Old legend tells of the thousand mile trek of the one thousand hippopotamuses searching for the wise, old pygmy hippopotamus. Only three survived the trek, and when they finally found him after many years, they exclaimed, "We found you old, wise one!" He replied, "Yes." In that moment, he died.
The answer you seek, is the one you already know.
This mini-saga fable & proverb were written by Chris von Spitzer.