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       The Master Hunter and His Witty Ocelot, Book 4: Ocelot Olympics, p.1

          
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The Master Hunter and His Witty Ocelot, Book 4: Ocelot Olympics


  The Master Hunter and His Witty Ocelot, Book 4: Ocelot Olympics

  Copyright 2017 Mark Mulle

  Author’s Note

  This short story is for your reading pleasure. The characters in this "Minecraft Adventure Series" such as Steve, Endermen or Herobrine...etc are based on the Minecraft Game coming from Minecraft ®/TM & © 2009-2013 Mojang / Notch

  Table of Contents

  Day 40 - Vacation’s All I Ever Wanted - Hunter

  Day 41 - Boat Buddies - Trapper

  Day 42 - Ocelot…Olympics? - Hunter

  Day 43 - Trapper’s Hidden Skill

  Day 43 - Hunter the Tourist

  Day 43 - Record Man Stan

  Day 44 - Round 1 Fun - Trapper

  Day 44 - Just Hanging Out - Hunter

  Day 45 - Round 2 Skidoo - Trapper

  Night 45 - The Big Bet - Hunter

  Day 47 - Lovable Losers - Trapper

  About the Author

  Other books by this Author

  Day 40 - Vacation’s All I Ever Wanted - Hunter

  Diary, it’s great to be writing in you again from the comfort of my own home! Boy, did those last adventures really wear me out! I’ve been sleeping for days, just hanging out close to the house, eating cookies and baked potatoes and playing with Trapper, my pet Ocelot. Then we decided to do something pretty dramatic!

  Why was I so tired and stressed? I’m still processing all my emotions, honestly. But I think it was because…

  We fought an army of zombies fixing up that zombified village with the magical purifying water, but then I got mad at Trapper for reading my diary. Then, he went on a massive journey to find me, and he did. I was hiding in the jungle. We had a tearful reunion and now I understand Trapper’s my best friend in the whole entire world.

  So of course, a bunch of creepy Pigmen came out of a portal and snatched up my writing and reading jungle-cat buddy, then imprisoned him in a Nether fortress! So a witch, a skeleton spider jockey and I all saved Trapper from the fortress—but the evil Dr. Pigman got away on a flying pirate ship. Well, we commandeered the pirate ship and fought Pigman in the End and the Nether and all over the seed, really!

  But you know all this, you’re my diary! You’re the record keeper of all so if you forgot what happened, just look at your old pages. How do you do that, Diary? Do you try and feel the marks on what your used pages say. I’m not even a quarter of the way done filling these things up and I’m pretty sure my journey as the ultimate hunter is just beginning.

  My point is, I am just wiped. And it’s not just me. Trapper was so sluggish and sad lately. I think he was having a hard time dealing with all the stress of adventure.

  “Hey buddy,” I said, “Let’s cheer up your spirits! Let’s go hunting!”

  Having experienced life as a Zombie hunter, a Demon hunter and a Pirate hunter, I can wholeheartedly say that being a hunter is the life for me. I knew it. My mind was long ago made up, you’re not gonna see much change there.

  “Nah,” Trapper scrawled on a note, “I’m not in the mood. I just wanna…chill out. Relax. Have fun.”

  I thought about what my friend said. I like keeping this diary because it really helped me grow as a friend. I reflect on what people say, what I say back to them, how I treat people and how I could treat them even nicer next time I see them. If I could recommend one small thing to everyone it would be, “Everyone should keep a diary.”

  Take Trapper for example—he keeps taking my diary! I got mad about it at first, but now I think it’s funny. Plus, it’s cool to see what my genius cat companion actually thinks about things. You know, Diary, he’s actually a very observant jungle-cat.

  “I hate this place,” Trapper wrote. Interesting, I thought. I looked around at our barren arctic shack. There was nothing on the walls or floor. I had a chest, a bed and you, Diary. That’s it.

  “I’m sick of the arctic,” Trapper wrote down again, underlining every word. I was picking up what he meant. He thought we should…uh…not be in the arctic, probably.

  “Really?” I said, “Do you not like our simple square house?” I looked around, it was just wood. I hate this house too, huh. I was struggling to convince Trapper we should keep living in this house. I love traveling! “Ya know what, you’re right buddy! I’m sick of the arctic too!”

  “Let’s leave this house now,” Trapper scrawled, clutching the pen between his paws. Just a writing machine, this jungle cat! How can he do it!? Oh yeah, leave the house now right at this moment was a wild suggestion.

