Bear-san Brings The Picture Books To The Orphanage
When I opened my eyes, I looked left and right, only to see Swaying Bear and Hugging Bear sleeping, curled up like two Manjuus. After caressing them for a bit, I brought them back to my gloves.
I changed into the Black Bear and headed to『Bear-san’s Relaxing Shop』.
It was now easier to go there since I moved my house closer.
When I entered the shop through the back door, I was greeted by the smell of freshly baked bread.
Inside the room, Morin-san was baking bread with the help of several children. They were doing their best to knead the dough and make pudding.
「Yuna-chan, you’re back?」
「Yeah, I returned yesterday.」
Morin-san called out to me when she saw me enter while continuing to bake the bread.
Hearing her voice, the children turned my way.
「I understand that you are all happy that Yuna-chan is here, but we still have a lot to do before we open the store, so don’t stop working!」
Morin-san warned the children.
「You guys should listen to what Morin-san says and do your jobs properly, okay?」
Being told so by Morin-san and me, the children returned to their work looking a bit sad.
Morin-san looked at the children with an expression that was saying something like, ‘It can’t be helped.’
「Morin-san, could I have some breakfast?」
Being able to eat freshly baked bread was the employer’s special privilege, right?
I also had to ask if I could replenish my Bear Box bread reserves with some freshly made bread. It had decreased a lot because of the practice training and the students…
「Of course. You can take whichever bread you want!」
Taking advantage of Morin-san’s goodwill, I decided to take some bread, which had just came out of the oven.
They all seemed delicious.
While I was hesitating on which one to take, the children watched to see which one I would take.
Was some of this bread made by the children?
When I made my choice, some children looked really happy while some others looked sad; they were perfectly divided in two groups.
As one would expect, I couldn’t really eat all the bread the children made, but I still felt sorry for those whose bread I didn’t take.
I wanted to go to the fridge to get some juice, but Karin-san, who saw through my plan, brought me one with a smile on her face.
「Thank you, Karin-san.」
I accepted the cold fruit juice.
「You’re so popular with the children!」
More than popular, it looked more like baby birds, which embraced you after you gave them food, though.
I looked at the children while eating bread.
「Karin-san, how has the store been doing recently?」
「As you already know, it has been very busy every day.」
「Do you have enough people?」
「Yes. The children are working hard, after all.」
When I heard those words, I felt a bit guilty for making these children work so hard.
In this world, it was normal for children to work, though.
Farmer’s children helped with the farm work, merchant’s children helped with commerce. A lot of children were helping their parents with their work; Karin-san was a great example of that.
「They are so hardworking that it makes me embarrassed remembering what I was like during my childhood.」
When she remembered her past and compared it to the children who were doing their best, a bitter smile came to her face.
「You didn’t help out?」
「That’s right. She was always playing around, after all.」
Even though I asked Karin-san, someone else answered in her place.
Morin-san, who had been listening, joined the conversation.
「You see, she was sort of a problem child; she didn’t help at all, no matter how we asked her.」
「Mom! That was a long time ago…」
「Long time ago, you say… It was only a few years ago, wasn’t it?」
「Big Sis Karin, you weren’t helping?」
The children innocently looked at Karin-san.
「That’s not true at all! I just skipped work sometimes!」
Karin-san did her best to find an excuse.
「You sure it was only sometimes?」
Morin-san was laughing. Was she reminiscing on what Karin-san was like when she was little?
「Fufu, that was a joke. I’m really happy that you do your best to help me now.」
「Even someone like me won’t stay childish forever!」
「You’re right. You have learned your father’s way of making bread properly.」
The children intruded this hearty atmosphere of the mother and daugher.
「I-I’m also doing my best to learn it!」
The children started to show off their work.
「Oh dear, I’m really happy to have so many students. Karin, if you don’t keep improving yourself, these children will surpass you in no time, you know.」
「I won’t let them!」
Karin-san said and went back to her work.
The children chased after her while Morin-san looked at them happily.
After I finished my breakfast, I went to the orphanage to deliver the picture books.
I entered the orphanage, but no one was nearby.
Oh right, normally, at this hour, both the group that worked at the shop and the group that was in charge of the cluckers, were out. Only the youngest group should be here.
It was a group that ranged from babies to five, six years old children. In this orphanage, the five and six years old children took care of the ones who were younger together with the headmistress.
They were staying in a room on the other side of the orphanage.
I went and found them there.
「Headmistress, good morning.」
「Yuna-san, you were here?」
「I just arrived.」
The children all rushed towards me with their short legs.
I patted their heads while approaching the headmistress.
「So, why did you come today?」
「I came to see how the children are doing and brought some souvenirs.」
「Souvenirs? What kind of souvenirs?」
One of the children who was holding my Bear Hand asked.
「Sorry, it’s not food.」
The children looked sad.
「It’s not good to be selfish! Thanks to Yuna-san, you can eat delicious food everyday!」
The headmistress scolded the children.
It wasn’t really thanks to me.
It was thanks to the senior group that was working hard to take care of the cluckers.
I only provided the necessary foundations. After that, the children worked hard to get to where they were now on their own.
The children apologised obediently.
「I will bring some delicious food next time, okay? This time, I brought you picture books.」
I took the picture books out of the Bear Box.
「It’s picture books!」
One child took a picture book from my hand.
「Ah, not fair! I want to see it, too!」
「I want it, too…」
「Thank you very much, Yuna-san.」
「For now, there are only two volumes of the same story, but please do read it to them.」
I gave the headmistress the last copies of the first and second volume books.
「Oh, these illustrations are really cute.」
「If you want some more picture books, please talk to Terumi-san.」
「It’s okay, I’m teaching these children to not be selfish.」
「Those picture books will help them learn the characters, so I wouldn’t call it selfish.」
「Thank you very much. Children, you have to thank Yuna-san!」
The children, who were running around and happily fighting over the books, came back and thanked me.
「You should learn properly and not cause trouble to the headmistress, okay?」
The children agreed cheerfully.
(TN: Another short chapter, I know… But, you might be getting a special bonus next week.)