The story told of a man who could not afford to keep his thirteenth child and gave them to Death to raise. Death raised the child to become a physician before the child defied him to save the life of a princess. Furious, Death brought the child to a cave where everyone's life was represented by a candle, marking a short one as the child's and ending their life.
The First Doctor first learned of the story in the Cave of Skulls when he encouraged Barbara Wright to tell it to him as a means of getting her mind off the gruesome act of faking their own deaths. (PROSE: The Knight, The Fool and The Dead)
Rose Tyler had a vague awareness of the story, dreaming about it one night. Recognising the tale, the Ninth Doctor told her the whole story with Rose noting that the Doctor could sound like Death at times. (PROSE: The Knight, The Fool and The Dead)