to pardon the inconvenience.” Isabelle rolled her eyes to the paperwork on the desk as a sort of segue to her next task at hand. That went over Josie’s head:

         “I’m not scared of getting to work, I promise. It’s my first week officially, and I’ll be very busy—“ and following each shot sentence as before, Josie felt a bit cut off. Perhaps these smaller towns aren’t into mayoral monologue, she thought.

         “Well, not so much. Or at least not so much in the way of mayoral duties.” Isabelle pinched her under-chin thoughtfully, or out of stressfulness, “You see, since we’ve elected you mayor before you were able to come out to our small town, we did bend some rules. First rule: before a mayor may run for office, the mayor must be a citizen. Second rule: before a mayor may take office, the mayor must provide proof of residency. Third rule: before a mayor may file the necessary mayoral paperwork required to take office, a mayor must have public approval of town residents. So, we have run into a few logistics problems by hiring you on without the traditional election… ah, components.” Isabelle felt she may have rambled on before she realized she didn’t know how to best explain their situation.

         Josie frowned, “So, am I mayor?”

         “Oh, yes!” Josie perked up, “Well, oh, not officially, but in our hearts.” Seemed like a load of pecan pie to Josie. Her mom had warned her that the job opportunity wasn’t official enough. Josie thought it would all turn out fine still. She thought that the little town of Cat’s Cradle just needed a college graduate like herself to better organize them. She had studied for years to prepare for this kind of a job. Well, maybe her mom was right. Maybe she had wasted her money coming out here to take the spot. It was all strange. She just received a stuffed full envelope full of brochures dating ten years ago, and a newspaper from five years ago, and an application to apply for a position as mayor of a humble town in need of a fresh face. Strange indeed, but she was so hopeful it wasn’t a scam.

        “Miss Josie, it’s all just protocol. We will have to begin with the simple bits. For instance, you’ll have to fill out some paperwork to become a citizen of Cat’s Cradle. Then you’ll have to purchase a residence here, and file that necessary paperwork. Then, we will have to make sure that you receive the correct approval rating. That will be based on reviews given to me here anonymously. Don’t worry, I’ll be helping you sort this out every step of the way.” Isabelle beamed at Josie from the other side of the counter desperately.  She neither blinked nor breathed while Josie went over everything in her head.
Josie knew that her mom would be hard to deal with if she called her to ask for help. She knew her mom wouldn’t forget how Josie fell for a bad job. Above all, Josie knew she’d regret giving up so easily. It had always been her passion to help and volunteer for the community. This experience as a mayor of a small town would be the start of her career in a field that she felt personally connected to.

         She stood up straight and proud to seem most official, “Of course, that all makes sense. We should finish all the proper paperwork as soon as possible.”

         Isabelle was happy to comply, “Here, here. Sign and fill out these citizenship forms, and then you’ll be an official Cat’s Cradlen.”

         She stuffed the stack of papers into Josie’s hands along with a ballpoint pen attached to a craft flower by rubber band. Typical of any town hall in any corner of the country to have flower pens of that sort. It was a comfort that Isabelle kept the town hall so typical on the inside at least. Everything was dusted, stacked, and smelled like lemon soap. Josie mentally prepared for her busy, busy first week as unofficial mayor. The little daisy topped pin wiggled as she scrawled her name, birthday, education—almost re-filling out her initial application to become mayor—and Isabelle hovered over excitedly the whole time. With Isabelle’s help then maybe Josie would be able to pull off the whole mayor thing. Earning her job title wouldn’t be so easy as just showing up on the train.
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Bbykat51
 
Name
kassie
ACNH Town
Last Active
11/22 9:25am
Nicely done! I'll be looking forward to reading more of your story!
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Liv909
 
Name
Liv
ACNH Town
Last Active
9:21pm
Stunning, I love it! I felt so immersed in the world. I can't to see what else happens!
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#blackout
Thank you for the Reese memories (7/9/13-9/27/17)
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carrotmayor
 
Name
Athena
ACNL Town
Last Active
10/20/2017 3:06pm
Thank you Liv909 Bbykat51 !! I plan to be writing a least a chapter a week, so I promise an update will be coming up soon!

(only delay currently is a graduation I have to attend, and my anniversary) Thank you for reading.
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carrotmayor
 
Name
Athena
ACNL Town
Last Active
10/20/2017 3:06pm
Chapter Two: Residency
Part One

         Isabelle watched as her enthusiastic new mayor left out the front door with an aggressive jingle of the bells. It seemed to her that Miss Josie had seemed a bit more up-tight the day she arrived in town. She wore a button up blouse, a pencil skirt, and her hair brushed and curled under into a neat bob by tedious juggling of a brush and hair drier that morning. The bedraggled tent look was far more approachable in Isabelle’s opinion. Josie’s hair had a natural wave when not brushed. Her baggy pants and down jacket seemed more practical. In a town like Cat’s Cradle, most appreciated practicality over work attire.

Back out in the cold, Josie zipped her collar all the way up, and stuffed her hands into her pockets with her wadded up map. The morning fog seemed to be letting up, and Josie hoped the day would warm up as well. If only she had a way to charge her phone; that way she could look up the weather reports. Following a much wider dirt path that she knew to be the main trail to the shopping district, Josie shuffled along puffing little bits of cold breath with every few quick steps. Pine trees lined the trail in this part of town. In some places the pines were so thick she couldn’t see open spaces between them. The sun shone through the pines and sporadic birches, leaving streaks and sun spots across the rich, ochre path.

At the thought of all the work that still had to be done to become mayor, Josie’s pace progressively quickened and quickened. Before she knew it, she burst out of the denser trees where they ended abruptly like a line cut them off. The wind quickly brushed her cheeks again, out of the wooded area, and she realized that her heart rate was up. She felt silly because she let her stress get to her, or she let the loneliness of the closely packed trees get to her. For some reason, she had been practically at a run. Before her was the old, barely used train station. The tracks ran across the top of the town—no turns—a straight shot. The transportation from in and out of town would come barreling to a stop as it reached the border of Cat’s Cradle, come to a lurching stop, and soon after chug-chug away in mere moments. Most times it seemed to the locals that the train would simply shoot through almost, as none of the passengers seemed to ever get up and disembark with a ticket for Cat’s Cradle. Possibly, none even would recognize the old, traditional town name.

Josie made her way to the railroad crossing that led to Main Street. Main was the only paved road in Cradle. Josie had been shocked that the road was paved after her initial coping with the fact that none of the paths in town were paved or labeled. If the road had been paved in bricks, Josie could have mistaken Main Street for a reenactment model of the old west. The store’s facades were mostly old-west-saloon types of buildings. To her left, she spotted the only modern store in the whole town. Flat, basic exterior painted in blue and white color block panels. A big light up sign you might have seen on top a big outlet store read “Nook’s Homes”. That’s Nook’s real estate office, of course, Josie said to herself. Straightening up her cold body, she rushed into Nook’s Homes.

“Welcome, welcome to my humble real estate—Josie? I truly am shocked to see you in today, and before noon.” Nook beamed at Josie with his tiny hands resting on the belly of his evergreen sweater vest. He didn’t seem truly surprised that Josie had come. He must have known that Josie despised “roughing it” in a tent. Or maybe he had known that her paperwork would be incomplete. Oddly, for a real estate agent, Nook seemed very involved in the workings of the town in general.