  Diary. I love wild suggestions. Which, as you’ll see, that’s often what gets me in a lot of trouble…

  We walked outside and didn’t even think about it. I grabbed you, Diary, took the chest with me, broke down the bed, and then leave everything behind.

  “So where do we go now, my buddy, my pal!” I shouted. “How about the opposite of the cold? How about the Nether!”

  Trapper's little paws were scrawling across the page; he wrote faster than he ever did before. “I hate the Nether! It’s scary there!”

  “Not with your best pal Hunter though, right?” I said, confused at the reaction.

  “I GOT KIDNAPPED AND TORTURED HERE!” Trapper wrote. He had a point.

  “Ok ok! No need to use all caps,” I said. Trapper can’t talk (he’s an ocelot) so he can’t really yell, but writing in all capital letters is practically the same thing. “Let’s go somewhere warm though, right?” I asked, already shivering. I should have brought my coat with me.

  “I’ve got an idea,” Trapper wrote, “Why don’t we go to my homeland?”

  “The jungle?” I said, remembering the time I found little Trapper hanging out in the rainforest trees.

  “No,” Trapper wrote, and smirked, “The homeland of all ocelots—Ocelot Island!”

  “Never heard of it,” I said.

  “Do you think you’re going to have heard of every island in existence? The seed is infinite, you know!” Trapper wrote, scratching the ink into the paper with his claws. I hope I didn’t offend him. Trapper always gets really weird when the subject of other ocelots gets brought up.

  “Alright, I’m sorry,” I said, “Let’s do it! Let’s go! We’ll make our way toward Ocelot Island!” I was excited. My best bud, a jungle-cat ocelot who can read and write, and I were about to go on a tropical island vacation! Fun! Sun! Swimming! Fruit! I love fruit. Oh man, nothing better than tropical island fruit.

  “So how do we get there?” I asked.

  Trapper smiled, and scampered off in front of me. He cocked his head back and motioned to me in a way that signaled, “Come on! I’ll show you the way!”

  As we ran, I could already smell the fresh ocean air. Once the sun went down, we slept in a cave and I could hardly fall asleep as I tossed and turned and yearned for my big vacation!

  Day 41 - Boat Buddies - Trapper

  Well hello again, Hunter’s Diary, it’s me, the jungle cat who can write, read, jump, fight, and do practically anything in the world.

  That’s right baby, it’s Trapper the Ocelot.

  Hunter and I woke up this morning and found the weirdest boat operator I’ve ever met. We’re relaxing below deck on the boat now, but boy did we have a wild day. Let me tell you all about it…

  So, we wake up and make our way straight for the Cliff Harbor. These are a rather famous set of docks on this seed. There’s enough room for ten big ships, and all kinds of people pass through here. That’s why the village right next to it is hardly a village and better described as a city! It’s huge. We saw the blue, rolling ocean crash against these giant ships, sitting anchored next to the wooden dock walkways.

  “What do you think they’re for?” Hunter asked. I love him, but this dude is always asking obvious questions. I think they’re boats for sailing, Hunter. I shrugged my cat body and kept walking along. There were pirates, fisherman, sailors and passengers all roaming around the docks. Most of the boats were huge, with white cotton sails all blocked up and unfurled so the ships could travel swiftly across the water.

  “Pretty busy out here!” Hunter said. Duh. We kept walking. Finally, at the end of the dock, in the tenth port, was a tiny ship. Really, this ship was hardly bigger than a row boat—and it used rows to power itself too! What was this thing?

  “That looks like a good one!” Hunter said about the boat that most obviously didn’t look like a good one. Oh Hunter, how do you know so little about boats when we just sailed across the seed in a flying one stolen from a Pigman?

  “Good afternoon!” said a villager wearing a purple smock. He seemed very eager that someone was paying attention to his boat.

  “Why hello,” Hunter said, “I am the most wonderful Hunter on the entire seed and thus my name is Hunter, the Magnificent. But you can just call me Hunter. And this here is my trusty companion, Trapper, who is, as you can see, an ocelot,” he droned on and on. You know, I’m sometimes really glad I can’t talk, because it seems like creatures who can do it way too much.

  “That’s a cat,” the villager replied.

  I growled back and snapped my jaws at the rude little man.

