The Old Man and His Many Desires

In a remote corner of the country, there lived a stubborn old man. People who used to know him told many stories about him. In one story, he was very young, only a boy. Watermelons were harvested from a nearby village, and children gathered at a spot to eat them. Everyone wanted to have a taste. The boy, in order to have many for himself, bit off the top of the many slices, and no one was willing to eat them anymore. So he leisurely ate them all, and after a while, his stomach ached and fell ill for several days.

Eventually he grew up, but the stories did not stop. It was said that if the man wanted something, he would do anything to get it. Once he wanted to see the color blue, and painted the entire village with blue, and the village woke up finding their houses with splashes of paint on them. They were shocked, and after a few days found out that it was him, and driven him out of the village.

So it proved difficult for the man who wanted what he wanted to live among others peacefully. Eventually he went out on his own. He had killed all bugs of a particular kind in a forest, because one of them bit him one night. He had also, by himself, dug out a small river from the large lake to his house, in which he lived by himself.

The man, however, was getting old. He still had so many things he wanted, and one day, Death suddenly came for a visit. The old man was so frightened, that he hid inside a small room and refuse to open the door.

Death was very polite, and talked to him outside the door.

“I know I could be very terrifying, but I assure you I am not dangerous. As I am always quite busy, I will keep this short. I have come to meet you, and before I claim your life, you might have one last wish to make. But there is only one condition, you cannot argue, trade, or make demands with me. It is impossible for you to do so anyways. So, how about it, old sport? What is your last wish?”

The old man immediately shouted, “I don't want to die! Grant me that wish!”

“What monotonous wishes human beings have. I told you. You can't argue with Death.”

And Death took him without a sound.


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Cover photo by Aman Upadhyay on Unsplash