Aesop's Fables (Joseph Jacobs)
Jacobs 69. The Old Man and Death (Perry
An old labourer, bent double with age and toil, was gathering sticks
in a forest. At last he grew so tired and hopeless that he threw down
the bundle of sticks, and cried out: "I cannot bear this life any
longer. Ah, I wish Death would only come and take me!"
As he spoke, Death, a grisly skeleton, appeared and said to him: "What
wouldst thou, Mortal? I heard thee call me."
"Please, sir," replied the woodcutter, "would you kindly
help me to lift this faggot of sticks on to my shoulder?"
We would often be sorry if our wishes were gratified.
Fables of Aesop, by Joseph Jacobs with illustrations by
Richard Heighway (1894). The page images come from Google
Books. The digitized text comes from Project
Gutenberg. You can purchase this inexpensive Dover edition, The
Fables of Aesop by Joseph Jacobs from amazon.com.