  “Whoops! Nope, that’s an ocelot! I stand corrected!” he said, cowering away as he turned around in a twirl and introduced himself, “Cartographer Mort, at your service good fellows!” said the villager. He did a little dance and ended it with a backflip.

  Hunter clapped. I didn’t. “You run this boat all yourself?” Hunter asked. Sure he does, it’s a hunk of water-worn wood covered in slime and barnacles. It’s probably the worst ship I’ve ever seen—and I used to subscribe to a magazine that was all about ships! Well, to be fair, it really only talked about really nice ships. But still!

  “That I do!” said the charmingly bubbly villager. He bopped around and acted like he was glad to be holed up on this dinky boat, who knows why? It’s a tiny little thing, that’s for sure. And nobody in their right mind would want to be stuck on it if they could help it.

  “I get to devote myself to my life’s pursuit: cartography, the art of following maps…” Mort said. That just about did it for Hunter. There are few things that Hunter likes more than a man with a philosophy.

  “Tell me more!” Hunter said, pulling up the ship’s only chair.

  “Ha! Good man!” said the cartographer, pulling out a whole stack of maps. “Get a load of these, my good boy. As you see, they’re parchment that reveals a special location of different types of treasure or landmasses!”

  “Fascinating!” Hunter squeaked, like he’d never seen a map before. This was getting embarrassing. I picked you up, Diary, and wrote out a note because I needed this to end—quick!

  “Take us to Ocelot Island,” I wrote, “And you can tell Hunter about maps the whole way. He’ll listen. He loves bori—“ I started to write boring but crossed it out, “uh…interesting stuff like maps!”

  Mort the Cartographer looked at me and started to get really scared for some reason. “Did that Ocelot just write me a personalized letter?!” he bellowed.

  “Yeah,” Hunter replied, “He can read and write. It’s one of the many things that makes him cool.” He smiled and scratched behind my ears. He sure knew how to butter a jungle cat up.

  “This…this cannot be…” said Mort, pacing around, smacking himself in the head with rolled up maps. What gives with this guy?

  “The map making monastery told me this would happen one day! I would meet the magical Ocelot who was as brilliant as man and as cunning as beast…”

  “What’s wrong?” Hunter asked, pulling out a baked potato and eating it like an apple. This dude loved baked potatoes. Too much starch for my taste. I decided I’d just hear what was going on in the background while I prowled over to the edge of the dinky boat to dip my claws in the water and catch myself a raw fish lunch.

  “We must go!” said Mort the Cartographer, “at once!” He ran over to the sails of the ship and popped them out. They were just as broken and bad as the weathered boat. The sails had big holes in them and no doubt would make for a bad energy source when it comes to deep sea travel.

  Then, he started paddling as fast as he could. The boat heaved forward and moved with a jerky start. I didn’t expect that! The little schooner had some speed!

  So as I was fishing, I fell into the water! The boat came to a crashing halt and Mort the Cartographer jumped off the side to rescue me. I don’t like to swim, Diary, that’s true. But I can do it if I have to. I was fine. Mort, on the other hand, was horrified.

  “Oh the scared Ocelot!” said the map-maker, “I am so sorry my lord, please forgive my impunity!”

  What was this dude talking about? I was nobody’s lord. Man, this was starting to freak me out. He brought me back aboard the deck of the ship and started trying to give me mouth to mouth. Blech! I bit at him with my jungle-cat fangs. Get out of here, you weird old map man!

  “I’m so sorry, my lord!” said Mort. “Please, keep your arms, legs, and claws inside the boundaries of the vehicle at all times!”

  We kept sailing and for some reason, old Mort didn’t want to talk to Hunter about maps anymore. Hunter, of course, just lectured him about the lifestyle of hunting and how important it is to Respect the Ways of the Hunt as Hunter literally always says.

  I stretched out and got in some day time napping. Then, Hunter and I went below deck to sleep, but Mort said he promises to sail through the night to get us to the island even faster. Weird…

  I snuck up to the top of the deck just before writing this diary entry, Dairy. I wanted to try and eavesdrop on Mort the Cartographer. I found him, whispering to a map.

  “The Ocelot doesn’t yet know how important he really is,” he said. “And he doesn’t yet know that the Hunter…will betray him!”

  Spooky, right? I wonder what the heck it could mean! Well, the boat is docking Diary. Here’s Ocelot Island! Not gonna let any creepy map-man bring me down!

  Day 42 - Ocelot…Olympics? – Hunter

  Oh hello, Diary!

