Once there were three brothers who were travelling along a lonely windy road at midnight.  After some time the brothers reached a river which was too dangerous to pass but they were being learnt in the magical arts, they had magical wands. So, the three brothers simply waved their wands and made a bridge to pass on.

Before they could cross, however they found their path blocked by a hooded figure. Who was he? It was Death and he was there because he felt cheated. Cheated because travellers would have normally drowned in the river so how they were able to pass on?

Death was very cunning. He pretended to congratulate the three brothers on their command on magic and said that for this act each of them has earned a prize for having been clear enough to escape him.

So he asked them what do they wanted for the prize they have earned. The elder one asked for a wand more powerful than anything in existence. So death provided him with one from an old tree that stood nearby.

The second brother wanted something which was more humiliating for death and asked for the power to recall loved ones from the grave. So death took out a stone from the river and offered it to him.

Finally, death turned to the third brother who was a humble man, he asked for something that would allow him to go forward from that place without being followed by death. So this time death reluctantly handed over his own cloak (gown) of invisibility.

So the moved away from death. The first one travelled to a distant village where with the help of that wand in his hand he killed a wizard with whom he had once quarrelled. But that night, another wizard stole the wand and cut the brother’s throat for good measure. And so that death took the first brother for his own.

The second brother journeyed to his home and turned that stone thrice in hand. To his delight the he once wanted to get marry before her untimely death appeared before him. But soon she turned sad and cold as she did not belong in the mortal world and due to this the second brother killed himself as to join her. And so death took the second brother as well.

As for the third brother, death searched for many years but wasn’t able to find him. Only when the former got old, he shed the cloak of invisibility and gave it to his son. He then greeted death as an old friend and went with him gladly departing this life.

Published in Young Nation on 12 Sep, 2015