Aired Feb. 17, 2012
As told by Mizuko Katoh, retold by Toshio Ozawa
Long ago, an elderly couple lived alone. They had no children, but wanted a child. One winter, during a snowstorm, they heard a baby’s crying voice. They wondered what a baby could be doing in a snowstorm and opened the door. In the snowstorm, they saw a woman in a white kimono holding a baby.
“Please take care of my baby for a while.” she said.
The couple agreed to take care of the baby, and the woman disappeared into the snowstorm. The elderly couple treasured the baby and she grew to be an adorable little girl. She grew bigger still into a lovely young woman. But in summer she always seemed less energetic. The elderly couple thought, such a beautiful cute girl would be even more beautiful and cute if she took a bath.
But the girl did not want to take a bath. The elderly couple insisted she take a bath. She finally gave in and entered the bath house. The elderly couple waited and waited, but the girl did not come out. They began to worry and peeked in the window. They couldn’t see the girl anywhere, instead all they could see was a red ornamental hairpin she had kept in her hair.