  What a wonderful day I had here on the island. I’m an islander now. I love island living. That’s right, Diary, I’m very cultured and I know all about the island—and it only took one day. I’m actually the number one person here on the island…

  Oh, I wish that was true! You saw right through me, Diary.

  I’m in love with Ocelot Island though, that’s for sure. It’s crazy, but I’ve hardly even thought about hunting since we’ve docked. It’s like, I am just living the free life! Trapper on the other hand, he got himself into some crazy shenanigans!

  Let me start at the beginning: so we dock on Ocelot Island. It’s such a charming and unique place. There are some people out here, but most of the living things are Ocelots! They’re just walking around, wandering, shopping, fishing in the river, climbing trees, having fun, and living life! Island life!

  The Ocelots aren’t bothered by tourists. In fact, they love them. And we caught them on their biggest celebration of the entire year—the Ocelot Olympics!

  I know, I couldn’t believe it either. But every 4 years, Ocelots from all over the seed get together here, at the island, and compete in games of skill—and chance! Well, the gamblers that is… There were stalls full of people who were just sitting around and making bets. They looked shady, partly because gambling is sometimes just a way to steal people’s money—but also because they were standing in the shade and it was hard to see their faces. Not a coincidence I’m sure! These guys were really creepin’ me out so we walked away.

  There were plenty of other things to look at. The whole Ocelot Island is built in a cool, jungle wood style. But since the Olympics are going on, there’s way more decorative flags, glowstone, a huge glass statue of an Ocelot made out of colored glass. It looks great! There’s even a big red carpet going right through the middle of town, so visitors can easily find the big Ocelot Colosseum.

  I watched as Ocelots trotted up and down the huge, white stone building. The stadium was perfect for sporting events and competitions. So many Ocelots of all color patterns and ages were having a blast out in the middle of town square. I’ve never seen this many before! It looks like today is the big game’s opening ceremony.

  Trapper started acting really weird when he found out that the Ocelot Olympics were taking place. He’s acting like he wants to compete…Weird, I know, Diary. What could Trapper do? What are the games they even play in the Ocelot Olympics? Wild!

  We kept walking around but Trapper is being kind of weird around me. Like he’s afraid I’ll embarrass him in front of his jungle cat friends…ugh, even writing that makes me realize that’s probably not the truth. He’s probably just nervous around all these cool cats.

  A very official looking ocelot was standing next to a table. He pressed a button on a recording device and these words echoed into the air, “All ocelots looking to compete in the Olympics, please sign up here!” The message repeated.

  “What a weird little speaker…” I said aloud to Trapper but—he was gone! He trotted over to the line, ready to sign up. I followed him.

  “Trapper! I didn’t know you were good at a sport!” I said, impressed. “You’re gonna do great buddy,” I told him. “I’ll be up in the bleachers cheering you on!”

  Trapper smiled a jungle-cat smile. I was proud of him.

  We got to the front of the line and the official ocelot pushed some paperwork in Trapper’s direction. He signed it and finished it in a jiffy. It seemed like a lot of ocelots can read and write, by the look of it. None can talk though. It must be the throats…

  After we finished, I asked, “What games did you sign up for, buddy?”

  Trapper scurried up my leg, to my pack and took out my bow. He flipped around and shot off an arrow, ever so precisely that it landed right in the wall of a shop on the Ocelot Island strip. The shop owner came out and started shaking his little paws at us, but Trapper calmed him down with a hunk of bread.

  The Olympics opening ceremonies were beginning. We heard a bunch of bells ringing out though the whole island. I bet every single ocelot who lived there was at these opening ceremonies! It was wild. We piled into the stadium and watched as the fun started.

  First, fireworks! So many! Blazing twinkles of glory burst forth into the air. They were cracking, hissing, popping, exploding and blazing above the island, giving a pleasant neon glow to the tropical paradise. The stadium was silent except for the fireworks display, the reflective marble shimmered back the lights in a pleasant afterglow.

  Then came the dance routine. About one hundred ocelots poured into the stadium and did a choreographed march complete with flips, flops, and wiggles. Yes, all the dancing was present this day, Diary. I’ll be honest; I’m not much of a dancer. But seeing those ocelots out there, dancing to hundreds of jukeboxes all playing the same record… It was something else.

  Maybe I’ll try dancing again one day! Who knows!