“Well, yes. I had to come by to go ahead and get these sorts of things out of the way so I can begin my work as soon as possible.” Josie blinked around the small front room. Nook stood right in front of the entrance beside a desk that must have belonged to him. It faced the front, and two low cushioned chairs straddling a potted plant lined the wall just there by the door. In the back of the little room under a hanging light you might find decorating a bland dental office instead, sat another door that must have led to the rest of the building. Though the front had seemed newer, the inside was still styles after the fashion of an old-timey long town house. To the right of that back door a thin hall led down the side of the building into the darkness, and to the left sat an empty desk with no contents at all on top. Surprisingly, there was also a desk to Josie’s direct left that she hadn’t noticed at first in her peripheral. There, a middle aged otter sat in a straight backed, cheap office chair. Round lensed glasses rested on his nose, and he smiled at Josie without his teeth.

“Oh, hello there!” She shouted rather loudly, and blushed.

“Right, and here we have my associate, Lyle. He’s a home designer, and we share the office building. Mine and his services do go hand in hand. He will have to arrange a separate meeting with you from mine. He do try to stay within our own fields, and don’t interrupt each other while we are with a client. Right now, you’re in my hands.” Nook wiggled his tiny fingers on his belly for emphasis, “Can’t decorate without a house, now can we?”

“I guess not.” She gave a side long glace to Lyle, who still stared blatantly at the other two as they had their talk.

“Ok, ok then. Pull up a chair and let’s get your new home straightened out.” Nook rushed to his seat at the desk, “Right, I know you’re itching for a place to call your own here in our lovely town. The location you are staying at currently is where I will erect your cottage. We will start small, yes. You’ll need your primary living arrangements first, yes. Then we will talk about renovations and additions, yes.” Nook made squiggly notes on a sheet by his desk planner.

“When will my home address be prepared for me?” Josie asked as casually as she could without giving away that she wasn’t truly mayor yet.

“Yes, yes. Once construction is done, yes. We can begin as early as the paperwork is finished here today. So, one question for you, what color roof tiles would you prefer?”

“Red?”

“Red, yes. Now, sight here, and here.” Nook handed her the hand written page he had been working on, painting to two crooked hand drawn lines. He hadn’t even written it in ink. Fighting her inner doubt that anything in the town was run properly, she signed the strange deed to her house. Nook swiped it off the table, and quickly stuffed it into a drawer.

“So, yes, construction will begin today. Until construction is done, you will be living in the tent which I will reconstruct right next door to your new address. The construction shouldn’t take more than a few days, trust me. I’ll have it all under control within the hour. So, once construction is finished, come see me here at my office to finalize your purchase, and I will issue you your own copy of the deed.” Nook seemed very self-assured, so Josie simply nodded along.

“Now I hope you have a wonderful rest of your day. I saw on the news report that today should warm up this afternoon for a while, just before cooling down to a cozy early winter night. I know you’ll just love the climate here in Cat’s Cradle. Winter will be so charming, and you’ll just gush in your letters back home about spring. Our little town just livens up with the rains. And don’t over work yourself, Miss Josie. The best part of living in a small town is enjoying yourself.”

“Thank you for the advice Mr. Nook. You don’t have to convince me twice. Your package just a month ago won me over with the pictures of the town. I’ve always wanted to make a home for myself in the country.” That was all a lie.
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carrotmayor
 
Name
Athena
ACNL Town
Last Active
10/20/2017 3:06pm
Part Two

        “Please, Mr. Nook was my father. I’d prefer to be called Tom Nook, as that’ll differentiate me from my nephews who work at the convenience store, while still maintaining our polite airs.”

“Thank you Tom Nook.” Yep, Josie knew it’d feel disgustingly strange saying his full name, “I’ll come by as soon as construction ends. Have a nice afternoon.”

“Thank you, Miss Josie. Thank you for your patronage. I know I’m the only real estate agent who deals in land here, but you could have gone to another, who knows. G’day!”

Josie escaped Nook’s wide smile and small handshake, and Lyle’s beady magnified eyes as soon as she could. Outside again, she instantly made eye contact with a resident she recognized from her welcoming ceremony. Surprisingly, he marched up to her proudly without actually having spoken to her before.

“Well, hello there.” Said the older lion. He was a character. He wore an old military uniform with all his pins and dangling medals.

“Hello, nice to meet you, sir. I’m Miss Josie, Josie Pots, your new mayor.”

“I know who you are. I’m Lionel. I’m a veteran of our fine military, and a long-time resident here in Cat’s Cradle.”

“Thank you for your service, sir. It’s an honor to have you in our town.”

“That’s shaky business, there, that is. Careful who you call one of your own, Miss. Especially the likes of me. You see, this town was once fine on its own, and our good mayor of many years kept things just as they should be up until his retirement. Many of us here have come to the conclusion to be critical of you and your work. This town’s historical, and should be rightly kept that way, you see. Many of us have formed a group, and we met last night to talk over our concerns. We are concerned about you, and your intentions here in this town.”

Josie felt herself sweating even in the cold. The wind sent a chill over her damp forehead, “Mr. Lionel, I’ve yet to form any intentions regarding my mayoral duties. Until I’ve had a town meeting where I’m able to get acquainted with you all, I won’t make any assumptions.”

“Right you are in that.” Lionel said, and the tightness in Josie’s chest loosened up.

“Sir, you’re likely the best one to ask for advice and direction, so I hope we can be friends.”

“Not so easy as that, little Miss, I’m afraid. I’m not quick to friends, and never have been. You aren’t wrong to consider me the one to go to though. I’ve lived here most of my life, and I know all the in’s an outs.” Lionel seemed full of pride in his town, and his dedication to his town. Josie hoped she’d found his sweet spot.

“Great. So, where would the bank be located?”

“Never had a bank here. Towns who let the bank buy up some big building to take your money in all have such airs. Here, we don’t like to prioritize money. We keep all the banking business sorted at the Post Office here. That’s right here.” Lionel pointed to a rustic, paneled building right by them. The roof’s edges sloped down low to the ground like those on cabins or ski lodges. Josie hoped that Cradle didn’t get snow.

“Thank you very much, Lionel. I hope we can arrange a meeting soon.”

“Of course, young lady. I’ll contact you, so don’t worry about it.” Without a nod or a wave he strode off in the opposite direction. Talking to Lionel-- the oldest animal in Cat’s Cradle probably-- really was a demeaning experience in Josie’s opinion. She’d have to ask Isabelle what his deal was.

On that note, Josie rushed into the Post Office. Inside, a white coated pelican with rosy cheeks and a big yellow gullet, waved a feathery greeting to Josie. She quickly plucked up her loose feathers from the counter and placed them aside.

“Howdy, welcome to the Cat’s Cradle Post Office, home of all your public needs. My name is Pelly. How may I help you today?”

“I’m looking for the Bank?”

“Oh, well that’s to your left, sweetie. We keep an ATM for self service.”

Josie looked at the old machine against the wall, dissatisfied, “Thanks.”

She opened her zipper pocket to remove her wallet. Inside the little pink trifold pouch, she looked for her blue debit card. To her dismay, it was missing. She rummaged through all her pockets, and the card was indeed missing. Great, she thought, just what I need.

“Mrs. Pelly?”

“Oh, I’m not married, love.” Her blush grew even deeper on her stark white cheeks.

“Excuse me, my bad. I was wondering if you were able to help me with non-self-serve services.” Josie felt awkward getting caught at a loss for words.

