DEC 3rd, 2016
It was a fine summer’s morning and Mayoress Wanda Waddlington was busy tidying up and getting the house ready for their visitor. Mayor Bill Waddlington was expecting a visit from Mayor Hugo Trunk of Sugarbush Valley and Wanda had been up since
early that morning, getting things in order for the meeting over lunch.
Little Jemima and Wendy were playing peacefully in the corner of the livingroom, but Quiller and Sebastian were nowhere in sight. This made Wanda just a little bit uneasy, since she knew that the boys could be so very busy if left unattended, but she simply did not have the time to go in search of the missing ducklings while so much still had to be done.
Just as Wanda was finished vacuuming, Bill entered with two little ducklings in tow. She smiled as she saw the boys follow their father into the room, and even thought to herself how silly she was for thinking that these little darlings were up to no good again. But, it didn’t take long for Bill to break her little dream bubble.
“Oh, my little pillow puff, this room is positively sparkling! You have done such a great job. Hmm, you haven’t finished upstairs yet, have you? The boys seem to have had a little mishap in the bathroom.”
Mayor Bill trailed off, as if in deep thought.
“What kind of mishap, Waddles dear?” Wanda replied with a sigh.
“Well, my feather-down, there seems to have been a flood… or perhaps a leak… I’m not sure myself. But, I was greeted by a slight tide as I came out of our room. I could hear the boys through giggles and sploshes, and thought it best to bring them
down here with me to prevent any serious watery mishaps.”
Bill looked positively beaming with satisfaction at dealing with the problem at hand all on his own, and Wanda could do little more than sigh and smile before padding upstairs to see what exactly she had to deal with.
After clearing up the aftermath of the tidal wave that mysteriously turned the bathroom into a bog and bathing all four children, Wanda was ready to take the little ones out for the day, returning just in time to serve lunch for Bill and Hugo.
Mayor Bill spent the rest of the morning catching up on some paperwork, answering letters, shining his chain of office and making phone calls. He hated most of these tasks, and considered them a great waste of time. Except for polishing his Mayoral chain, that was one task that Bill was very fond of and very proud to do daily.
The doorbell rang just as Bill was getting Hugo’s paperwork ready and he hurried to invite his guest in.
“Hugo, how nice to see you! I hope that the trip over was good.” Bill greeted the big, burly Mayor from Sugarbush Valley.
“Hello there Bill, it has been such a long time.” Mayor Hugo replied with a beaming smile. “Our nursery school bus had to come in for a service and I volunteered to bring it in to Rooibosch while I take care of business here. It made for quite
a pleasant trip.”
The two Mayors entered Bill’s study and chatted about the highs and lows of being in office.
“I feel like flying away sometimes, Hugo! All of these critterzens are driving me mad. Always wanting to waste time, discussing simple problems in meetings, cutting ribbons and opening new shops.” Bill scoffed.
“I know exactly how you feel, Bill.” Hugo sighed. “I have my hands full keeping order, finding homes and shops for everyone and screening all of the applications. It feels like Sugarbush Valley is going to tear at the seams with all of the new critters moving in.”
“Ah, I remember that time, not too long ago, when I used to be like that!” Mayor Bill said with a smile. “Hugo, my friend, you need to take some time off and relax with that lovely wife of yours. You are heading for a heart attack with all of that stress. I have stopped the screening of new critterzens totally…
Critters will move in, like it here and invite more family and friends over. They would move in, like it here and the cycle would begin all over again! I can’t fight it, the town of Rooibosch Hill is turning into one big construction yard…
Did you see our tar road being built? The smell of the wet tar is giving me migraines!”
Just as Mayor Bill looked ready to faint, his wife, Wanda waddled in with all the grace and poise that only the Mayoress of Rooibosch Hill could possess.
“Good day, Mayor Hugo, you are looking as handsome as always. How are Savannah and the children?” Wanda cheerfully asked as the children raced around her skirts.
After being reassured that Hugo’s family was doing well and that all was good in Sugarbush Valley, Wanda took her leave to get lunch ready for the two Mayors.
While Wanda was busy in the kitchen, Bill and Hugo discussed their pressing matters and finished up the paperwork. Just as they were about to leave for the dining room, Bill was interrupted by the telephone.
“Ah, another phone call. You go on ahead, Hugo, and I will catch up with you in the dining room as soon as I finish up this call.” Bill said as he dove for the receiver.
Mayor Hugo found Wanda in the dining room, laying out the last few dishes on the table. He was surprised that she had prepared such a feast with four busy little ducklings waddling around her.
