Long long ago, there lived an old man and his old wife in a village.
It was a snowy day in January.
Seven Gods visited their house.
The old couple didn’t know how to welcome them because they were very poor.
“Mr.and Ms.Gods, Welcome to my house in the heavy snow.”
said the husband.
“It was snowing so hard that we called on you to borrow something to guard us from the snow.”
said one God.
The couple searched for it in the house to find four straw hats and four straw mantles for four Gods.
But other three Gods had nothing to protect them from the snow.
They looked for it hard again to find two old broken paper umbrellas.
But one God had still nothing to keep him from the rain and was standing in the snow.
They looked for it hard again both in the house and outside the house until they found an old dirty straw raincoat.
“We found it. We found it.” said the wife, handing it to the last God.
“We thank you very much for your kindness.”
said they and left the house into the heavy snow with smiles.
“Take care of yourself and good luck.”
said the couple, bowing again and again, and they saw off seven Gods.
“We are very happy today because we did a good thing.” said the couple each other.
They had spring, Summer, Fall, Winter and at last the last day of the year.
On that day, he said to her,
“We are so unhappy because we are too poor to prepare for a new year.”
Then they heard some people chatting at the front door.
She opened the door to find Seven Gods, who had visited them in January, standing there.
One God said to the old couple,
“You Two, we came here again to give you happiness in return for your kindness we got at the beginning of this year.”
“You Two, what do you want? If you have something to want, you are free to say it.”
said another God.
The husband said to them,
“Thank you very much for your visiting us again.
Please forgive me for telling you that we are so poor that we do want a little money and a little rice.”
After the Gods talked with one another, a God handed him a magic hammer.
“You can get whatever you want with this hammer.”
They left the house but one God, whom the old man had given the old dirty straw raincoat lastly.
He said to the old man,
“Don’t you want anything else? You can say it to me.”
“To tell the truth, we want a child though we are too old.”
said the old woman ashamedly.
“If so, tomorrow morning, on the first day of a new year, when the sun rises, you have only to say to each other, ‘A Happy New Year. We wish a baby’.
You will be younger and younger until you are in your teens.
Then you’ll be able to have one or two children.”
On the first day of a new year, they told each other, “A Happy New Year. We wish a baby.”, looking at each other, as they were told by the God.
To their great surprise, they were in their teens at a moment.
Soon they had one girl and two boys and they lived a happy life forever.