“Yes, ma’am. What can I do for you?” Josie stepped up to the low counter and explained her dilemma. Pelly listened tentatively.

“I’m sorry to hear that you’ve misplaced your card. What I can do for you is cancel your card for the safety of your account. Then, I’ll have you fit out the form for me to send in and ask for a replacement card. The card can sometimes take up to a week to arrive by mail.”

Josie let out a deep sigh, ”Alright, thank you.”

“Don’t be too down, Ma’am. The form only calls for your address, and your name, and your account number.”

“Bamboo shoot.” Josie mumbled harshly.

“What’s wrong, ma’am?” Pelly was genuinely concerned.

“It’s just that I don’t have a mailing address yet.”

“I see, why don’t we open you a P.O. box. Any citizen on Cat’s Cradle can apply for one.”

“Sadly, without my address, I haven’t been able to finalize my citizenship here.”

“Hm, well, what we can do is wait for your address then. Until then, you can apply for a bank account with the Cat’s Cradle Bank. That way you can still store your money and receive checks and direct lines of money while we wait for your other paperwork. You may use whichever address you like for this account, for example, your parent’s address.”

“That may work. Sadly, I just won’t be able to reach any of my savings.” Pelly placed the new member forms in front of Josie, and handed her one of those black, blocky shaped pens attached to a chain that most banks have.

Pelly’s eyes lit up, “I don’t mean to intrude but I can’t help but notice that you’re Miss Josie that I’ve heard of. I didn’t meet you at the ceremony because I have to stay here for the entirety of my shift, but I’d have been there if I could have made it. Good to meet you, Mayor. Congratulations, I’m sure you’ll do this town justice.” Pelly’s positive attitude was refreshing to Josie.

“Thank you! Glad to know I’m welcome here in some circles.”

“Of course you are. Now, I’ll get this paperwork pushed through at top speed. I’ll get you a temporary ATM card for our bank, and then you can handle all your important mayoral banking. I hope I was a help.”

“A very big help!” Pelly seemed honestly honored to work for Josie. That made Josie’s day easily.

On turning away to leave, it finally hit Josie that she was in a rural town where she was hardly welcome, her primary bank account was on hold, and she couldn’t finalize her position as mayor without an address. Besides her initial issues, now Josie needed to worry about her inability to pay for food, or let alone anything. Her belly suddenly grumbled loudly at the thought of not eating. She had already missed breakfast and lunch. Stepping out into the midday sun, Josie could feel the heat in the uncovered sun’s rays. She unzipped her coat, and hoped her head wouldn’t swoon before she got a meal.

To Be Continued
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Awesome! I'm interested to see more about Lionel and his group of seemingly old-town conservative villagers who won't be too keen on change.
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Thank you for the Reese memories (7/9/13-9/27/17)
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Update! I'm currently in the process of writing. I write in my spare time most mornings except for recently due to the hot weather. I have switched to art work in the mornings and writing in the evenings. The next chapter will be up soon. To see progress of the art I do when I'm not writing, you can check out my tumblr: carrotmayor, or my Instagram: carrotenoidart. I have been busy. I hope everyone has had a lovely fathers day weekend The Next chapter will be posted soon
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Chapter Three: Food Really Brings People Together Part One

Following her stomach, Josie chose to visit the convenience store next. On entering, she was instantly greeted by Nook’s young nephews. Josie didn’t realize they’d be so young. She towered over them. In their tiny voices they chanted, “Welcome, welcome,” Quite a few times. The two did resemble Tom Nook, but were much smaller with wider eyes. Despite their age the two had little tummies that combined might have rivaled Tom Nook’s gut.

“Hello, how may we help you?”

“Yes, how may be help you?” the second chimed in.

“Hello, I’m Josie, new town mayor—“

“Yes, hello, I’m Timmy.”

“And I’m Tommy.” Josie wouldn’t have been able to tell the difference. The two could have been twins if they weren’t. Tom Nook never mentioned that they were.

“Pleased to meet you, and could you show me to the food?”

“Yes, right this way.” Timmy said.

“Right this way.” Tommy muttered.

Josie was led a few short steps across the whole shack of a shop, and the twins pointed to a single wooden shelf that held an assortment of canned goods and candy bars. It wasn’t at all usually appetizing food. There were bite sized Kit-Kats, and rice krispy chocolates, and canned peaches, and canned corned imitation beef. Josie wondered how a company could get off on making imitation meats when all of society was co-existing animal species; all of which were pescetarian strictly. The idea of eating an artificially flavored beef wasn’t right.

“Are you finding everything fine?” Tommy asked.

“…finding everything fine?” Timmy chimed.

“Well, honestly, I was hoping for a wider selection. Is there a local grocery store?”

A loud “Harumph” and “Humph” came from behind her. Josie turned, and there was Lionel again. He pretended to read the back of a pack of pens.

“Excuse me.” Josie said suddenly. Then she realized she had nothing at all to say to Lionel even if he was being rude. As mayor, Josie had to become used to the residents of Cradle being in the right.

“Young Lady, what do you need?” Lionel raised his bushy eyebrows into an exaggerated arch.

“Well, nice seeing you again.”

“Running into you quite a bit today. Maybe you should take a break if you get tired.” He seemed condescending to her.

“Right, well, Mayors don’t take many breaks. This is a full time job, and I can’t find time to rest while there’s so much to be done.” Josie thought Lionel might expect her to give up and go home any minute now. She wouldn’t, of course. At the next chance she got, she’d write home to her mom telling her that living in Cat’s Cradle was so hospitable. Josie would get the proper paperwork in no time, she imagined.

“Of course, of course.”

“Was there some advice you might have for me?” Josie asked perfunctorily so that Lionel could get out what it was he had to say, and she could move on with her day.

“Yes, I could come up with some advice if you need it.” Josie refrained from rolling her eyes, “Oh, yes, how about this: There are no grocery stores in Cat’s Cradle. Residents of this fine town believe in making their own life. There is a certain type of life style that living here does promote. It’s not for everyone. I don’t assume that you’d be accustomed to foraging. Human’s did stop foraging for themselves long ago—“

“Excuse me.” Josie piped up for herself, and this time she intended to let Lionel know her opinion of him. He rained his eyebrows again, “No need to look down on other animal’s lifestyles. And a better need to not center your opinion on just one branch of the animal kingdom. Open-mindedness is considered one of the important levels of wellness in this world, you know. It’s just as important as physical wellness. It’s in text books.”

“Well, have a good day, Miss Josie.” Lionel huffed as he left the shop in a hurry.

Josie hoped that any of what she said would stick in Lionel’s mind later on today. She hoped he would reconsider his point of view. She hoped that he’d open up to her as Mayor. She hoped that she was strong enough to be mayor too. If Lionel was being honest, then living in Cat’s Cradle was no easy feat.

“Timmy? Tommy?”

“Yes?”

“…yes?”

“Is that true? Is there no grocery store here?”

“It is true.”

“… is true."

