Once upon a time in a far distant land, there was a very old man, he was in fact so old that no one remembered anything else than this man being old. His name was known throughout the realm and many came to visit him, all came to ask his secrets to his long life.
A young adventurer came to this village, this was no ordinary traveller, but a prince from a magical realm. He was both handsome and strong, but his knowledge and wisdom was even greater. But there were limits to his knowledge: nor he or any from his land knew the secrets to a long life. No magic had ever been strong enough to tackle the force of old age and now this prince came to the old man to ask him how he have withstood the ageing.
The adventurer approached the old man, bowing deeply and with respect and honour in his voice he said: “Dear Old man, I am a traveller from the land beyond the rising sun, by the other end of the rainbow. My people are full of knowledge and wisdom, but still I have come to you, for you seem to be the wisest of all. ” The old man grinned, for he knew exactly what the adventurer was to ask next, he scratched his long grey beard and said “Stop with the bragging and the flattery, I care not for such pretty words. I will tell you, boy, what you need to know. But believe me when I say that you won’t like it at all ” The adventurer looked at the old man with surprise in his eyes and just as he opened his mouth to speak the old man continued: “You may forget all your precious knowledge, all the wisdom you think you possess, because the answer is so simple that you will not understand it otherwise. But first we have to eat”. The old man limped away, with support from his crooked cane and signalled for the adventurer to follow him. After a short walk he stopped by a old house. The house was so old and torn that it barely seemed to stand by it self. The roof was poorly thatched and the door barely hanging on the hinges. The old man took a seat on an old rotten log, by a wooden table that was resembling more a stack of firewood than an actual table, he asked the adventurer to sit on the log besides him. The adventurer brushed off the log and sat carefully down, as if the log was full of sharp spines. “You see, there are two simple rules to follow to become as old as I am. The first rule, you know of already: Food!” The old man grinned even wider and then put his index fingers in his mouth and whistled loudly, not long time after an old woman came out from the house, bearing a large tray full of meat and vegetables. She seemed almost as old as the old man and the adventurer stared at her wondering how she could be able to carry that large tray with such a crooked back and when he saw her wrinkly face clearly, he nearly fell backwards off the log. The old woman put the tray on the table and limped her way back in to the house. “This is what I am talking about, young boy. No one will live for long without it, now let us eat”. The old man grabbed a piece of meat and took a huge bite. The adventurer looked at the huge pile of food and hesitated before he took a much smaller piece and a moderate bite. The meat was tastier than he had ever tasted before, it did not take long before he took as big pieces and big bites as the old man. They both ate until there was nothing left on the tray. The old man dried off his mouth with his already greasy sleeve and then he said: “Well, food was the first rule. But the second rule is something that will baffle you a bit”. He paused a bit and exclaimed: “Water! I never drink water”. At the same time the adventurer tasted the salt in his mouth, the food was tremendously salty and all he wanted was a glass of water. The old man said: “If you can live with that strange wisdom, then you will live to be older than I am”. The old man humped into his rusty old house and closed the door, at least as good as that door could be closed. Had the adventurer stayed for a while and not rushing to the nearest tavern, then he would have heard loud ringing laughter from the old man’s house, but instead the young adventurer ended up drinking his mind out on beer to put out his thirst. Whether he lived to be old, died young or drunk himself to death, the story tells nothing about. One thing is for sure, the old man got be be much older and every time someone asked for his secret he would teach them about the rules of food and water, because the truth was that fun and laughter was the answer to his long life.