Once upon a time, a long long time ago, there lived a Noble Man in Basrah (now in Iraq).
He lived in his home together with one servant to look after all his needs.
The servant used to go daily to the market to look for the freshest fruits and vegetables and the newly caught fish from the sea and the lamb and chicken. As the Master was kind he did not mind when the servant ‘took his time’ and gossiped around with his friends and the shopkeepers. Therefore usually he came back home after a considerable time.
One day, hardly he had left for the Bazaar he was already back home and shouted to the Master:
‘Master, Master, please give me a camel!’
The Master took some time to calm down the servant. Finally the servant told him:
‘Master, Master! I just came into the Bazaar for my daily search of all the needs for the kitchen when I met the Angel of Death. And: the angel of Death recognized me! He said to me: “Oh Hussain, what are you doing here?” ‘
‘Therefore I just came running back home and therefore, dear Master, please give me a camel I want to go to Samarrah!’
And so it came to pass that the Master allowed the Servant to take a camel and rode off, in all speed.
Reflecting in what happened the Master thought that, well, his servant did not usually tell lies. Consequently the Master decided to proceed to the Bazaar himself and see what is going on there.
And, behold, he did meet the Angel of Death there.
So he said to the Angel of Death: “Why did you have to scare my servant so much?”
The Angel replied: “I am sorry dear Sir, I did not intend to scare him. I was just so surprised to see him here in Basrah this morning, because I have an appointment with him this evening in Samarrah.”
(Iraqi folk tale, author unknown)