“Then, could you maybe explain to me how to get food in this town?” Josie hoped she didn't sound like she was giving attitude to the little guys. She was feeling all frazzled and hungry.
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Part Two

         Timmy and Tommy were more than enthusiastic about explaining to Josie the ins and outs of Cradle. First, they explained fruit trees. Cat’s Cradle was hardly an orchard, but there were a few types of fruit trees growing around town. Timmy gushed over the apples, and Tommy agreed. Next they explained to her how most home owners kept a garden. Josie just nodded along. She’d never kept a garden before. And on top of that, she didn’t even have a home of her own yet. Timmy and Tommy helped each other explain each of the tools they sold in their store. Beginning with the watering can; getting into techniques for keeping a garden happy. They finished with a fishing rod; emphasizing the importance of catching fish through the mastering of angling. Josie had never had a taste for fish, but at the thought of small fry her taste buds tingled. Her stomach turned to a solid knot, and she thought this discomfort wasn’t worth the rest of the conversation with the young nook’s.

“Pardon me, fella’s, but I think I should get going soon. I have some mayor business to attend to.” Josie hardly cut them off. They both kept rambling on about their stores wares. She pulled her little wallet out of her zip pocket, and began counting the bells in her coin pouch. She had hardly enough for anything good. One, two—she counted—three, four, five, six… seven, eight. Eight hundred Bells to her name.
“Well, what’s the price of a fishing rod again?”

“Yes, that’ll run you 500 Bells.” Timmy recited.

“Yes… 500 Bells.” Tommy chimed.

“Ok, ring me up for on fishing rod, and throw in a crispy bar.” Josie handed them her Bells at the Register. It was only a few steps to her right in the tiny store.


Nana lifted her round cheeks up to the sun. She loved it. The handle of her fishing tackle box pinched her fingers under its weight.  Her rod rested over her shoulder; it hung back behind her a good length, swaying as she walked. The sand between her long toes was the only reminder to her that she had been fishing already that morning. She fished daily, and even when returning from a trip she’d already be thinking about the next one. Up ahead her favorite tree spot came into view. The slim, tightly packed path she used each morning led up and in front of the patch of trees. Nana strolled up as usual, and came to a halt abruptly at top. There, in the field that stretched across for what seemed like eternity to her some days, was Nook.

Nook balanced on his tiny hind legs as he reached to position the rods atop the tent. He had moved it over to the right about 100 feet. Nana felt her stomach sink. The new girl would be taking up a spot in the field for the rest of her days. The endless grass would be broken up. The field would be tarnished. Nook would erect a classic brick cottage there, or a country style home with paneling. He’d shingle it in bright, abrasive red. The fence around it would be a jutting white picket, and it’d determine the length of the girl’s property line. The mail would be delivered to her weekly—maybe constantly—as mayor. She’d have company, and bring foot traffic to the field. The campers might return, and then there will be dogs playing in the field. She may want to put in a cement walk way. The stark contrast of the waving grass against the rigid concrete flashed in Nana’s mind. No humans were ever naturalists. They always put their homes in the middle of perfect fields. Nana broke off her thought before she could think how a town as old as Cat’s Cradle should rightfully keep an animal for mayor. By tradition. She couldn’t or wouldn’t think that though. She wasn’t rude.

From the tall grass out there in the middle of Nana’s field Josie suddenly popped. She was far off, and never once glanced out to the patch of beautiful, orange leafed trees where Nana rested in the shade. She didn’t glance up at the white, flourishing clouds. The girls never once looked to take in her surroundings, and yet she held over her shoulder with grace a fishing rod. Nana could make out the outline. Nana hoped she had misread the girl, and that actually she too loved the little fishing town. Nana watched as her new mayor chatted with Tom Nook. She wondered what they were saying. Probably, Nook was going over the building plans for the following morning. Nana knew how Nook’s real-estate business worked. Nook had built her house as well. She tried to remind herself that she was no better than the new girl. Her home rested on top the nicest cliff overlooking the sea. Nana wouldn’t have known she was intruding on someone’s favorite spot either. She decided it was best to move on for the day, and go home to watch TV.


On the other side of town, Lionel sat slumped in his high backed, leather chair. Like Nana, he was thinking about the state of their pretty town. Only, Lionel was thinking about it on a larger scale. Nana kept concerned about her field only. Lionel sat before a low coffee table that he wrote on with quill pen and parchment. He was thinking again and again since that afternoon about the future of Cradle. He knew that the young mayor would be interested in progress and improvement, but he and his Historic Club would have to convince her as soon as possible of the importance of the history. The idea of old buildings being torn down haunted him.

He picked up his pen, and dipped it in his ink. Maybe I am outdated, Lionel thought, but what is old does not deserve to be forgotten. He began a beautifully written letter to Mayor Josie. As head of the Cat’s Cradle Historical Society, Lionel took it as his responsibility to invite the new mayor to their next meeting. Hopefully she would see things their way.

To Be Continued...
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Chapter Four: Really Roughing It Part One

The sunrise in Cat’s Cradle could draw the most prosperous women out of their beauty rest in the morning. Thinking that, Olivia slipped out of her warm, plush bed and into a satin robe and slippers. This was hardly protection from the beach town’s cold autumn morns, but Olivia thought that was no excuse to not live luxuriously.  She brushed past rounded corner of her classic-style bedside table, and it bumped her hip pretty hard still. She was alone in the house, but kept her composure anyway. She had read quite a bit of classic literature in her college days, and though all of it taught her that women hadn’t always been considered equal,  she’d also adopted a lot of the stronger traits that women of the time used as a defense mechanism. So Olivia was proud and composed in any situation. After her usual bathroom routine and application of a face mask she gracefully flitted to the kitchen to start her coffee machine. For a cat who kept the most tidy, elegant bedroom and guest bathroom that she could afford, the kitchen was a common household bore. Cheapest appliances on the market, fiberwood counters paneled over with cheap sheets of the thinnest pine. The walls were yellow wallpaper, and the floors linoleum tile. She plugged in her waffle machine to begin warming it.

At that, she left the kitchen to move to the living room a few steps away. The home was small. What was she to do? The price of living in any beach town would be outrageous. Her sections of the home were separated by screens or built in curtain rods. The only door was too the bathroom, and the moisture in the air kept the door too tight to close fully. In the living room Olivia kept white furniture. The yellowed kitchen linoleum stretched out across the whole one floor home. She made up for that by placing a large purrsian rug in her living room. The couch was more of a cream than a white, and above it she hung a blue checkered life ring with a thick rope wound around it as a beach themed décor. It collected a lot of dust. The rest of the furniture was off-white though gilded. She had repurposed the furniture herself. The paint had been more of a pink than she’d have preferred but you did what you could to remain regal on a budget. Off directly beside a window sat her vanity. A vanity wasn’t the usual furniture for a living room to greet guests in, but she preferred to sit by the window with a view.

She looked out over the turbulent water and overcast sky. The beach calmed her, and her home wasn’t so close that she could hear it, but you could smell it in the yard. If it weren’t for the cold she’d have opened the window. Then her perfectly serene, lonely morning was interrupted. In her own yard the human girl popped in from out of nowhere.  She wore baggy jeans and a frumpy coat with puffy sleeves. The girl, Olivia knew, was her town’s mayor. What a sight! She watched as Josie, fishing rod and card board box in hand, lurked on the edge of her property. (A small property, but still hers.) Josie placed her box and rod at her feet and began to sneak, bending her knees and watching to not snap a twig. The girls stringy, flat brown hair whipped into her face, and she didn’t even flip it away. Josie reached her destination. Olivia’s breath fogged up her window, and she realized she was right up against it. The brown face mask on her nose left a tiny heart shaped dot on the glass.

