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Japanese fairy tales


Shizoku of Matsui loved a maiden called KenneiBotaru, for she was bright and sparkling. Late one snowy night he was returning from a wedding party when amidst the tiny snowflakes which were beginning to fall, he saw a strange light flicker and flash before him.
"Kagaribo mo
 Hotaru mo hikaru
 Genji kama!" he exclaimed, wondering that the O-botaro (great firefly) should be flitting about in winter snows.
As he gazed upon it, the creature flashed and darted toward him and so annoyed him that he thrust at it with the stick he carried.
Hither and yon it flashed, like a will-o'-the-wisp until at last it darted away into the garden of the house wherein dwelt his betrothed.
The next day he saw his beloved, and she said to him
"Is that the glimmer of far festal fires, Or the shimmering of the firefly? Ah, it is the Genji!"
shyly, "Last night I had a strange dream. I thought I had wings and could fly and that I was flying through the night. It was cold and there was snow in the air and I said to myself, 'Where is my beloved that I may fly to his breast and be warm?' Then I saw you coming swiftly toward the bridge with your lantern, though the moon shone bright in the heavens. Then I flew to you, but you were not overjoyed to receive me. You struck at me and drove me from you, and I fled in terror into the garden where I hid myself in the heart of a plum blossom, and the snow fell upon me and I was cold. Then I awoke and I was afraid, and something whispered to me 'His heart is cold to you as was the heart of the plum blossom when the snow fell upon it!' What means my dream?"
"Indeed, I can not tell," he made answer. "But I know well you read its meaning wrong. Were I to drive you from me and you to seek another, then would your heart's resting place be cold as was the plum blossom of your dream. But trouble not yourself, beloved, for never shall I drive you away," and he smiled upon her and the heart of O Botaru San was comforted.