Yuki-onna’s Gratitude (雪女の恩返し)

Translated from

Long ago there was a poor couple and a rich couple living in a village. One night, there was a snowstorm. A beautiful young woman in a white kimono knocked on the door of the rich couple’s house.
“I am a traveler caught in this terrible snowstorm. Would you allow me to spend the night?”
The rich man answered her,
“What do I care what happens to you?” and slammed the door shut.
The young woman went and knocked on the door of the poor couple next door.
“I am a traveler caught in this terrible snowstorm. Would you allow me to spend the night?”
The peasant man answered her,
“Ah! Hurry and come inside. We don’t have much, but feel free to make yourself at home.”
The young woman seated herself by the hearth and the man stoked the fire for her. The man’s wife approached her,
“It must have been cold out there. Please eat this if you’d like,” and she gave the woman the rice porridge (okayu) the couple had been planning to eat.
The woman ate one bite and said,
“Thank you very much. Thanks to you, I feel as though I’ve been brought back from the dead.”
She began to cry tears of joy. The man and his wife laid out their futon (bed of blankets on the floor) for the woman and went to sleep in a pile of straw.  The next morning the man and his wife awoke and made good miso soup for the woman. The wife said,
“Your breakfast is ready!” and went next to the futon. But the woman was not there.koban
“I wonder where she went….oh, wait, here’s a letter.” She noticed a letter had been placed next to the futon.  She was surprised when she read it. This is what was written:
“I am Yuki-onna. My life was destined to end this winter. At the end of my life, I received such a warm welcome, I could start my trip to the other world with human kindness. Thank you very much. My gratitude is left in my kimono, please use it.”
The wife hurriedly pushed back the futon covers to see the kimono the young woman had been wearing. The wife picked up the kimono and found it to be soaked through. And inside the kimono she found many many gold coins!
The end.

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