“The Happy Mirror Story” is a Japanese folktale. The English translation is below. Many thanks to Westfield for originally posting this; I’ve edited it for grammar and punctuation and so on. By the way, “mirror” in Japanese is “kagami” (鏡).
Many years ago in Japan, there lived a father, a mother, and their dear little girl. There was not a happier family in all of Japan. They took their little daughter to the temple when she was just thirty days old. She wore a long kimono, as all the Japanese babies do. For her first doll festival, her parents gave her a set of dolls. There was no finer set anywhere. Her dolls had long, black hair, silky and smooth, and were clad in gowns of satin and silk.
Her third birthday was a happy day. Her first sash of scarlet and gold was tied around her small waist. When that happened, she was no longer their baby daughter. She was their little girl, fast growing up. By the time she was seven, she was helping her parents in many ways. She could talk and dance and sing, and oh! Her parents loved her dearly.
One day, a messenger brought exciting news. The emperor had sent for the father. He had to leave for Tokyo at once. Tokyo was a long way off and the roads were rough. The father would have to walk every step of the way, for he had no horse. There were no railways nor even rickshaws to travel on. The little girl was glad her father was going to Tokyo. She knew that when he came back, he would tell her many interesting stories. And she knew that he would bring her presents. The mother was happy because the father had been sent for by the emperor, a great honor.
At last, all was ready. The father looked very fine as he started out on his long trip. He was going to meet the emperor, so he dressed in fine robes of silk and satin. The little family stood on the porch of the little house to bid him goodbye. “Do not worry. I will come back soon,” said the father. “While I’m away, take care of everything. Keep our... [continues]
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