Josie shook the big, dry bush in Olivia’s yard. She shook it hard and shriveled, indistinct crab apples fell all over the ground. Olivia watched the girl quickly scoop up bunches of them. Worst of all, the girl shoved them down the neck of her jacket, poky leaves and all! She zipped her coat tight, patted her new apple belly, and rushed back to grab her belongings before scurrying away. Olivia felt a hard spot in her stomach for a moment. She thought how rude it was to take someone’s fruit. But she stopped that because it was past September now, and past the autumn equinox by over six weeks. The best time for picking crab apples was over-due. Olivia knew she wouldn’t have picked those. They were for the birds now. Her apple preserve was jarred up in her cabinets.

The tiny beep of her cheap waffle maker broke her thoughts. She returned to her kitchen to make breakfast. Suddenly she felt the tight feeling her dry face mask left on her cheeks. She’d have to worry about her own self. Of course, that was all still strange to watch. Not a proper way for a mayor to behave. Not a proper way for a mayor to dress either.


On returning from her fruit gathering outing, Josie came to a more relaxed pace as returned to the plow of land she would soon call home. She tried to breathe easily now that she got away with the fruit she had been eyeing on that tree for a few days now. It was proving very difficult to catch fish. For one thing, the tackle shop, which doubles and triples as the convenience store and tool store, was closed temporarily now. There was a big sign outside that stated there would be a grand reopening after renovations. But Josie knew there were no renovations going on. In fact, the little Nook boys were working hard out in her field to construct her tiny home. As she approached, she saw Tom Nook and the boys hard at work. Timmy or Tommy lugged a hammer bigger than his arms to the back of the house while the other twin set up his lunch on a work table they had unfolded. He packed tofu, a sandwich, and a box juice. Josie’s mouth drooled. She gave a quick wave and popped into her tent. Inside the tent there was no wind, but it was still chilly. She unzipped her coat, and the apples unloaded across her sleeping bag.

The hammering began outside. It was loud and repetitious. For a moment Josie thought it was just outside her flap door. She snagged an apple to polish off on her shirt, and turned to leave. There in the flap opening was the tiny webbed foot of a bird. She peeked out and he was hammering out front of her tent. She knew this guy wasn’t part of Nook’s construction team.

“Hello, may I help you?” She said, exiting her makeshift abode.

“Well, hello there. I didn’t realize you were home.” Said the pelican. His malleable neck skin fluctuating with each word and breathe, and his speech was wet. His little feet pattered on the ground when he turned to face her.

“What’re you up to?” Josie asked.

“Why, I’m Pete the mail man. And today you have mail.” He got back to work pounding a stick into the ground. On top of it he had taped an old tissue box. On the side of that he had used a brass colored pin that presses in and folds out on the back to hold papers in place. That pin used here kept a little red paper flag attached. The makeshift mailbox matched her makeshift tent.

“Nice to meet you, Pete. I’m Mayor Josie.” As soon as Pete finished his hammering, the little twin began his in the distance.

“Right. I see everyone’s name on the mail, but it’s good to get an introduction. Nice to meet you. I have quite a bit of mail to deliver yet, so I’ll be on my way.” Pete gave a hearty wave and was off with his mail cap askew and his satchel bulging with letters and packages.
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Part Two

         Josie turned to her little mail slot, and there was a little pile of letters. It was strange that Pete made her a mail box. What a dedicated mail man, she thought.

The first letter on top was in a pink envelope with a red heart sealing it. It looked like a valentine note. Josie bit into her apple. She unsealed the envelope. She didn’t like the fruits flavor. She could still smell the twin’s lunch on the wind. The letter read:

Dear Josie-poo,

I hear you moved in to your new town. Cat’s Cradle seems so quaint. I didn’t have an address for you when I called the town hall, but they assured me that the letter would get to you. I knew you’d usually expect a text message, but I haven’t been able to contact you! I keep getting error messages. I looked up the error code, and it said your phone is disabled. Make sure your service bill is paid! I can’t remind you since you aren’t living at home. I Google mapped your town and it’s cute. I saw an image of the Town Hall. I’m sure it’s bigger inside. Send me pictures of your office! When I spoke to Isabelle, she said that you’re doing so good! It’s surprising for me to hear from your secretary instead of you! Write back soon. And send me your address. I packed along some extra spending money. Maybe get a good outfit. Your dad says hi. Call us!

Love Mom


Josie wasn’t as happy to hear from her mom as she thought she would be. She couldn’t write back and lie. Why did Isabelle talk her up to her mom? She hadn’t been into the office for days, and that’s because she wasn’t even officially mayor yet. But Josie guessed that Isabelle fully understood that none of the public needed to know that outright just yet. Her public approval was low, and if they heard she wasn’t actually mayor, she could easily be pushed out of office. She slipped a 1,000 Bell bill out from the back of the plain stationary. Her mom had written on some old wide ruled paper that had been sitting in the kitchen cabinet since Josie finished elementary school probably. Her mom really did prefer to use cell phones.

The second letter was a green envelope from Nook’s Homes address. The letter was from Lyle asking her to sign up for the Happy Home Academy soon so she could receive home advice pamphlets. The next was from the post office letting her know that her new account was activated. The third was another green envelope labeled in lovely cursive with her name: Mayor Josie. She’d have to get used to that. It read:

To Our Mayor Josie of Cat’s Cradle,

Based on my first impression of you the previous day, I am happy to announce my willingness to accept you as mayor. On that note, it is urgent that you arrange to meet with myself and the rest of the Cat’s Cradle Historical Society. We are all older residents, historians, and students alike. The founding motive of my associates and myself as of late is the well-being of our little town as you come into your position. We may speak in better detail in person. The Historical Society meets each Friday at Brewster’s Café in the Beach District. We’d be honored to receive you.

Your Humble Associate, Lionel


Well, Josie thought that her collection letters was for sure interesting. She tossed all the letters but for Lionel’s into her tent, and pocketed the eloquent note for later. She grabbed another apple, and stepped out to zip back up her flap. Immediately after stepping out she was greeted by an animal plunging out of the ground with a spray of damp soil. She yelped and fell into her tent, snapping a support from the ground with her.

“Sorry, miss, sorry! No, I’m not sorry! I have business with you!” A plump mole yelled. He removed his reading glasses from the tip of his twitching nose, and a smile curled back that revealed all of his small teeth.

“Who—“

“I’m Mr. Resetti. I’m the plan coordinator for jobs out here in CC. That’s Cat’s Cradle for your info. I’m a construction mole, and a regulatin’ mole. I’m the head mole on the construction of your home.” He sniffed, and spat.

“Nice to meet you, I’m mayor Josie.”

“Of course you are. I know everyone. I know CC like the back of my paw. I know the under-side of CC like the palm of my paw. I know the people of CC like the sense in my sniffer. I’ve sniffed you out. Didn’t expect you to look the way you do. Course, my glasses ain’t on.”

“Right…”

“Anyway, back to that business. I need to know some crucial building info. Do you need a bathroom in the home?”

“A bathroom?”

“Yes, for your business. My business is your business in this case. I’m putting a port-o-potty outside for you. Truck will pick up the sewage monthly. I suggest peeing behind trees. In the home, do you have a flooring preference?”

“Well, a floor…”

“Yes, no floor to be put in until the tiles are selected back at Nook’s Homes. Sadly, he’s out here building on your framework based on my direction. So, no floor. Do you have a preference for the roof color? The exterior?”

