Tale, Death Personification

“It’s a story by a French author, I think, I don’t know, my mother used to tell it to me. This may not be exactly right. Death meets this man and tells him that he’s going to die in three days. So the man flees to Damascus, trying to escape Death. Three days later, he runs into Death and Death says, ‘I was wondering why we were meeting in Damascus.’”

My informant told this story to me while we were discussing the risks of flying across the country. Recently before the discussion, a hole was ripped into an airplane while in flight, but the pilot successfully landed the plane and no passengers were injured. I reassured my informant that, because of this incident, now was the safest time to fly. My informant argued with my point, at first, but after more discussion agreed, and then she responded with this tale. When I questioned her further about where this story came from, she said that her mother used to tell it to her to relieve her fears and to prevent her from worrying. The moral, according to my informant, is that ultimately we do not have control over our own fate, and if you are meant to die you will, but if it isn’t your time, you won’t. I agree with this analysis, and add only that the story also alludes to the inevitability of death; even if one runs from death, death will eventually catch with you.