Grateful Crane
Long long ago, there was a slope in Akasaka in Tokyo.
This neighborhood was very lonely after dark.
A Mujina, or a raccoon dog used to play tricks on people walking there.
One night, a young man was walking along the slope to his home.
Then he saw a young lady crouching by the moat and weeping bitterly.
He stopped to offer his help to her.
She seemed to be a slight and graceful lady, beautifully dressed and her hair was arranged like that of a young girl of a good family.
“Young lady, young lady, what’s the matter with you?
Why are you crying?” he asked.
But she kept on crying with her face hidden by one of her long sleeves.
“Young lady, young lady, what’s the matter with you?
Why are you crying?
Listen to me.
This is not the place for a young lady like you.
Don’t cry. Young Lady.”

At last the young lady turned round to him and dropped her sleeve.

The man cried out and ran and ran as fast as he could.
She had no eyes, no nose, no mouth.
On and on he ran and ran until he saw a light in the distance.
It was a lantern of a noodle-seller, who had set down his stand by the road-side.
He stopped his legs and cried out to the noodle-seller.
“Aa! aa!! aaa!!!.” exclaimed he.
“What’s the matter? Be calm. Did anyone hurt you? ” said the noodle-seller.
“No,I saw…. I saw. Aa! aa!! aaa!!!.”
“A robber?”
“No, I saw…. I saw a woman, by the moat. She had,aa!!,aaa!!! I can’t tell you.”
“Hey. Was it like this that she showed you?” said the noodle-seller, stroking his face.
It became like an Egg…..And then the light went out.

The end