Starting date: January 21st
Finishing date: February 10th
Characters in This Chapter
- キキ - a young witch
- コキリ - Kiki’s mother (a witch)
- オキン - Kiki’s father (non-magical)
- ジジ - Kiki’s black cat (黒猫)
Chapter 4 Summary
Chapter 4. Kiki opens a shop
After a few days of anxiety about living as a witch in a town like Koriko, Kiki wonders if she could make a living delivering small items for busy people. She explains to Osono-san that people would pay for this by sharing something with her. Osono-san offers Kiki space to use as a shopfront and recommends the memorable name “Witch’s Express Home Delivery”, despite Kiki’s concerns. After helping Osono-san following the birth of her daughter, Kiki proudly opens her business - but it has no customers. Osono-san is apologetic and Kiki wonders despondently why people are so negative about witches, but her spirits lift with the beautiful weather, and when she notices a young woman gesturing to her from a nearby apartment, she goes to investigate.
The woman, a seamstress who seems surprised to find Kiki has neither fangs nor horns, offers to shorten Kiki’s dress to a more fashionable length in exchange for the prompt delivery of a birthday gift to her nephew, a little rascal who will make his aunt do ninety-four handstands if it is late. Kiki and Jiji set off with a birdcage containing a handsewn black toy cat, almost identical to Jiji, on a silver cushion. Jiji attempts to enter the cage as they are flying, and the toy cat falls out, down into the forest below where Kiki is unable to find it. Upset at the prospect of failing her first customer, Kiki tells Jiji to act as the toy and delivers him to a small boy covered in band-aids. Kiki returns to the forest and searches unsuccessfully. As she considers sewing part of her skirt into a replacement toy, she overhears a woman singing about the colour black. The woman, an artist who has just found and painted the toy cat, is as excited to meet a witch as Kiki is to relocate the toy, and wants to paint her immediately. Kiki takes the toy, rescues her friend from the embrace of the sleeping rascal, then returns so that the artist can paint a portrait of the witch and her cat. Delighted to find another person who accepts her, Kiki writes to her parents that evening to reassure them and tell them about her new venture.
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