Chapter 40 – The Spring Budding
The snow stopped.
The sunlight poured in from the gaps between the clouds, and the surface which was covered with the snow slightly melted while radiating with the light.
A small quantity of green, tiny buds were sticking out from the spots that melted completely.
Inside the blowing wind, a certain warmth was felt. The birds traversed the sky while creating straight lines.
The winter had passed and it was the time for the spring arrival.
Stretching his back, Eiji went outside the house.
It was sort of a clear weather which one could hardly believe to happen after several days of heavy snow.
The air was still chilly; nevertheless, one could feel the warmth coming from the sun.
– Yaaaaaay! The long winter is over, it’s now spring time! We don’t have to seclude ourselves inside any longer.
– No matter how much time passes, you still behave like a child, don’t you?
Mike, who was overflowing with vigor, jumped from the inside of his house.
After that, Jane made a wry smile; nevertheless, she quickly changed into a smiling face.
Spring was something that everyone had been expecting for.
The wind, the air, the light, and then the fresh leaves that were on display in front of their eyes, all of these made their hearts flutter.
– Mike-san seems to be full of spirit, isn’t he?
– I was worried since he looked depressed for a while. I’ve never seen Mike being moody like that.
– Well, it’s good to have him back.
Eiji and Tanya nodded to one another.
His thoughts were still burdened with regrets of whether or not he could have rescued the dog.
Eiji felt as though his anxiety had lifted up now.
In front of his view, shadows of something jumping out followed Mike.
They were fast and small. Once they hid under the grass shadows, they became unnoticeable.
However, their silhouette reappeared, vanished, and then repeated the same action.
Facing toward the tiny shadows, Mike called out to them with a happy voice.
– Hey, follow me up guys!
– You, don’t wander far away.
– Got it, wifey!
Those were puppies which weren’t even a year old.
Eiji understood just by looking from the distance at their lovely color of fur that they were Siberian huskies.
The small puppies run desperately, trying to tag Mike. But because they were still too small, they couldn’t catch up to him.
– These are Gero’s breeds, ain’t they?
– He probably intends to train them for hunting. Ah, Eiji-san please look, one of them run in this direction. It’s small and cute.
– Such a small dog, to think that it will one day grow bigger than a human. Should you say it’s strange, or perhaps amazing?
There were 4 of them in total, 3 of which were frantically following after Mike.
The remaining dog draw closer to this side with its quick and toddling steps without following Mike.
The small puppy displayed a face which was characteristic for it.
Tanya carried the small dog in her arms and rubbed it against her cheek.
– So cute!
Was it because it ran with all its effort? The puppy let Tanya do as she pleased while making its breathing sound rebound with ‘haa haa’.
Its rotund eyes were adorable.
Eiji thought about having Tanya embrace him later after she became content with the dog.
Mike approached this way, and together with him the 3 remaining dogs. He probably noticed the single puppy missing once he waited for its turn.
The puppies worked their small feet hectically while trying to catch up with Mike.
– Good morning. Spring has finally arrived, hasn’t it?
– Long time no see.
– Yeah, so how did it feel being secluded for the first time during the winter? I bet it was tedious. Or perhaps, you were enjoying your newlywed life?
– Erm, no… I’ve had enough of being secluded inside the house.
Once Eiji answered deliberately and smoothly for the first question, Mike made a wry smile.
Were he to object and become sullen, Mike would enjoy himself. Therefore, it was best to go with the flow. Eiji understood that with time as he had become used to this place.
– As always, you’re amazing, ain’t you? Were you inventing something new again?
– I was just using some alcohol.
– A-alcohol? If you have any fine beverage, tell me.
– Well, I’m still working on it. Mike-san, how did you spend your time?
– I was doing nothing but playing Othello with Jane.
– Did you improve your skills a little bit?
– And how. Even if I were to make a bet at this moment, I’d win with no doubt.
– I won’t help you if Bona-san hears of that and gets mad.
– Hey hey, I was just kidding…. Don’t take it seriously.
– I got it.
At the time Mike and Eiji were chattering, the 3 puppies played with each other while writhing in the bushes.
It seemed that Tanya didn’t intend to let the puppy, which she was carrying, go.
– Are those Gero’s breed?
– That’s right. I’ve got to quickly raise them into big dogs, so as to use them for hunting.
– As expected, they’re cute when they’re small.
– Is that so? Well, I’ll admit that they’re adorable; still, I think that the bigger guys look much cooler.
