Once upon a time, a young maiden grew tired of the struggles that life brought, so one night when her father and mother were away, she took a kitchen knife and held it up high, with the intent to bring it down into her heart.

As she did so Death arrived. He took his scythe in both hands, and held it up high, ready to swing as he had done so so many times before.

This time, however, something was different. Death himself had grown tired of something. His hands shook and his eyes dripped with tears.

He dropped his scythe, then reached out to the maiden and wrapped his arms tightly around her waist and pressed his head to her shoulder.

The maiden will still and rigid.

"Please," Death whispered, "please I beg of you, do not end your life here and now. There is so much that you have yet to do, and so much you have yet to see. There are still daybreaks and sunsets for you to watch, and people for you to meet, and songs for you to sing. Please do not forswear them."

Moved, the maiden lowered her kitchen knife, then put it down on a table nearby. Then, unaware of who was comforting her, she turned around in Death's arms, then buried her head into his chest, and began to weep.

Death reached up a hand, and ran it through her hair.

"I promise you," he said, "I am not just the end of suffering, I am also the end of happiness, and amusement, and loving. I am just as much a reason to weep as whatever sorrows plague your beating heart."

For a moment the maiden in his arms went still and rigid again, then when that moment was over she began to tremble. She looked to the face of the man who held her, and though it was not quite what she had expected the fear was all the same.

She screamed and pulled away from Death, who let go of her without a fuss.

Death sighed, then picked up his scythe, and put it away. He looked to the trembling maiden, then lowered his head and turned away.

"That's good." he said, "Fear the reaper, and live another day. Farewell, my fearful maiden."

Then he left her, with plans to not see her again for what he hoped to be a long time.