Appointment in Samarra
A merchant of
Baghdad was sipping tea in his garden when his servant ran up to him,
breathless and trembling.
“Master,” he cried. “I have just seen Death in your garden. She pointed at me with such a ghastly stare that I knew she had come for me.”
“So you have seen Death,” the merchant replied, “as each man must. I understand your alarm.”
“I must leave Baghdad and go far away from Death. I have a brother in Samarra. I will go there tonight, Master, and escape my fate.”
“Then take my swiftest horse, and go with my blessing.”
As the hoofbeats of the fleeing servant faded in his ears, the merchant, curious, walked through his gardens to confront Death.
“My servant has done no harm. Why do you disturb him with your ghastly stare?”
Death smiled. “I did not mean to. I was merely surprised to see him in Baghdad when I have an appointment with him this evening, at his brother’s house in Samarra.”
old illustration from last year
published in Cricket magazine