There was a very remote village, completely cut off from the rest of the world. A solitary farmer dared to venture out of it one day, and try his luck in the real world – away from the safety of the place he called home.
He had walked for a few hours when he saw a fast-flowing river, and across that a very narrow rope bridge. He was very frightened, and wondered if it would be the end of him if he lost his footing and fell down to the inky depths below. But to his surprise he saw a man already standing near the bridge – cloaked and hooded in complete black. A man who had red eyes and no smile, and only when he ventured closer did he realize that the stranger was none other than Death himself.
The man was shocked, and sure that Deathhad come to claim him for his own. But Deathmerely let out a hollow laugh and said –
“Beware O Human. Before the sun rises tomorrow, I will visit your village and take fifty of your people for my own.”
The man was scared beyond words, and ran back home as fast as his legs could carry him. He reached there all sweaty and out of breath, and conveyed the sad news to his folks. The entire village was in a state of shock and dismay as they turned out their fires that night and retired for the day.
* * *
The new day dawned cold and cruel on a scandalized village, and the solitary farmer was saddened to know that almost five hundred of his village men were dead. He was overcome by a sense of betrayal, and bewilderment at why had Death lied to him. He rushed out in a huff, hoping to meet Deathand try and demand back the life of his friends and family.
And sure enough Death was waiting for him at the exact spot as the day before – but this time there was a marked leer on his face when he questioned.
“I see, Human. You have come here again. What brings you to me?”
“You had foretold that you’d take a fifty of my village men, but you took five hundred. What did those poor men do to deserve such wrath?”
“Oh but I took only fifty, Human. Worry took the rest.”
* * *
MORAL : Worry causes more damage than any other emotion. They say that the future has already been written, and if we can do nothing about it, then there is no use wasting our present brooding over things beyond our control. It is better to keep things simple, and enjoy life as it comes to us.