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One day there was a man who lived in a tiny village.

As a child, he heard stories of a magical beast, that if caught, would grant him every wish. All of the adults in his village had hunted for this beast for as long as anyone could remember. Most never came close, others caught a brief glimpse, and the lucky few actually claimed to have found him.

Now that he was grown, the man set off to find the beast for himself. He wandered across the fields, crossed rivers, camped out at night, and climbed mountains. All the while, his thoughts focused on the beast. He must find it. He grew more and more tired, and eventually he grew old.

At the very end, he sat down in the meadow, and cried into his tired and wrinkled hands. Then, the beast appeared. It was beautiful, with green fur and gold claws and diamonds for eyes. It sat down next to the man, and said:

You have finally found me, old man. You never gave up. It is unfortunate that it came so late. What is your wish?

“I want to be rich,” said the man.

“And why is that?”

“So I won’t have to worry.”

“Ah. And what has worried you?”

“I’ve always been obsessed with finding you- now that you are here, I can rest.”

“So you worried about finding me so you wouldn’t have to worry?”

The man didn’t have an answer for that, so the beast continued.

“It happens every time. People are so obsessed with me that they can’t see the glory of the mountains they’ve climbed, or the beauty of the rivers they’ve crossed. There’s no time to rest or stare at the night sky and simply breathe. No chance to pick a few flowers or admire the deer as they graze. They hope to find me, in the hopes of becoming happy. Yet everyday they passed happiness by- in the trees, their family, and the birds in the air.”

“I’m so tired,” the man said, “I just want to sleep.”

The beast crouched over him and closed the man’s eyes.

“As you wish.”

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