CH 1

‘I’ve been living in a nameless mountain for a month now. My name is Sano Shohei. I’m 25 years old, single. I’m not looking for a lover or a marriage partner right now. Plant growth here is amazing when the weather warms up. I wish I had a fraction of their zeal. Now it’s time to deal with those invasive weeds. ‘Get the electric mower out and keep trimming the weeds around the house.’

…There was no way to get rid of it no matter how much I mowed. Although, It’s not entirely useless since the chickens eat these weeds. I began planting the vegetables as well. Once I had finished endlessly pulling weeds from the field, I tilled the soil and planted the seeds.

If left untreated, it was said that insects would feast on them; therefore, I attempted to replicate a chemical-free pesticide I had seen an idol make on a certain television show. The excitement of making it was so intense that it scared the chickens.

Sorry.

Ah, right. The three ‘colored chickens’ I bought at the fair have now fully developed chicken feathers and shed their ‘colorful’ coats. They were, however, enormous. The chickens were so big that it made you wonder, “Were chickens always this big?”

I looked it up on the Internet and discovered that there was a large chicken named Brahma, but they weren’t particularly adorable. Despite the fact that it had only been a month, their length had already surpassed fifty centimeters. (I measured them with a tape measure yesterday.)

Although I had read that full maturity took several months, Pochi’s crest looked magnificent by the end of the month. I was curious about how many weeks had gone by since he was born when I bought him. When I asked about this while shopping in the village, I was told that most of the stalls would have sold them within a week of hatching. Though they were a week old then, they are now just over five weeks old.

People say that young chickens would be ready to ship to slaughter in about seven weeks, so the only ones sold at fairs and other events are males that couldn’t be sold. An old man in the village even offered to help me if I would eventually kill (slaughter) them, but I politely declined.

‘They are my precious pals. I hope we can live together until the end of our lives.’

Pochi, who had a beautiful crest, was a very vocal bird. So I knew he was male. Tama and Yuma, on the other hand, were female-like. Sure, I heard both of them chirping frequently as hatchlings, but neither of them ever did the cock-a-doodle-doo thing that Pochi did. I gave them three pellets of feed that hadn’t been treated with pesticides, and they all clucked in delight.

‘I’m really sorry about their behavior.’

Anyway, there were some things I didn’t understand about my chickens.

“…The grass seems alright. Hey, just wait a little, you guys! I can’t continue like this!~”

“…Can’t continue~”

“Can’t continue~”

“Can’t continue~”

‘Are you guys parrots? Is it parakeet? I’ve never heard a chicken talk.’

“What—!?”

“…What~”

“What~”

“What~”

‘Don’t you ‘what’ me!’

Suddenly, Tama made a jerky, rapid motion.

“Whoa!?! W-What is it?”

A snake was in its beak. A small snake called a viper.

“Oh~ as always, you’re awesome, Tama. Wait here,” I said as I retrieved a plastic bottle from the house.

I carefully removed the viper from Tama’s grip and placed its head in the opening of the plastic bottle, allowing it to slide in without any trouble. It was a technique I learned from an old man in the village at the foot of the mountain. One had to be very careful because the head could still come out after it was almost in the bottle.

(Note: Good children should never mimic such behavior.)

“Thanks, Tama!” I thanked him and raised my head. ‘I mean, don’t chickens usually get eaten by snakes or something?”

Yuma, meanwhile, spread her wings and dashed around the back of the house. And there she was, returning after capturing another viper. ‘There must’ve been many vipers around the house. This is dangerous.’

“You’ve also caught one, Yuma? Thank you. You can all share it.” The three birds promptly began greedily devouring their prey after I gave the signal. ‘It’s a little frightening to see chickens preying on vipers. Also, they definitely understand what I’m saying, don’t they?’ Tired out, I returned indoors to drill more holes in the plastic bottles.

‘That’s my lifestyle right now.’

Translator’s Notes

The chickens have a name now! Pochi, Tama and Yuma!

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