Chapter 7 – Margaret
What woke me up in the morning was not the electronic sound of an alarm clock, but the sound of birds singing from the forest.
If that was what I listened to, my, how wonderful! But they were pretty noisy.
I didn’t wake up every morning with, “Well, it’s a pleasant morning”, but rather, “Oh, everything looks good today….” I woke up every morning feeling a little down.
Volume control function, please.
I also want to turn off snooze.
I lightly made my bed and went downstairs to get ready.
First and foremost, I went to the kitchen.
Lady Adelaide was already awake and had started preparing breakfast by boiling water and so on.
I tried my best to make sure it shouldn’t be her, but I’d never been able to beat Lady Adelaide’s early rising… It was not like I was oversleeping.
She was incredible.
That was why Lady Adelaide prepared breakfast.
I did the cleanup and lunch.
We prepared dinner together, and I clean up.
I naturally settled into a rotation.
I knocked on the open door three times so that she would know I was here, and hugged Lady Adelaide tightly as a good morning greetings.
“Good morning, Margaret.
You’re going to Daniel’s today, and I assume you’re bringing lunch?”
I nodded as I lifted the lidded basket to put my lunch in, and I told her that I had thought to take something for Daniel and Mark while I was there.
This was the kind of thing that made us smile with happiness.
So, I went out with a colander to fetch some eggs.
There they were, the chickens! These chickens were part of my wake-up call.
I could say that they were the key members.
A volume control function was especially needed.
I wondered if there were any screws in their backs.
On the way to the chicken coop between the house and the backyard, I walked around and pulled out two small Japanese mustard spinach-like greens that were growing around the area.
I liked this.
Five chickens, not the white ones you see in Japan, but a dark brown base.
They were smaller, almost like bantams 1.
But the thing that made all the difference was their torsos… They were so fluffy.
They were a little different from silky fowls.
What was that, a tawny? Ishikawa Goemon? A few hairs like a peacock’s crown were standing on it.
It swayed and looked cute when it moved.
Also, the tail was long.
To be honest, I was a little uncomfortable with birds.
The way they moved in unexpected ways, the way the feathers shone on their neck, and so on.
But as you could imagine, I got used to them after taking care of them every day – still blocking my path, oh, oh, oh? And I kept doing this thing where I was like a hallway matchmaker.
I lured them to the back of the hut with a snack of greens, and while they were tucking into their food, I picked up the eggs and put them in a colander.
These children always gave birth in a certain place, which was very helpful.
The smaller their body was, the smaller the eggs.
It was about the size of the small eggs in Japan.
There were four lovely eggs today, with light brown shells… Who took the day off?
I waved to them that I’d be back later to clean and feed them, and left the henhouse to find a wagging tail Buddy waiting for me… with little ones on his back.
Good morning, Buddy and fairies.
I put the egg colander by my side and stroke them for a moment.
As soon as I was able to move, the fairies stopped coming to my room and started to appear when I was in the garden or near the forest.
Most of the time, they stuck with Buddy.
They were so cute, these good friends of mine.
They did nothing, after a few moments of attention, they were satisfied and left.
These kids didn’t have voices either, but I could feel them cackling and laughing as they fly away, so I knew they were here to play since they had the same face as the children when they ran away from “The Daruma Fell Over”2.
So, when I returned with my buddy, breakfast was already ready and tea was just being made.
This morning’s menu consisted of freshly baked bread, bacon and potato soup, and a beautifully colored green salad with half a boiled egg slice on each side.
A small piece of madeleine-like baked goods that I made yesterday were served with the tea.
Oh, and of course there was strawberry jam.
I put the eggs away in a shelf that looked like a fly-net cupboard, washed my hands, and took a seat.
When Buddy got to the food positions, we all said “Thank you for the food” together.
It was now six in the morning.
See, I didn’t oversleep, did I?
It took about fifteen minutes to get to the clinic if you walked straight.
My arm injury was certified as fully healed, but my leg was still a little tender, so I was told to walk slowly and take it easy.
Yeah, I couldn’t turn it anymore.
With a basket of lunch in one hand, I walked leisurely with Buddy as my companion.
I waved back at the villagers we met along the way, and the children who were playing followed us.
I patted Buddy on the neck, he squealed and went back the way he came……I knew this child was smart.
If this one also picked me up on the way home, I was going to fall in love with him.
The clinic looked like an ordinary house with no sign.
The first floor was the clinic and the second floor was the doctor’s house.
I was told that Mark had rented a house nearby, so the doctor lived here alone.
Ringing the bell on the front door with a clang, ‘Good morning!’ I greeted them with enthusiasm and went inside.
Today was actually the second time I’d come here, since I’d always had the doctors come to me.
Looking around the still unfamiliar room… Opening the front door, I saw a waiting room with two couches in front of it.
There was no reception desk, and behind the door in front was an examination room that also served as a water and dispensing space.
I believed there were a hospital bed and a doctor’s lounge on the far side of the room with a curtain separating them.
Behind the door of the examination room and a small partition, there was a staircase that led to the second floor of the doctor’s house.
When I noticed a wooden box in front of the couch and approached it, the door to the examination room opened and someone else approached me.
It was Dr.
That’s where I left the one Mark brought in yesterday.
Let me know if there’s anything else you need.”
After a quick check, I smiled and nodded that I was okay, and he urged me to get ready and prepare, since the cleaning was already done.
Hey, where was Mark? The question seemed to be on my face.
“Mark’s got a letter to go to, and bandages while we’re at it.”
Once I was satisfied, I got ready for the nursery.
