An Appointment with Death
Once, in ancient Persia, there was a wealthy merchant who lived in the city of Bagdad. One day, he sent his servant to the market to buy provisions. Soon after, the servant came running back into the merchant’s house, white and trembling. The merchant took hold of his servant’s hands, gave him a glass of water to calm his nerves and asked him what was the wrong. The servant replied, “Master, as I was in the marketplace I was jostled by someone in the crowd. When I turned around I saw it was Death who had jostled me. He gave me a threatening look and then beckoned me towards him with his finger! I have to leave! Please lend me your horse, and I will ride away from this city and avoid my fate. I will ride to Samarra and there Death will not find me.”
The merchant was more than happy to help his loyal servant and lent him his fastest horse. The servant mounted it, bid farewell to his master, dug his spurs in horse’s flanks and rode off as fast as he could.
The merchant was curious and so he went to the marketplace and, lo and behold, in the middle of the crowd, he saw Death. The merchant was somewhat angry and boldly approaching the Grim Reaper, he asked, “Hey! Why did you scare my good servant by giving him a threatening look?”
“That wasn’t a threatening look,” Death replied, “That was a look of surprise. I just wanted to ask him what he was doing in Bagdad because I have an appointment with him tonight in Samarra…”
MORAL: Life’s greatest certainty is death and nobody can escape it.