The beginning of my son’s life was the end of mine. I had little to give him. We lived in a small hut on the edge of a plain. I had worked hard all my life, and when I became ill, and knew I would never rise again, I asked my wife to summon my son to my bedside. He had gone to town to buy bread.
“Come hither,” I said. “I know I am dying and I have nothing to leave you but my animals. Take the falcon, the cat, and the greyhound. If you make good use of them, you will never lack food. Be good to your mother, as you have been to me. Farewell.”
Those were my last words to him. I turned my face to the wall knowing that he would be secure in the company of my faithful friends.
Old Man on his Deathbed, The Clever Cat, Orange Fairy Book. Painting “Mourning” by Jules Charles Boquet.