The Lantern with Two Wicks

Once there was a lady who had to travel through a tunnel. At the entrance there was a lantern. An old hermit came out of the woods and told her, in his raspy voice, that she should be careful in that tunnel and take care not to let both wicks in the lantern go out, or else. When she asked what he meant by “or else,” he told her to just go ahead. So she took the lantern with two wicks that he lit for her and it burned so brightly that she easily walked into the tunnel and felt like it was going to be no problem at all until there was a strange breeze that blew one wick out. The tunnel darkened considerably with the flicker of one flame. She walked slower and held the lantern with both hands as steadily as she could. She heard the sound of other footsteps behind her and she turned around so quickly that the other wick went out. In the darkness, her eyes could not adjust as the sound of steps got closer and the last thing she heard in that raspy voice was “I told you so.” She spun around and sprinted as fast her legs would with her arms outstretched. And when she saw the light at the end of the tunnel she could feel his breath on her neck. And his giggling made her scream.

When she got outside the tunnel, she grabbed a branch and beat the old hermit who was out of breath. She beat him like the dog that she thought he was. And when she stopped his appearance changed and she believed him when he whimpered that he was only trying to help but was an old fool in how he went about it. She apologized for beating such an old hermit with the branch and they both laughed about it until the lantern with two wicks lit up in the middle of the tunnel. And a voice was carried by that odd wind but they bothered not to listen for they had already set off running into the woods together.