  Now for the big event, the most important part, lighting the big Ocelot Torch. A few donkeys were tasked with pulling out the massive wheeled cart with a huge fire atop it. Each of the dancing ocelots brought up a torch and threw it in the fire. The blaze was massive! It shook the stadium and everyone in the crowd could feel its blaze. The fire was so intense it reminded me of Nether lava!

  Finally, the mayor of Ocelot Island, Mayor Bob-O Ocelot, came out wearing a sash that said his name. Bob-O. What a beautiful name… Bob-O…

  Anyway, Mayor Bob-O gave his big speech—by pressing a button and starting a speaker. “Hello everyone, thanks for coming to the Olympics. It’s going to be great. Please leave now and come back tomorrow. This speech will repeat in 3, 2, 1,…Hello everyone, thanks…”

  Everyone stampeded out of the stadium. “That’s weird,” I said to Trapper. “Why’s everyone rushing out like this?”

  Then, we figured it out. A bunch of Ocelots in capes flew over the stadium and started dropping as many buckets of water as you can imagine. The water just splashed down in a huge wave. We got totally soaked and the fire was extinguished with ease.

  “That’s why, huh…” I said. We went and it turned out every single inn was booked up full. So I told Trapper we can just dig a whole and sleep in that like we usually do. I love hole homes. OK Diary, I’ll report back tomorrow after I explore the town!

  Day 43 - Trapper’s Hidden Skill

  Diary, it’s Trapper again. I think I finally found my purpose in life:

  Tic-Tac-Toe-Archery.

  I know what you’re thinking—well, I always know what you’re thinking, which is nothing, you’re just a diary with blank pages in ya. But anyway, I bet you’ve never heard of Tic-Tac-Toe-Archery, and it probably just sounds silly. Made up even.

  Well, it’s not made up and in fact it’s one of the fastest growing, most competitive sports on the seed.

  Let me explain. I found the Ocelot Olympics game masters and asked what was being exhibited. You see, Ocelots can talk—to one another. It’s easy. We understand our noises. Humans don’t, but that’s because they never tried, I reckon.

  Anyway, here’s what the games are:

  Ocelot Races

  Ocelot Football

  Ocelot Weightlifting

  Ocelot Archery (most popular)

  Ocelot Tic-Tac-Toe Archery (new)

  At first, I signed up for archery, having no idea what this new tic-tac-toe archery was. I woke up the day after the big introductory ceremony and went down to the stadium for the preliminary trials. When I left, Hunter was still sleeping. I let him. Heck, we’re technically on vacation, even though I’m becoming a star athlete and all…

  Anyway, it was right at dawn and all the other ocelots were already waiting at the stadium. Some dudes were cool, giving me little ocelot high fives and other cool ocelot greetings. Other dudes were jerks, just sitting there mean-mugging me and making me feel like I was unwanted. Well guess what, bub, I don’t care! I’ll beat ya—in the ring!

  I know I’m a great archer. Very few ocelots can master the complicated paw work, the use of the mouth, and the tail stabilization it takes to shoot an arrow fast and true. There were about 20 ocelots who are good enough archers. We shot some targets to see who should compete against who. We went up to the dirt line and shot three arrows on the board.

  I shot two bullseyes (one of my arrows split a second) and then another shot for 20 points. Not bad at all. In fact, the second best shots you can get.

  Then, a spotted ocelot with a scar on his face stepped up to the line.

  “That’s Barclay!” one of the ocelots whispered. “He’s the greatest archer alive!” said another. He was quite the cragged ocelot, he looked battle worn. He was wearing chainmail too—which is nuts, I didn’t even know ocelots could wear that stuff!

  He stood up to the line, pulled back his bow, and shot all three arrows at the same time! Every single one was a bullseye! The first hit the target, then the second split that, then the third split that! It was nuts!

  “Wow!” I said in Ocelotish (that’s what our language is called). “You’re impressive!” I walked over to Barclay and tried talking to him.

  “You’re an amateur,” he said, but before I could get offended he finished his thought, “You are good, but not as good as I am—so I think you should try the new event, Archery Tic Tac Toe.”

  “What in the world is that?!” I asked. I didn’t know if this guy was trying to make me feel bad or help me… It was confusing!

