Alexander, after conquering many kingdoms, was returning home. On the way, he fell ill and it took him to his death bed. With death staring him in his face, Alexander realized how his conquests, his great army, his sharp sword and all his wealth were of no consequence. He now longed to reach home to see his mother's face and bid her his last adieu. But, he had to accept the fact that his sinking health would not permit him to reach his distant homeland. So, the mighty conqueror lay prostrate and pale, helplessly waiting to breathe his last.
He called his generals and said, “I will depart from this world soon, I have three wishes, please carry them out without fail.”With tears flowing down their cheeks, the generals agreed to abide
by their king's last wishes.
“My first desire is that”, said Alexander, “My physicians alone must carry my coffin.” After a pause, he continued, “Secondly, I desire that when my coffin is being carried to the grave, the path leading to the graveyard be strewn with gold, silver and precious stones which I have collected in my treasury”.
The king felt exhausted after saying this. He took a minute's rest and continued. “My third and last wish is that both my hands be kept dangling out of my coffin”.
The people who had gathered there wondered at the king's strange wishes. But no one dared bring the question to their lips.. Alexander's favorite general kissed his hand and pressed them to his heart. “O king, we assure you that your wishes will all be fulfilled. But tell us why do you make such strange wishes?”
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