1 July, Sachiko Kashiwaba

文字数 3,710文字

A Parfait-Eating Witch Buddy


Isn’t it ready yet?
  My little sister Toko is cute when she’s waiting for me to make strawberry parfaits. Though other times, she’s usually just a cocky five-year-old.
  It’s almost ready. Hang on a minute!
  What was that? It didn’t sound like a voice I knew.
  I turned toward the table and went pale.
  Sitting next to Toko was a witch. Holding a spoon instead of a broom.
  She had a long nose hanging over a face covered with wrinkles. Her eyes were slanted up, making her look scary.
  Toko! Get over here!
  Why? Toko asked, tilting her head and looking puzzled.
  Wh-where did you come from? The door’s locked, and this is the tenth floor. Are you for real?
  I was in a state of panic as I waved to my sister to get the heck over here.
  She came in the window on her broom. I was so excited about the strawberry parfaits, her witch’s radar must have picked it up.
  That’s right, little girl. I picked up on your sense of pure bliss, just waiting to eat your sweet, plump, juicy, exciting treat, oozing out that window. Even I could tell right away that you girls were having strawberry parfaits.
  Toko and the witch looked at each other and nodded in agreement.
  Th-that doesn’t allow you to barge in on someone’s home and help yourself to a parfait! Of all the nerve! No one invited you!
  Then invite me now. I love strawberry parfaits.
  Okay. I’m inviting you.
  Toko!
  Oh, come on. Your strawberry parfaits are super. These are special strawberries our grandpa sent us.
  Sounds good. Let me join you. Nothing good’s been happening lately, and there’s nothing fun to do. It can’t hurt for you to be nice to a poor old woman like me.
  Be nice to a poor old woman? You’re a witch!
  Yeah, yeah, whatever. We have to be nice to each other at a time like this.
  Yeah. We’re gonna help each other.
  The witch and Toko nodded to each other again.
  It didn’t look like I had a chance against them. The only thing I could do was have the witch hurry up and eat the parfait and then head on home.
  I quickly made the parfaits, and the three of us ate them—Toko, me, and the witch. It tasted great, even in the presence of a witch.
 The witch’s eyes suddenly slanted downward. She was starting to look like a kind old lady.
  Mm, yummy. My sister’s going to open a shop and sell strawberry parfaits when she grows up, you know.
  I’ll be there every day.
  No, thank you!
  I’ll be there for sure. We’re parfait buddies, right? she said with a grin.
  Parfait buddies! Toko cried happily.
 The witch got on her broom and flew out the window.
  

We

should

be

nice

to

each

other

at

a

time

like

this

, the witch had said. I guess she had a point. But just because we may have been parfait buddies—
  Is it ready yet?
  Sitting next to Toko with a spoon in hand today is a ghost.


Translated by Eriko Sugita/Arranged by TranNet KK

Sachiko Kashiwaba
Born in Iwate Prefecture, 1953. Won the 15th Kodansha Children’s Literature New Face Award and the Japan Children’s Literature Association New Face Award for

Kiri

no

mukō

no

fushigina

machi

(The strange town beyond the mist), the 45th Sankei Children’s Book Award for

Mirakuru

famirī

(Miracle family), the 54th Sankei Children’s Book Award for

Botan

san

no

fushigi

na

mainichi

(The bizarre daily life of Mrs. Batan), the 59th Shogakukan Award for Children’s Literature for

Tsuzuki

no

toshokan

(The library of continuations), and the 54th Noma Literary Prize for Children’s Literature for

Misaki

no

mayoiga

(The mysterious house on the cape ).

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