– Even though they’re so cute. Eiji-san can we raise one of them?
Tanya thrusted the puppy she was holding onto in front of Eiji’s eyes.
Kyuun – hearing the small puppy’s weak cry, Eiji felt the urge of wanting to protect it.
The fluffy fur and the rotund eyes, despite it being the same Siberian husky, every of these dogs had a distinctive look. Its look was quite similar to a handsome man.
Still, there was no way for them to raise it in their household.
In addition to the cattle, pigs, and boars they had, their house was numerous in livestock, more than what they owned at the beginning.
– Don’t we already have Button in our house?
– Oh, you mean that boar piglet?
– Isn’t it a nice name? I came up with it.
– No, aren’t you actually craving to eat it?
– Once his feelings transfer into something, he won’t have the courage to eat it. Rather than leaving it nameless, it would be better to name it Button, or so Eiji-san said.
– Ain’t you a changeable guy, Eiji? Whatever, let’s gather today and resume the construction work of the barn.
– Understood. Hey Tanya-san, please return it back.
– Ah! My puppy!
– Don’t say it’s yours.
Eiji separated the puppy from Tanya, who was completely in a trance.
After licking her fingers, the dog followed Mike.
Despite Eiji trying to console the depressed Tanya, Eiji felt quite troubled.
– I want to raise a puppy as well!
Once the spring began, there were lots of things waiting to be done.
Digging a trench from the river, mowing the weeds from the wheat fields, the works gradually piled up.
Therefore, it was necessary to finish the barn while spring was still early.
The men were sweating from their whole bodies just like a vapor.
As soon they roofed the barn with neat wooden planks, they blanketed the top with the western-style roofing tiles.
The male villagers, who didn’t know how to lay the tiles, looked timidly at Eiji’s and Fernando’s way of doing at first. However, they gradually got used to it and continued their work quickly.
The brown roof made from the wooden planks was dyed a red and olive color, little by little, with the western-style tiles.
The labor, which began in the middle of the day, was interrupted with a lunch time break, and then carried out till evening. They continued to blanket the rooftop with the tiles.
The shed was big.
There are ones that are 40m long and 15m wide as well.
Standing in front of the barn, Fernando folded his arms while proudly staring at it.
– The barn is almost completed, isn’t it?
– Yeah, didn’t it take 4 months using the whole village? Quite a long time, isn’t it?
– Well, it became a nice experience. In the end, everyone became familiar with the saw. It seems that starting from the next time, I’ll be able to free up myself some and enjoy it a little bit more.
– No, wouldn’t that make things more difficult?
– Naturally, there’s no way for me to take care of everything. Even a single person can decide the course of the work. That’s a huge difference.
Whenever it comes to building an extensive construction, a large amount of manual labor consisting of villagers is needed just like for this one.
Because of that, depending on each person’s engineering skills, the work will vary greatly.
– The next thing would be to show how to build the interior.
– No, I’ve done that before, so I already know.
– Including your knowledge, I want to confirm if there’s any part that needs to be reinforced, or whether or not it goes accordingly to the plan.
– I see, in that case…
The massive door, which led to the inside, was probably made as a repellent against wild animals. Once they entered inside, a passage appeared.
The passage was interposed from both sides by numerous fences that divided the booths.
Because raising chickens caused the problem of their manure’s smell, let alone raising them outside, the walls were furnished with lots of sliding doors so as to create ventilation.
The inside ground surface of a booth was covered with straw. Its role was to hold the smell and at the same time allow people to collect the manure for making compost.
Were the surface to be furnished with stones or concrete, it would make a chicken stressed, as it had the habit of kicking the ground and digging worms in order to release its stress burden.
For that reason, the bottom of the ground remained as soil.
Looking around the barn, Fernando took a glimpse of Eiji’s face.
– Is there any problem?
– You haven’t made any rectangular containers for storing water and fodder inside the booths yet, have you?
– Ah… oopsy daisy, I forgot about that. I’ll do it straight away. Since I’ll be focusing on that today, can I have you sort out which chickens go into whcih booth?
– Yes. It might be troublesome for you, but please do your best.
– It’s my own fault, so I’ll have to manage it somehow.
Scratching his head, Fernando made a wry smile and went outside with a trot.
Were it only a single booth, it would be fine, still, if it was concerning all of them, there would be lots of work to do.
Because of that, Eiji wondered whether or not there was anyone who could help him.
While going out by himself, Eiji pondered what the best way to sort out the chickens was.