  “Similar to archery, it uses a bow and arrow,” he said, “But it is added to the ancient human game, Tic-Tac-Toe a game of great strategy and skill.” He scurried over to a redstone switch and pulled it. A huge game board came out of the ground that looked like an ampersand (#)

  “Nine squares,” Barclay said, “Once you shoot your arrow and hit a square, that square is out of bounds! It is now claimed by the first person to shoot it! Your goal is simple: hit three squares in a row—either horizontal, vertical or diagonal!”

  “I know how to play Tic-Tac-Toe, dude,” I said.

  “Oh you do?!” Barclay said, shocked.

  “Of course, I live with a human. We play it all the time,” I said.

  “Now you will try it with archery!” Barclay screamed, “Ready the board!” The board lit up with glow-stone. These ocelots are great at redstone programming.

  “You go first,” Barclay said in a menacing tone. He must be thinking he was putting me in a bad position. What a dork!

  I shot off my first arrow right into the middle panel. Now, I had a good position on practically every way to win on the board!

  “Heh,” Barclay said, shooting his arrow and picking the upper right corner. “Your move.”

  I shot the lower right corner. Barclay shot the upper middle square. I shot the upper left corner and—I won!

  “Wait a second!” Barclay cried. “You cheated! I’m the best archer around!”

  “Yeah but clearly you aren’t any good at tic-tac-toe,” I replied.

  “Hey! Don’t say that! You’re hurting my feelings! I don’t want to be in the Olympics anymore! Not with this guy! No way!” he started crying. Jeez, what a sore loser!

  “Just do the regular archery and I’ll do the tic-tac-toe variant, ok?” I asked.

  “Yeah,” he said, “That’s exactly what we’ll do! No doubt about it!” he stormed off.

  Another black ocelot walked up smirking. “I see you met Barclay,” she purred. “Don’t worry about him. He’s just a whiny baby,” she laughed. “I’m Mika by the way.”

  “Trapper,” I said, wondering if this ocelot was a good guy or not. Well, it was definitely no guy. It was a girl, that’s for sure.

  “I’ll be seeing you around,” Mika said as she stalked away. What a weird day. Ocelots can get really competitive it seems.

  Well, at least I found my one true calling in life. I am a Tic-Tac-Toe Archer. There’s nothing changing that. It takes all the skill of archery, all the brains of tic-tac-toe. It’s a wonderful game and some have said I am the best ocelot to ever play it. I can’t wait to get the gold medal in it so I can be rich or…whatever you get for that kinda thing.

  Day 43 - Hunter the Tourist

  Ocelot Island is a BLAST, Diary!

  It’s Hunter here, and I’ve had a crazy day going all over the island and checking out the cool stuff. There are so many things. All the things humans have, plus extra things for Ocelots.

  Like, there’s a scratching store. Humans don’t have that! It’s a place where all the jungle cats meet and scratch up the walls, floor, ceiling—you name it, you can scratch it. I didn’t go in, I just watched from outside the window but the ocelots in there seemed to be having a blast.

  There’s also an Ocelot Dojo where ocelots learn how to be better martial arts warriors. Now that makes sense to me. There are human dojos too. Dojos are good: plain little wood buildings that house unbeatable warrior ninjas!

  I kept walking down the paved cobblestone streets and saw ocelots selling fish and fruit from carts. All the little baby ocelots seemed happy to be scarfing down apples and fish. Everyone was so happy.

  The ocelot houses were not anything like you’d expect. They made them right within trees. They hollowed out these beautiful jungle wood trees here on the island and lived in such cool structures. I was jealous since Trapper and I had to sleep underground like moles or something.

  With so much to do in Ocelot Island, I wondered if I’d ever find a place to just relax and chill out. I was almost too overwhelmed with all the fun! So I picked the next door on the left, which happened to be a metal door, and it happened to turn out to be the most important store I’d ever go in my entire life.

  “Welcome,” I heard on a loud speaker, “To the Ultimate Record Store.”

  “Huh?” I said.

  A conveyer belt underneath my feet started pulling me down a massive hallway. On the walls were more paintings than I’d ever seen. I wouldn’t be surprised if it was literally every single type of painting in existence.

  There were weapons framed on the wall and suits of wonderful, enchanted armor marked every corner. “What is this place,” I asked aloud…

  “Why this?!” said a strange and flamboyant voice, “This is the domain of Record-Man Stan! The man to set the record for owning all the stuff!”

  “What?!” I asked, stumbling back as this weird creepy guy made his way out of the shadows. “Where’d you come from?”

