Thus Have I Heard: Buddhist Parables and Stories PARABLE 001:
FATE IS IN OUR HANDS
In a time long past, there was an old monk who, through diligent practice, had attained a certain degree of spiritual penetration.
"He had a young novice who was about eight years old. One day the monk looked at the boy's face and saw there that he would die within the next few months. Saddened by this, he told the boy to take a long holiday and go and visit his parents. 'Take your time,' said the monk. 'Don't hurry back.' For he felt the boy should be with his family when he died. Three months later, to his astonishment, the monk saw the boy walking back up the mountain. When he arrived he looked intently at his face and saw that they boy would now live to a ripe old age. 'Tell me everything that happened while you were away,' said the monk. So the boy started to tell of his journey down from the mountain...