Hugo had to jump aside as four little ducklings burst out of the kitchen and came running through the dining room and out into the hall, shortly followed by a few angry quacks from their mother in the kitchen. Just as the four were out of the door, Bill walked in shaking his head.
“Sorry about that, Hugo. The kids can be a bit spirited at times. Of course it doesn’t help that there are four of them getting into mischief together!” Bill smiled at the thought of his clever little ducklings, always finding a way of getting into mischief.
“No worries, Bill, I have a few of my own. It gets better as they get older.” Hugo assured him.
When Wanda joined them, the three sat down to lunch. Over lunch they talked more about all of the interesting things that they have to deal with as mayor of their respective villages. After lunch, Wanda served tea and cake that she had bought from Terri and Suzette’s coffee shop earlier.
“Oh, Waddles…” Wanda started as she poured a cup of tea for Hugo. “Who was that on the phone before lunch?”
“Oh, it was just Percy Beagle, my feather-down.” Bill replied. “He just wanted to remind me about the jumble sale that they are having this afternoon. He wants me to come say a few words to thank everyone for participating.”
Hugo was very interested in the jumble sale, since he still had to get a present for his dear wife’s birthday. Wanda and Bill told him about how the grandparents association, the Silver years club, had arranged the jumble sale to raise funds to help out one of their new villagers to get her children moved to Rooibosch Hill.
“Oh, the poor dear.” Wanda said with a tear in her eye. “Her husband has vanished! Went to sea on a business trip and never returned. It has been more than three years now!”
Hugo felt very sorry for the poor woman whose husband had disappeared without trace, and promised the Waddlingtons that he would let them know if he ever heard anything that might lead to him being found.
After lunch, tea and cakes, Hugo was feeling quite full and eagerly took Bill up on his offer to drive him to the jumble sale. As they approached the grassy field on the outskirts of Rooibosch Hill, Hugo could see tables being set
up and all sorts of interesting items being placed on and around them. Mayor Bill parked the car to one side and left Hugo to browse through the tables as he went off to find Percy Beagle.
Hugo saw two raccoons unpacking toys from a box and a family of Dormice carrying bedding about. Old baby items, pieces of mismatched furniture, teapots and even clothes were now starting to appear on tables all around him.
Hugo saw an upbeat Panda giving out orders from the centre of the field and was amazed to find so many critters each adding something to the tables. This village had so many critters, all of which gladly coming together to help out a friend in need, and Hugo realised that even though the village of Rooibosch Hill was getting so very large, they were still a tightly knit community.
Alexandra Bamboo, the panda who Hugo saw earlier, called everyone to attention, allowing Mayor Waddlington to make his speech. Bill thanked all of the critterzens for their participation and also thanked Alexandra and Percy for organizing such a wonderful event. Before the villagers could get bored, Mayor Bill declared the jumble sale officially open, and was met with cheers all around.
Hugo enjoyed browsing all of the items offered for sale and chatting to some of the villagers of Rooibosch. Although he found a few things that were sure to catch Savanna’s eye, Hugo didn’t find anything truly special. Since it was now already well into the afternoon, Hugo decided that it was time to head home and made up his mind to buy a teapot that he had seen on one of the first tables.
But, as Hugo neared the table where he had seen the teapot, he saw something that made his heart jump. A badger policeman had just placed a big, green typewriter on the table and was now chatting with Alexandra Bamboo. Hugo hurried over to the table and immediately enquired about the typewriter.
“Well, you see, this typewriter belonged to my son-in-law. He has recently moved here from Sylvania, and has decided to give up writing for other persuits.” The badger told Hugo.
“Oh, what a happy coincidence!” Hugo exclaimed. “I happen to be looking for a present for my wife, who is also a writer. She would just adore having her own typewriter.”
Hugo and the badger struck a deal and as PC Robberts’s daughter happened to be the mechanic seeing to the Sugarbush nursery bus, he offered to make the arrangements to have the bus driven to the field for Hugo, sparing him a trip
back into town. Thinking about the long walk to the other side of the village, Hugo hastily accepted.
Hugo found Mayor Bill waddling about in the crowd and thanked him for the lovely outing, asking him to relay his thanks to Wanda for her excellent meal. After saying his goodbyes, the typewriter was carefully loaded up. Soon Hugo was ready to make the long journey back home to Sugarbush Valley with his find, glad that he had finally found the perfect present for his perfect wife.