With the doctor’s permission, I spread out the rug by the couch near the wall.
This was the end of my preparations, though.
Yesterday evening, Mark brought me this rug and a few toys.
I was preparing to bring those in myself today, when Mark suddenly came to the house and quickly took those away.
I tried to at least follow him to the clinic, but he told me it was almost dark and I didn’t have to come out… What was with that feminist hottie? A prince.
It was true that in this village, where there were hardly any streetlights, it quickly became pitch black when the sun went down.
Especially Lady Adelaide’s house; there were no other houses nearby, and the back was a forest.
If I were to go out at night feeling like I was in Japan, I was confident that I would be lost in no time.
When I went out at night, I carried a magic tool version of a lantern, but after all, this was the countryside, so basically, few people went out at night.
The cafeteria and other places closed down after sunset… Inconvenience was inconvenience.
However, living in harmony with the sun was surprisingly comfortable for the body.
Mark returned while I was putting my lunch basket in the break room.
This sister needed to talk to you for a minute before the patient arrived.
I didn’t have time to tell him yesterday.
I’d like to tap him on the shoulder, but he was too tall for that, so I tugged on his sleeve like a child and thanked him for carrying the load.
Ah, apart from that, when he answered vaguely, and I complained about what he told Dr.
Daniel, he looked at me as if he were watching something interesting.
“The doctor, as the attending physician, needs to be aware of the patient’s behavior, and I’ve decided it’s better to report to him as his assistant.”
I understood that, but it was embarrassing!
“It’s not good to be reckless and develop strange habits and pain.
Now, listen to me and be quiet.”
Hey! You blockhead, I am your elder! I am twenty-eight years old!
“You don’t look like a woman four years older than me.
If you act like an older woman, I’ll treat you as such, young lady.”
Yeah, that was a pleasant smile, handsome.
Daniel was laughing, come on.
I was so frustrated that I took today’s lunch as a hostage and made him promise to call out to me whenever he saw me in the backyard.
I’d baked pancakes because the doctor said he liked them before, with cheese and poppy seeds, and a salad with grilled chicken.
How was that? Now there would be no more surprises… mostly.
While I was doing this, a patient with a child came to see me.
It was Anna, the young wife of a haberdasher, who came to the clinic with an infant in her left hand and a three-year-old girl in her right.
She was pale to look at.
I hurriedly took care of the little ones and made them sit on the waiting couch for now.
Plea-se… I’ve got diapers and stuff here…”
I took the cloth bundle from her shoulder, let her catch her breath, and have Mark pull her slowly into the examination room.
The baby was sleeping peacefully, but I was not sure about the sister.
When I looked into her face to see if she was okay with being left behind by her mother, she looked a little anxious, so I smiled and took her hand and led her onto the rug.
This cute little girl with blond curly hair who sat quietly while scurrying around was Mariella.
You were always so quiet, but you were still worried about your mother’s health, weren’t you?
Her eyes lit up as I pulled out a cloth doll from a wooden box.
All right, let’s play with dolls.
“The doctor’s visit is over, but I’d like to give her some medicine and let her rest for a while, if possible.
Can you still wait?”
We were playing with dolls for a while and I was enjoying the warm weight of her on my left arm, when Mark came to ask, but Mariella was very cheerful, ‘I’m not leaving yet, more play!’ She replied without even looking at Mark’s face.
Mark chuckled and went back to attending to the patients that kept coming in.
After that, May, the grocer, and Daisy, the farmer, came to the hospital with their little ones.
Of course, other patients were coming, and as expected, the only clinic in the village was quite busy.
The people in the village basically helped each other, so they could leave their children with their neighbors and came to the clinic.
However, we all knew that everyone was busy, so mothers tended to put up with their own problems.
It was the same in every world.
I might not be able to come every day, but I hoped I could be of some help.
The rug was thriving as the children switched places.
Everyone was nice and played along and waited for me, so I was a little overzealous and got distracted.
The toys I brought were not that varied.
I produced a doll, some clothes to change into, some leftover cloth, and some old beans to make a beanbag, and a small handbag, small enough for a child to carry, and a few large handkerchiefs.
Since it was small children and babies up to three years old who waited here, it should be soft and light.
They could dress up their dolls, pile up their beanbags, or repeatedly put something in and out of their handbag.
Even the little ones who were a little squirmy stopped crying when I showed them how to play with three balls.
All right! I was glad I had done this with my grandmother.
It would have been nice if we could have sung a hand game or something.
I couldn’t help it, I didn’t have a voice.
I knew a lot of them, though.
The time in the waiting room nursery passed quickly as the other patients teased me with the usual line, ‘Margaret, you’ve suddenly become a mother of many’.
The three of us ate our pancakes in peace, although I was a little bummed that Lady Adelaide had made me have lunch alone, I also spent my time as a nanny until around three o’clock, when the afternoon patients stopped coming in.
When I opened the door to the clinic to let Mark drop me off, I found Buddy sitting there waiting for me.
Buddy, what a good boy! I would fall in love with you!
A bantam is any small variety of fowl, usually of chicken or duck.
Most large chicken breeds and several breeds of duck have a bantam counterpart, which is much smaller than the standard-sized fowl, but otherwise similar in most or all respects.
A true bantam chicken is naturally small and has no large counterpart. Statues (also known as Red Light, Green Light in North America, and Grandma’s/Grandmother’s Footsteps or Fairy Footsteps in the United Kingdom) is a popular children’s game, often played in different countries.
There are variations of play throughout different regions of the world.
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