  “I live here,” he said, “And let me tell you a thing or two about Collecting. See, I am a Master Collector and I have all the stuff there ever was. I got it all, kid. Don’t you forget it. And no you can’t have any of it! That would break up my collection—don’t even ask!”

  “I understand what it’s like to be a Master,” I said, “I’m a Master Hunter myself,” I bragged while I brushed off my leather armor.

  “Sure, I can tell, you carry yourself with the air of a master. A Master’s Air,” he said. I was flattered. This guy was so cool, he had so much good stuff, but he was willing to believe I’m a master- Which I am. Don’t try and say I’m a master in training, Diary, because I believe myself to be a master and that is almost all that matters! It’s the thought that counts!

  “What do you do here?” I asked.

  “Pretty much everything,” he said, “Mostly, I sell records to people who want to buy them.”

  “You mean, Music Discs?” I said. I’d found one once in my travels. Never had a jukebox though, so I just traded it away from a nice pair of boots. Seemed like I was ripping the fella off but he seemed glad to do it.

  “Music Discs, or Records as the real lovers of the discs call them, are some of the most exquisite items on the seed. That’s how I got my name, you know. Collecting all the records. Which is why people call me…”

  “Record-Man Stan,” I said in awe. How did he collect that many rare items! He must be like a hunter! But…he considers himself a collector. He has a code, that differs than mine, and I really respect it. Nothing in the world more honorable than an honor code, Diary. It’s a really honor-based thing. I had to tell Stan—

  “You’re the coolest guy I’ve ever met,” I told him. It was true. Record-Man Stan nodded, knowingly. Like people told him this all the time.

  “This is weird, but will you do me a favor?” I asked. “Will you write your life story down in my diary? I want to study you and become like you…and never forget you.”

  “Sure,” said Record Man Stan. “I can do that for a pal like you. Just meet me here tomorrow and I’ll give it back to you.”

  “Awesome!” I said, “Let me just write today’s entry down,” which is what I’m currently doing. I’m sure there’s nothing too weird about asking a new pal to write his life’s story in your diary. Honestly, I thought Stan would freak out, but he’s being totally cool about it!

  Day 43 - Record Man Stan

  Why hello, Hunter, it’s me, your new friend…

  RECORD-MAN STAN

  I’m king of the records, that’s for sure. You wanted me to write my life story down so you could emulate it and become an amazing collector like me some day. I thought about it…but I don’t think so. I’m writing down what I wanna write and what I wanna write is this:

  RECORD REVIEWS OF ALL THE RECORDS ON THIS SEED!

  I have all the songs. Therefore, it’s time for you to know what I think about them…

  1.“Cat” - what beautiful music of bubbling discovery. When the easy going drums kick in with the beautiful synthesizer tones, I’m on cloud nine. This is the favorite song of Ocelot Island, by the way—you can probably guess why. 10/10

  2.“Blocks” - this slower, moody jam is fun to listen to when you’re building. It got evocative tones that really groove. I give it a 8/10

  3.“Chirp” - this repetitive tone might do it for some people, but it doesn’t do it for me. It did for my first love, who long ago abandoned me to go live off by herself in a castle. Even though I have the record, I don’t listen to it much. 2/10

  4.“Far” - quiet space music for listening to while you’re chilling out by yourself. A grand tune. 9/10

  5.“Mall” - this song used to play when I lived in a villager village and I hated that place. What a bad song. The piano tones are really pretty though. I hate it because it reminds me of the time I was kicked out of a village for being a huge creep. 3/10

  6.“Mellohi” - this song is very playful, silly, and plodding. It makes me feel sad in a weird way. I like it. What a great tune. 9/10

  7.“Stal” - this tune is boring. It’s not so bad when you know what to expect but man, it’s too slow for me. Enough of that silly saxophone too. 5/10

  8.“Strand” - this song is pleasant and sounds like steel drums. It has a plodding, interesting beat and it’s fun to hear at any time of day. 7/10

  9.“Ward” - this song makes me very scared. It reminds me of the time I was captured by skeletons who found me after I was kicked out of the village. The skeletons had me trapped for many days and it was after I conquered them that I decided to become a collector. As much as I hate the song, it does mean a lot to me because I stole the records from the skeletons when I escaped. 5/10

  10.“13” - ah, the haunting, uncomfortable sounds of 13. Lots of people might say this is their least favorite song of all the Music Discs—that is because they are not as cool and sophisticated as me. This song is actually good because it sounds so bad. 10/10

  11.“11” - the rare 11. Definitely the weirdest of all the songs. I think someone made it accidentally by leaving a tape recorder on. I still think it is great because it’s so weird and hard to like. That’s why I like it and most losers don’t. 8/10

  And that’s that! All the Music Discs. Sorry Hunter, I don’t really diary much. I just want to tell the world how cool I am when it comes to music. Also, another fun fact about me, is that I will stop at nothing to get “Crisp” the last remaining record on the seed. There’s only one copy of it, and it’s far away and I don’t know how I’m going to get it. But I’ll find a way…

  Maybe you can help me, Hunter.