“Gosh, I’ve never had a home before—“

“Right-o. Never owned a piece of land. I seen your file. I update your file. How about red. Rest I’ll handle for you. It’s in my hands now.” His hands were caked in mud.

“Thanks for all your hard work.” Josie couldn’t help but be intimidated by him. She hoped if she were polite he’d just leave.

“And another thing, if I see you don’t appreciate this—did you say thanks—you said thanks, huh? Well, you’re welcome. I’ll be checking on you!” Resetti plopped back down into his mysterious tunnels that were apparently down there, recovered his hole, and lightly rushed away with barely a scrambling sound below.
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Part Three

        Josie tapped the ground with her toe. She hoped it was sturdy. But her thoughts had to turn back to her own business, and not the kind that needed a port-o-potty. She had already come to the realization days ago that there wasn’t very much real plumbing available in Cradle. Her next step was returning to Isabelle. It couldn’t be another way. She didn’t know what to do. There was pressure to prove to her mom she was well, and pressure to impress Lionel and the other residents, and above all the necessary need for her to be able to eat. Everything she did was for naught. No fish, no fire, no camping skills to her name. Josie slipped her arm into the tent one last time to grab another pitiful apple, and took off running for the Town Hall. She didn’t even stop to wave to the Nooks.


Isabelle hummed cheerfully as she rummaged through the tall pile of paperwork on her desk. She hummed until satisfied, and finally sighed. The office didn’t receive many visits as of late. Since the resignation and retirement of the previous mayor she had a lot of time to herself. It was a good opportunity to get work done, she told herself Today was mail day, and she thought maybe her old boss might have sent out a post card to her, but no mail came for her. She finished up a doodle of her and the mayor on welcoming day. Her little flower pin bobbed as she drew, and it made everything squiggly. Isabelle had been an art major though before she turned business major, and before she joined the secretary union for jobs. And the Mayor barged in through the front door, panting, and in a rush! And the mayor’s rush gave Isabelle a rush! She bounced in place and grinned. Her scrunchy bun on top her head bounced from side to side, and a bell accessory jingled as the door bells rattled. The racket was so refreshing! She realized her doodle was there on the desk, and she flipped it over.

“Hello Isabelle.” Josie panted.

“Hello, Mayor, how may I assist you today?”

“I’ve come with a problem.”

“Yes, what’s come up?” Isabelle was eager to help.

“Well, I got some mail today, and it’s all very urgent.”

Isabelle listened as Josie explained her predicament. It was true, without the real paperwork filed beforehand, then anyone could upturn her mayor-ship. Well, that wouldn’t do. No one would turn away Isabelle’s mayor! Mayor Josie was what Cat’s Cradle needed, and Isabelle believed that in her heart. The sooner Josie got her residency and approval and such things, the sooner that Josie could move into her office and keep the Town Hall company. Or me company, Isabelle imagined all the fun they would have together.

“Well, first thing first is we must begin work on your public approval instantly. That way once your residency and citizenship paperwork is all sorted out, you’ll be up to par with approval based on the standards set in my questionnaires.  The villagers must come in and fill them out anonymously, as you must know. So, first you will have to meet with Lionel and his club in the next two days, on Friday. Impress him, and then he will spread the good word. He’s an important resident, and the others will listen to him. Other than that meeting, I would suggest befriending whoever you can. More friends the better.”

“Oh, thank you Isabelle! It’s a relief to have your support. It’s been such a rough week.” Josie felt like crying almost.

Isabelle took in the sight that was Josie. She really did look a mess. She had to ask, “Are you feeling well, Mayor?”

“I’m not sick really. I’m just struggling to meet the life style here. I’m living from a tent, and haven’t got a shower. I don’t have electricity, and there’s no grocery store. As a kid I never camped, and now here I am struggling to catch even one fish.” Josie could feel herself flushing as she opened up to her secretary. She hoped she didn’t appear about to cry.

Isabelle’s heart grew for Josie. Her sweet mayor was so hard working. Her mayor made her so proud. She just had to give her more tips. She tried to hold back her tears. Isabelle just felt such a connection to her new mayor. Josie’s rosy cheeks and glistening eyes full of passion just connected with Isabelle.

“Okay, we can remedy that! Don’t you worry. I’ll get you a watering can. They have so many purposes. Just you take it and go out to some rich soil by flowers. You’ll soak the area and the worms will pop up. That way you’ll have such good bait, and the town will be full of flowers soon enough come spring!” Isabelle couldn’t contain herself as she pulled a little watering can she kept for the indoor plants out from her cabinet.

“Oh, thank you! Now I just have to make sure my fishing skills are up to par.” Josie accepted the can without a second guess. Her head hurt all the time from lack of food.

“Now you get out there and fill your tummy so you’ll be ready to meet with Lionel!” Isabelle shouted.

“I will!” Josie ran off with new eagerness. Isabelle really radiated energy. Back in the Town Hall Isabelle sighed with satisfaction. Her mayor would be so successful. She wished she could have just invited Josie to live with her and eat dinner with her, but Isabelle knew no one would ever respect a mayor who lived off her secretary even if the two were the best of friends.


That evening Josie took to fishing again. She was determined to learn to fish. Nana walked up the river to return to the trail that would lead her home. There she spied Josie, casting her line awkwardly. The loose line let the bobber drift far down stream. Josie didn’t once look up from her work to notice Nana standing there. Josie plopped down into the mud, a tackle box by her, a slew of worms wiggling atop it in the handles grooves, and to Josie’s other side sat a little tin watering can. Josie sat patiently, not even moving. She concentrated on her rog positioned between her knees.

Nana noticed the moon high in the sky. It was late. She almost could feel badly for the little city girl. The mayor had no idea how to do anything.

To Be Continued
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I've been doing so much homework and such this July I'm behind on writing! Expect an update soon!
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I've always learned that it's better to be behind on writing if it means a good chapter! It's never good to rush something out just for the sake of it. Quality over quantity. We'll be waiting.
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Chapter Five: Dinner With Friends

Josie hadn’t even been to the side of town that Lionel and his compatriots met in. She stood off a ways from the café just looking at it. The Roost wasn’t at all like the coffee shops she was used to back home. It was... rustic… reminiscent of the country… titillating… aromatic, she thought to herself. The place sat by its self near the river; the sounds of the fish plopping and the water gurgling panned off to the right. The building was a rectangle covered in a vine she thought might be morning glories, and surrounded in planters that would probably house pansies or some seasonal flower if it weren’t nearly winter. A warm yellow light glowed in the low windows, and little flittering moths were already gathering. Josie would have been excited to enter if she didn’t have to meet the committee of old-timey Historians. The cool drifts of freshly ground coffee eventually lured her in. Josie practically craved any ounce of civilization that may remind her of back in the city. Days of starving and peeing behind bushes… Josie needed a coffee.

But she collected herself. This wasn’t a silly coffee date. This had to do with her career as mayor, and the fate of the little town. Josie imagined the Public Projects she could enact in the premise of the café. A little park could improve business and foot traffic immensely.

“Josie! Glad you’re on time. Right on time.” Lionel shouted from the corner table as she entered. Josie didn’t realize she was on time actually; she still didn’t have a watch.

“Come have a sit.” Said a warm toned octopus with many tentacles encircling a steaming mug. Josie stepped up to the only open seat at the table set for four.

