Chapter 115 - Hard Work
Chapter 115: Hard Work
The three of them could only bear to go home in the evening. The two children were already exhausted after a day of work, but they insisted on putting the last of these mushrooms out to dry. The entire courtyard was covered in mushrooms, and the baskets in the corner of the courtyard were filled with fruits.
When Li Gui came back from work that night, she was stunned to see the entire courtyard filled with mushrooms. “Did you guys pick all the mushrooms in the entire mountain? How can there be so many!”
Zhang Qin and Zhang Miao rushed to Li Gui and held her hand. “Mom! Mom! Look at the mushrooms we picked! Elder sister brought us to pick these and there were so many of them! They were everywhere!”
“Look! Look! And these…” The two children pulled Li Gui one by one to introduce their “battle results” today.
“I’ll go to the county city with you to sell them tomorrow,” Qiao Mei said as she looked at Li Gui.
Li Gui placed everything in the corner and said, “You’re pregnant, so it’s better that you don’t go.”
“Alright, I’ll find an auntie from the village to accompany you. There are too many people going there recently and I’m afraid that you won’t be able to cope.” Qiao Mei went to look for her neighbor, Auntie Dong. Recently, everyone was worried about not being able to earn money given that they were unable to sell their bean sprouts. Auntie Dong and Auntie Wang, who were usually on good terms with Qiao Mei, had a lot of vegetables at home and were preparing to go to the county city to sell them. However, they were timid and did not dare to go on their own as it would be a terrible thing if they were to get caught.
Qiao Mei asked Auntie Dong and Auntie Wang to come over to her house. She thought of asking them to help her bring some fruits and the last of the pumpkins to sell tomorrow.
“Oh, Qiao Mei! Why are there so many mushrooms in your house!” Auntie Dong exclaimed as soon as she entered the courtyard and saw the mushrooms all over the ground .
Qiao Mei pointed towards the stream they went to today. “Aunties, the two of you can go over there tomorrow to take a look. There’s a lot of mushrooms over there and they’re all growing very well.” There were still some mushrooms left among the grass as their baskets were full and they had no way of bringing them back. She had never been too stingy with people who were good to her. Instead of letting strangers take them, it would be better for her own people to pick them.
“Aye! Aye! I’ll go tomorrow when I’m free,” Auntie Wang replied with a smile.
Qiao Mei had taken out a total of five baskets of things, namely a basket of watermelons, a basket of grapes, a basket of cucumbers, a basket of the last few pumpkins that they could not manage to finish, as well as the bean sprouts that did not grow out well at the end.
“Auntie Dong, Auntie Wang, this is what I want to sell tomorrow. Please go to the county city with my mother.” Qiao Mei handed the two women a slice of sweet watermelon each.
“It’s fine, it’s fine! It’s just a small matter!” Auntie Dong took a bite of the watermelon. This was much more delicious than what she had at home. Even if Qiao Mei did not come to ask Auntie Dong to go to the county city, Auntie Dong had already intended to go there to sell some vegetables to supplement her family’s income. Ever since everyone could not manage to sell all their bean sprouts, her family had been spending more that they earned and her rations were almost running out.
Li Gui had finished preparing dinner in the kitchen. A few days ago, the hens at home had laid two eggs and it was just nice to give to Qiao Mei for extra nourishment. She added some water to the eggs to make the texture more tender. First, she made stir-fried cucumbers with eggs and then, she made some pumpkin porridge. It was summer now and the hot weather was a little unbearable. She also made some green bean soup, but Qiao Mei could not drink it so she did not make too much.
After the two older women left, she called out to Qiao Mei and Qiao Qiang to have a meal at home. In the past, she had been afraid of her former father-in-law and felt that she owed him for what happened back then. Now that Qiao Qiang did not quibble about the past and even helped her in the construction of her house, she could not be more grateful.
In the beginning, the two children did not dare to eat at the table nor take any food. Now, they were very close to Qiao Mei and Qiao Qiang. They also knew who was good and who was bad and understood that they had been deceived by Old Madam Zhang’s words all these years.
After Zhang Qin and Zhang Miao washed the dishes and tidied up the courtyard, they went to bed early. After a tiring day, they finally could not stay awake anymore. Li Gui came to the courtyard to enjoy the evening breeze with Qiao Mei and they enjoyed an unprecedented moment together as mother and daughter.
Some people wanted to go to the county city to exchange for some things to earn some money, while some people in the county city were discussing how to go to the countryside to ask for things and money and food to supplement their families.