The Woman of the Snow -- a Japanese Folk Tale

[This my retelling of the Japanese traditional folk story,

雪女 (Yuki Onna)

or "Snow Woman", or "Woman of the Snow". It's a bit of a ghost story. 

My version picks and chooses from some of the many extant versions.]

Narrator: Two woodcutters were caught in a snowstorm.

Minokichi: Where is the ferryman?

Mosaku: We should take shelter in his hut.

Narrator: It was a very cold night, but the two men went to sleep.

Mosaku: Zzzzzz. Cough. Zzzzz.

Minokichi: Zzzzzz. Cough. Zzzzz.

Narrator: Minokichi woke up.

Minokichi: Zzzzzz. Cough. Mmm?

Narrator: Mosaku did not wake up. 

Mosaku: Zzzzzz. Cough. Zzzzz.

Narrator: A strange and beautiful woman was bending over Mosaku.

Mosaku: Zzzz  zz   z     z.

Narrator: Then the woman bent over Minokichi.

Snow Woman: You are young. I like you. I will not take you now.

Narrator: Minokichi was afraid.

Snow Woman: If you ever tell anyone, I will kill you.

Narrator: The woman left.

Minokichi: Mosaku?

Narrator: Mosaku did not answer.

Minokichi: Mosaku is dead!

Narrator: Minokichi made it home, but he was very sick for a long time.

Minokichi: Cough cough!

Narrator: A year passed. Minokichi was working again.

Minokichi: I’m lonely!

Narrator: He met a beautiful young woman on his way home.

O-Yuki: My name is O-Yuki.

Minokichi: My name is Minokichi.

O-Yuki: I’m going to Yedo to find work.

Minokichi: You can rest at my house for a while.

Narrator: O-Yuki and Minokichi got married.

Villagers: Congratulations!

Narrator: One night, O-Yuki was sewing.

Minokichi: O-Yuki, we have lots of children.

O-Yuki: Of course.

Minokichi: They are beautiful, just like you.

O-Yuki: Thank you. I think they are beautiful, too.

Minokichi: You know, it’s strange.

O-Yuki: What’s strange?

Minokichi: I’ve only seen one woman as beautiful as you.

O-Yuki: Oh? Who was that?

Minokichi: I don’t know if it was a dream or real.

O-Yuki: Sometimes reality seems like a dream.

Minokichi: Sometimes you remind me of her.

O-Yuki: Is that good or bad?

Narrator: And Minokichi told his wife about the night Mosaku died.

Minokichi: Do you think it was a dream? Did I see the Snow Woman?

O-Yuki: It was not a dream. But I told you never to tell anyone.

Minokichi: Was it you?

O-Yuki: Yes. I told you I would kill you. But I can’t kill the father of our children.

Minokichi: That’s a relief.

O-Yuki: But we can’t be together any more.

Minokichi: What? Why?

O-Yuki: Take very good care of our children. Good-bye.

Minokichi: No! Don’t go!

Narrator: But O-Yuki was never seen again.
    And Minokichi always took very good care of their children.

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