  Muwhahahaha!

  I mean, hahah! Yeah! Help me! Like a friend. Not like a servant…but a friend. Yeah I’m gonna make you get that record for me, just you wait.

  Day 44 - Round 1 Fun - Trapper

  Diary, today was the first big day of the Ocelot Olympics.

  Everyone in town came to the big match. I was sure Hunter was in the stands somewhere. He’s a good friend; he wouldn’t miss my first big Tic-Tac-Toe for the world.

  The Olympics had two commentators, both Villagers, who sat at a little wooden table and called out the specifics of the game. They’d say stuff like “It’s that ocelot who’s winning!” or “What a dynamic play!” It’s necessary, I guess, since the stadium is so big and maybe people at the top can’t hear it. I always found these guys annoying.

  First up was the Ocelot Races. Ten ocelots ran as fast as they could around the track and one emerged a victor. Glad I was not part of this competition. These little jungle cats ran so fast they looked like blurs of color. It seemed exhausting; I’m way too lazy for that.

  Up next, Ocelot Weightlifting: ten really buff ocelots came out and started pumping iron. For such tiny cats, these ocelots really lifted a lot of weight. The winner of round one was swirling his dumbbell into the air and catching it like a baton. Good stuff.

  Finally, it was my turn to compete, Ocelot Tic-Tac-Toe-Archery! Because nobody knew me personally, they ranked me last. So I had to win this round or I was out of the whole competition! The pressure was on.

  For this game, opponents compete one on one. I took the field with my rival. It was a spotted Ocelot wearing light-weight, fitness clothes. Where’d he get those?

  “Archers take your marks,” said the commentators at the table on the side. “Each will take turns shooting. Decide amongst yourselves who will shoot the first shot.”

  We looked at each other. Now Diary, I know that getting the first shot greatly improves your chance of winning—but I won’t lose even if I don’t get it, we might just tie. That’s the problem with tic-tac-toe, all the tying.

  “You go first,” said the sporty ocelot. I smiled. “Sure,” I replied, thinking, if you want to lose right away, I’d be happy to help.

  I took aim and shot my first arrow—THWIP! It flew through the air. THAWP! It landed right in the middle square. Got it!

  “Trapper, the mainland challenger, has got quite the first hit with his arrow. He has the middle square and he’s poised to control the board,” said the commenters.

  My opponent stepped up to the line. He aimed carefully and hit the upper-left corner. A good shot, it flew fast and true. I must hand it to him, he’s a good archer.

  “Wow! Bing the local hero made a nice first shot to the upper row of the board. He’s got corner. Let’s see where the game goes next,” the commenters blathered.

  I shot again. This time, I hit the lower left-hand corner to stop my opponent and set myself up for a win on my next arrow.

  My opponent rebuked my win by shooting the upper-right corner of the board. Now I had to hit the middle to stop him. I aimed and…got it.

  Bing didn’t have much of a winning chance but he had to block my win if he was going to move on to the next round. He aimed and tried to hit the middle bottom square…

  But as he got to the line he fumbled with his bow and…he missed! What an upset! He hit the lower-right corner square. Wow, what a mess.

  The crowd was cheering. They wanted me to lose it all since I was an outsider. When I got up to the line, I heard a deafening chorus of boos. It felt like everyone in the stadium wanted me to lose.

  “Booooo!”

  But I knew there was one person up there cheering for me. I knew Hunter was in the stands and he was cheering—not booing! He would be my path to victory, focusing on his cheers.I tried to hear them… But of course, I couldn’t. So I just imagined him cheering, because I knew he was up there somewhere.

  The rope on my bow pulled back slowly. I aimed at the final victory shot. Here it goes, for all the glory—will I make it?! I’ll let my loyal pal Hunter tell you that one, Diary, because he was lucky enough to see the whole thing.

 
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