Chapter 114: I Can Make Money Now
Qiao Mei taught the two children how to weave baskets like how Qiao Qiang had taught her. Although they were clumsy, they learned it well. Zhang Miao was still young and did not have much strength, so Zhang Qin went to help Zhang Miao tie up the baskets. Qiao Mei was relieved to see the two children helping each other out.
In this era, many families would give birth to many brothers and then they would quarrel endlessly with each other, over food and property, until both sides ended up getting hurt. Sometimes, brothers would also turn against each other and did not interact again throughout their lifetimes. Even in her other life, when she was still a lawyer, she had seen many such cases. However, at that time, she was a criminal lawyer, so she did not really take on such cases about trivial family matters.
“Xiao Qin is so awesome! You know how to help your younger sister and the baskets you made are so beautiful!” Qiao Mei smiled at the two children.
Previously, Zhang Qin had always been bullied by the Zhang family. Old Madam Zhang always said that she was a money-losing good-for-nothing who was useful and only knew how to eat. Now that Qiao Mei encouraged her and affirmed her efforts, she felt a little embarrassed. Her face went red and she did not dare to look at Qiao Mei while she silently weaved the willow branches in her hand. In the end, the two children made three baskets in one morning.
Qiao Mei brought Zhang Qin and Zhang Miao to the back of the mountain to see if they could make any new discoveries. In the current season, the grass had grown very tall but there were many wild vegetables to dig up and also a lot of mushrooms. While the two children were not paying attention, Qiao Mei hastened the growth of many mushrooms among the grass and also ensured that the bushes in the distance were full of fruits.
When Zhang Qin and Zhang Miao saw the fruits scattered on the ground, they went to take some to put in the basket and totally did not notice what was happening on Qiao Mei’s side. Qiao Mei took out her sickle and interrogated the mushrooms on the ground. Which ones of you are poisonous, make yourself known! Tell me quickly!
The little mushrooms scrambled to report the poisonous mushrooms. Qiao Mei nodded in satisfaction and called Zhang Qin and Zhang Miao over to identify the mushrooms. When they heard Qiao Mei say that some mushrooms were poisonous and that people would die if they ate them, Zhang Qin and Zhang Miao widened their eyes in amazement. They listened carefully when Qiao Mei told them how to differentiate the edible ones from the ones that were not.
The two children put everything they could recognize into the baskets. Before long, the two small baskets were full. Zhang Qin took the third basket to hold the fruits from the bushes. The two children felt especially proud when they looked at the three full baskets in front of them.
Qiao Mei also picked a basket of mushrooms and then they went back. On the way, the two children did not complain about being tired or put down their baskets. They both showed great fortitude.
“Qin Qin, Miao Miao, are you happy picking mushrooms today?” Qiao Mei asked the two children.
Zhang Miao looked at Qiao Mei and smiled brightly. “I’m so happy! These are enough for us to eat for a long time!”
The two children thought that they were picking these things for their food. Qiao Mei said to them, “It’s not for us to eat. After we dry these mushrooms, we can sell them for money, a lot of money. Once we make money, I’ll give you some.”
Zhang Qin widened her eyes and said excitedly, “Can we also have money!”
“Of course. After we sell the mushrooms, how about I give you 10 cents for each dollar we make, 20 cents for two dollars. Moreover, each of you will get a share, you don’t have to split it among yourselves.” Qiao Mei wanted the children to be able to buy what they wanted.
Zhang Miao still could not understand how much money that was, but in any case, it meant she had money now. On the other hand, Zhang Qin was ecstatic to hear that. Not to mention it was 10 cents for each dollar, even if it was just a total of 10 or 20 cents, it would be good enough for her.
The three of them went home happily where they put out the mushrooms to dry and transferred the fruits they picked up into the big basket. The two children were so busy that they did not notice the big beads of sweat dripping down their faces.
When Zhang Qin and Zhang Miao first came, they looked like skinny monkeys and their clothes were in tatters. Qiao Mei took her old clothes and made two sets of clothes for her two younger sisters to be able to have a change of clothing. After they came, they ate better than before and they looked like they had put on some weight after a week. They also started to smile more.
“Elder sister! Can we go again!” Zhang Qin ran to Qiao Mei with a small basket and looked at her with sparkling eyes.
Qiao Mei looked at the sky. It was still early and there was time for them to go to the stream nearby to take a look. Moreover, she had yet to exchange energy with the plants today. Qiao Mei took the basket and set off with the two children.
The endless supply of mushrooms along the way made the two children extremely excited. Qiao Mei silently absorbed the energy released by the plants near the stream and used a portion of it to grow mushrooms. Perspiration soaked through the clothes on the backs of Zhang Qin and Zhang Miao. The two children ran all over the wilderness, afraid that they would miss a mushroom that could be picked.