A rabbit from the moon
Long long ago, there lived an old man and his wife in a village.
Being honest and hard workers, they were always so poor and lived from hand to mouth.
One day he went to a mountain as usual to get woods, when he found a rabbit caught in a trap.
He freed her from it.
A few days later, a lady in white Kimono visited their house.
“Excuse me. I’m so sorry to disturb you.
I lost my parents and my house because of the fire.
I have no place to go.
Please help me.
Please let me stay here with you.
I’ll do whatever I can do for you. please”
“I see. You can stay here in this house if you want to.
But as you see, we are so poor that we don’t have much rice.”
said the old man.
As the old couple had no child, they took care of her as if she were their own daughter.
She worked and worked, helping her father with the rice-field and getting woods, helping her mother with cooking, washing, sewing and so on.
Having worked day after day, their life never changed for the better.
One night under the full moon, she said to her parents,
“My dear parents. I’m a rabbit helped by you in a mountain.
To tell the truth, I came from the moon to meet my friends on the earth.
It was careless of me to be caught in a trap.
I wanted to help you in return for your kindness.
But I can’t change your life.
You are always hungry and poor.
The last thing I can do for you is ….Please eat me.”
On saying so, she changed into a white rabbit and jumped into a big pot, in which stew was being cooked, on the hearth.
They tried to help her but it was too late.
The steam out of the stew went up and up to the moon.
To their surprise, they saw the rabbit smiling and making rice cake in the full moon.
They never felt hungry.