“Miss Josie, what can I brew for you?” came a low, rolling—cooing—voice from her left. Josie felt disoriented and over stimulated in the fragrant, warmly lit room.

To her left she turned to see the café’s barista. A city pigeon stood behind a tall bar counter drying a teacup. “A mocha please?”

“Coming right up.” The blue-gray bird mumbled.

“So, you’ve come with your proper clip board and all…” Lionel growled.

Josie looked town and actually felt herself focusing to focus her eyes on Isabelle’s borrowed clip board, “Yes, I thought I’d take some notes.”

“Good thinking.” Said a little green frog who was only a head taller that the table top. His voice was really a deep bullfrog croak as compared to his appearance. What a grump too.

“Thank you for inviting me to your club meeting.”

“Well, let’s keep it short. We aren’t young men. Even the coffee only keeps us up so late.” The octopus chuckled with a shower of little wet pops of his lips and suction cups as he moved. Josie tried not to look over at him she might have laughed at his laugh.

“I’d like to introduce the rest of us all.” Said the imposing little frog, “I’m called Camofrog. I wasn’t in Lionel’s brigade, but I served the air force in the war.  Met him back then, and he told me all I know of our little town. Flew for 20 years before leaving for Cat’s Cradle to pursue my true passion: fishing. Here we have Octavian. He served the opposing side of the war. Never spoke a word of animalese before he met me. Came to port in Cradle some 10 years ago during the big commerce boom while the carp were good. Good squid, that one.”

Camofrog finished with clearing his gulping throat and looked to Josie, “Yes, well,” Josie’s heart missed a beat before she realized it was her turn to introduce herself, “I’m Miss Josie from out of town, of course. I heard of Cradle from our Tom Nook. He’s put me up in a little home. I’m the newly appointed mayor…” Josie knew she was lying through her teeth but tried to pretend it was no big deal. Even sweet Isabelle could tell a white lie, “I finished college, and I have a passion for mayoral duties. I care deeply for our town as you do. Good to meet you all.”

“Good, good. Miss Josie, short and simple, what do you plan on doing with our town?” Lionel stared her down.

“Josie, ma’am, we’re concerned that you’ll be looking to change our home. We only wish to keep what we love intact.” Camofrog added.

“I do not want to see the Historical buildings and sites demolished or covered.” Octavian plopped his left tentacle on his knee thoughtfully.

“Miss, I don’t want to lose my business or clientele.” The pigeon said suddenly from over her shoulder as he placed her hot cup of creamy mocha on the table.

Josie was more overwhelmed than before now. But not from sensory overload. She couldn’t think of her vital coffee after such honesty. She was shocked that the residents of Noodle were so concerned she might destroy their landmarks.

“Historical Society, I promise that as Mayor of Noodle, I am dedicated to learning the town’s history and growing to love this place as home. I know I haven’t had the chance to properly address the town’s residents, but my plan as mayor is to bring life into Cat’s Cradle through the already existing landmarks and businesses. Imagine it! A park to bring more people out to the café. I imagine couples sipping Roost coffee on convenient benches. I imagine planting more trees. I plan on bring more attention to our town through events for the public. We will work together to bring out Cradle’s best traits through festivals and community. I don’t want to change Cradle. I only want to restore its beauty.”

Josie hoped her impromptu speech would pass. The club of veterans looked impressed. They all nodded and shook hands.

“Mayor Josie.” Lionel straightened his back.

“Yes, sir…?”

“We’re glad to find that we’re on the same page.”

“I have to apologize for not trusting Nook’s judgment in hiring you on. As someone who was also once judged prematurely…” Octavian said.

“Look, we are grateful is all. Why don’t you give Brewster’s brew a sip. It’ll be the first step toward loving our home as your own.” Camofrog interjected. He didn’t seem to enthused about anything too emotional.

“Cheers.” Cooed Brewster from behind his worn counter.
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carrotmayor
 
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ACNL Town
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Thank you for waiting so long for the update. Looking forward to the next chapter for Josie. Lots will happen now!
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Chapter Six: Citizen Satisfaction Part One


Morning sang with the chirping of small birds that hid in the fir trees. There was richness in the air like cinnamon cider and soft green needles wilting under her hard-soles boots. Nana smoothed her fur against the wind but it wouldn’t make a difference.  She lugged her rod and tackle box in one hand, and her sack lunch under the other arm. Her morning routine faltered in the early winter. Generally, once it became so cold tat her nose got numb she would begin to stay in bed longer and longer. Fishing of course was still her passion. Nana kept vigilant. She would be off before lunch time, walk her usual trail toward her favorite spot out past the now occupied field, and stop for a bite before casting her line for the afternoon. The house—the one Nook erected just last month for Miss Josie—loomed still on Nana’s landscape. She passed it now like a monkey on a mission. She swept past her trees and view with only a glance at the prominent red shingled roof. That morning Josie came out the front door just on time as usual. Nana observed that Josie would leave the house daily at noon
.
Josie’s schedule had become waking up at 6 am to meet with Isabelle and check her town rating each day. She was too excited to earn her title as Mayor officially now that she officially had a mailing address on file. Josie realized though that citizenship was the least of her problems now that she had to gain the approval of the residents. After her daily one-on-one meeting with her soon-to0be secretary, Josie would run off to climb trees and rummage through town for things to sell. Recently Josie discovered selling sea shells to the Nook nephews to earn her Bells. Of course, it wasn’t much. It would be enough to just buy lunch and dinner at The Roost each day. She would usually have company at dinner too. Usually Lionel, Camo’, Octavian, or Nook and his lot. There were regulars at The Roost, and Josie was proud to be one—though she was still ashamed she couldn’t fish or cook like the others.

Josie looked down to her feet on her way out the door, and there was her usual delivery. She knew from investigation that it wasn’t a package delivered by Pete or any mail man he knew of. But the past few weeks Josie had begun to receive little gifts. The first gift had been home baked sugar cookies tied up in glossy wrapping paper. The next five consecutive gifts had been store bought apples not carried in the Nook shop. They had little bar code stickers and everything. And now Josie was receiving newspaper wrapped boxes of croissants the last two days.

Of course she wrote her mom immediately after moving into the little house. She wrote and asked if the gifts were from her, but her mom soon replied that she couldn’t have delivered the gifts because she didn’t have Josie’s address yet. So the little gifts were a mystery still. Usually they were delivered in the morning. On occasion they would be there early, early in the morning before Josie even got out of the house. But mostly they were out on the doorstep when she returned from her meeting with Isabelle. That day the package was left before she left to go collect shells.

She asked Pete to keep an eye out for the mysterious pen-pal, but Pete explained that would disrupt his route. So Josie just grabbed the gift up off the damp doorway, looked out to the edge of the trees, said, “Thank you”, and rushed back inside to much on her generous breakfast. The house was very humble. She had no kitchen installed or any storage. She simply kept a camping lamp she got from Isabelle, a tea table she found at the little Nook store, and a pretty polka dot rug she received from Camofrog as a birthday gift even though she told him her birthday wasn’t until spring.

After late breakfast Josie sprang up to go clean the beach. She called it that on account that she picked up any trash she found on the way. Isabelle told her that recycling and cleaning Cat’s Cradle’s environment would increase her approval rating. Josie though it might encourage more tourism as well. The beaches in Cat’s Cradle were cold and wet in winter, but leading into the warm weather, Josie knew they were long and white.

