A lone traveller, weary and famished from days on the road, stumbles across an old inn on a desolate mountain trail.

His eyes light up as he sees light coming from the windows, realizing he is about to enjoy his first hot meal in weeks.

He bursts through the doors of the inn and finds it bustling with activity. Every table is packed with patrons merrily drinking and feasting.

The traveller searches throughout the inn for an empty seat. After a long, fruitless search, he finally finds a lonely table in the back of the inn. An old man is also sitting at the table, his head hanging low.

The traveller asks if he can join the old man at his table, and the old man nods without looking up.

As the traveller sits down, he notices that the old man has a large bowl of hearty stew in front of him. It looks as though the old man has barely touched it.

“The stew looks delicious,” says the traveller to the old man. The old man doesn’t respond.

Unbothered, the traveller decides to focus on catching the barmaid’s attention. However, the barmaid is much too busy serving other patrons to notice the hungry traveller in the back of the inn.

Growing more ravenous by the minute, the traveller becomes frustrated by the lack of service.

After several long minutes with no luck, the traveller turns back to the old man. The bowl of stew looks more tempting than ever, and the traveller decides that it shouldn’t go to waste if the old man isn’t going to eat it.

“Old man, are you going to eat that stew? If not, I would be happy to take it off your hands,” says the traveller.

Without a word, the old man pushes the bowl toward the traveller.

The traveller, thrilled to finally have hot food in front of him, devours the stew, barely having time to taste it.

Upon reaching the last bit of stew in the bottom of the bowl, the traveller notices a dead mouse floating in the broth. Horrified and disgusted, the traveller violently vomits the stew back into the bowl.

Breathing heavily, he looks up and sees the old man has lifted his head and is now staring, wide-eyed, at the bowl of vomit sitting on the table.

Without blinking, the old man says, “You made it about as far as I did.”

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