She ran along her usual paths to reach the farthest beach from her house. Josie was getting good at running, and knew most the trails in town like the back of her hand. She didn’t even take out her fishing rod anymore because it was so useless  to her, so she could go as fast as she liked. The sea was salty and wet in the air. Approaching the beach kept her energized, or at least happy, because she was sweaty and pooped after her run.

Down on the beach Josie spotted a pink blob down a ways. She knew that blob. She saw it sometimes entering a store on main street, or sliding between trees by her house. Josie knew where the blob lived too. By the train station. Isabelle has introduced Josie to each residents profile so that she wouldn’t be mistaken if she ran into anyone new. This was her chance to finally introduce herself to Nana!

“Hey-O!” Josie called out. Nana responded by turning around, but didn’t call back. Josie immediately started down the slope leading to the beach. She made a bee line toward Nana.

Down on the beach Nana watched as Josie came closer and closer. Nana already cast her line there, so she couldn’t get up to meet Josie half way, or run away to avoid her for that matter. Instead of stopping at her usual fishing spot that day, Nana walked past it, and followed the river until the trail branched off. She followed the trail along the cliff, and finally down to the farthest beach. It was refreshing to walk out by the crashing tide, but now she regretted the choice. Nana really was avoiding Josie. She felt uninterested in meeting the new Mayor.

Josie made her way slowly to pick up shells as she went. When she was finally in earshot she said hi:

“Morning.”

“Morning to you too.” Said Nana.

“Real nice day for the beach.” Josie said.

“I’m a fan of the cold actually.”

“Oh, so am I.” There was a long pause before Josie continued, “Well, I’m Josie by the way. I’ve been seeing you out and about; thought I’d finally introduce myself.”
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Part Two

        “That’s good of you. We don’t live too far from each other.”

Josie and Nana both looked out over the gray water and blue-gray sky. Josie may have run up to Nana impulsively, but an increase in impulsiveness as of late didn’t imply that she had improved on her actual social skills. Awkward as ever. She thought for a moment, and tried to remember her mom’s last letter. It was an encouraging one. Her mom was good at talking. She had majored in communications. The letter was back home on the tea table. It read something like:


Dear Miss Mayor Lady,

Your dad and I are glad to hear you’re a resident of Cat’s Cradle! I’ve been posting updates on my web page to show you off to your aunts. They’re so jealous because their kids haven’t moved out yet. But I miss you so much! There’s no one to help with the winter garden here. Dad’s been planning a skiing trip for us, but he’s so bad at planning, who knows! Next time you wright remind him to make the plan.

Anyway, I hear you that it’s hard to make friends so short notice. Especially without a proper home to have company! So what I’d do is find out what your new friends like to do, and get involved. If they long jump then ask to tag along. If they ski, then by golly make a solid plan to go out! Ha Ha!

Let me know when I’ll get to see you next. Toy Day just won’t be the same without you. Dad and I love you!

From Mom and Dad <3



Josie thought that might be good advice actually. She decided to get to know Nana.

“Do you ski at all?”

“Nope.”

“Me either actually. I’m scared of it. Do you fish every day?”

“Yeah.”

“Why?”

“Well, I’m in training.”

“That’s interesting. Do we hold a competition?”

“Actually, Cradle used to have an annual Fishing Tourney. It made front page of Fishing Monthy about six years ago. I didn’t actually compete that year though. I moved in to town the year after when I read an article about the wildlife here in Cat’s Cradle. But we haven’t had a competition the last few years. Our Mayor just couldn’t get the energy for it.”

“You know what, that’s as good a request as any. I’ll take note of it.” Josie smiled. She felt like she had making friends with the residents in the bag.

“I hope that’s not an empty promise. I’d be really let down if the Tourney wasn’t held now that you’re mayor.” Nana said matter of factly.

“Nana, you have my word for it. I’ll make the arrangements with Isabelle tonight. I’ll see that the fishing reporters make an appearance too. That’d be just the fresh air that Cradle needs. And don’t worry about my know how, you know, with taking care of our town. I’m a member of the Historical Society since last month. I’ll be at every meeting. That’s every Friday at The Roost if you want to come too. They’ve applied to be Public Work Project committee, and I’m sure Isabelle won’t mind the extra help.” Josie completed another smooth speech proudly.

“I suppose you’ve got some experience mayoring then.” Nana said.

“Right. It’s all I’ve studied for. Except, there’s one thing I need brushing up on.”

“Really?” Nana was truly interested.

“Yeah. I could use some fishing pointers so I can participate in the Tourney too. I wouldn’t want to miss out.”

Nana seemed shocked a little that Josie asked for fishing lessons, “Uh… yeah. I mean—“ PLOP!

Down went the bobber all of a sudden! Nana flinched hard, bounced back ,and then swung her arms over her head to grab the pole before it could plunge into the ocean to wash away with whatever giant fish was sending surge after surge of pressure on the line. Josie yelped and fell back. Nana reeled and struggled and pulled. The tension on the pole seemed near to snapping in half. Nana reeled. Josie sat in the sand with her pockets of shells sprawled around her. And PLOP, PLOOP, BOOF! There it was.

Not a prize winning fish, but a tire. An ordinary, bald tire someone dumped. Nana’s disappointment was evident. Her fur was pink, but her blush was red. Josie got up slowly. Nana began tidying up immediately to leave.

“Well, no fish, but truly you’re very strong to pull that in.”

“I guess.” Nana said. She snapped her tackle box shut.

“I’ll see you soon I hope.” Josie said quickly as Nana began to leave.

“Right on. Yeah, see you soon. Have a good one ok. Good luck down here. The fishings not what it used to be.” Nana stormed off.

Honestly, Josie was a little offended that her cleaning efforts weren’t enough. She’d have to talk to Isabelle as soon as possible. She scooped up the shells and lifted the salty tire right side up with a bit of effort. She rolled it all the way back to the Town Hall.


Octavian watched from his window as she slowly rolled the soggy tire up the slope. His window looked out over the ocean. He and Camofrog were close neighbors because of the beautiful view that side of town. He listed his walkie and said, “Camo, do you copy?” He fuzzed out.

The radio clicked on, “Copy. Over.”

“Check out Mayor Josie on the beach trail. Over.”

“Copy. She’s a study lady. Think I’ll give her a hand.” Camofrog clicked off, then clicked on, “Over,” clicked off.

“Roger that. Meet you by the picket fence on your side.” Octavian said. He never had the habit of saying over and it bothered Camo endlessly, but Octavian felt no need to imitate any old habits from the war he didn’t need.

“Right-E-O. Over.” The line fuzzed empty as Camofrog turned off the large military walkie-talkie he got for him and his buddy Octavian last Toy Day. The two pulled on a coat and went to help their fellow Historian with her tire.

To be continued...
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carrotmayor
 
Name
Athena
ACNL Town
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Hello ACC, sorry for being so absent recently. I'm a California resident, so I've been stressed out recently with the fires and such. I'll be way behind of school work for a while now. So if there was anyone wondering where I've gone to: I promise I'm still here... I'll be back to writing and fun things soon!
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Bbykat51
 
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kassie
ACNH Town
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No worries! Life comes first after all.

Just caught up on your story, and I love it!
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Liv909
 
Name
Liv
ACNH Town
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Don't worry, I've been there, done that. What matters is real life and honestly, waiting to pump out the right chapter is better than rushing out a shoddy one. We'll be here when you get back!
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