THERE was a householder’s son who went away into a distant country, and while the father accumulated immeasurable riches, the son became miserably poor. And the son, while searching for food and clothing, happened to come to the country in which his father lived. The father saw him in his wretchedness, for he was ragged and brutalized by poverty, and ordered some of his servants to call him. When the son saw the place to which he was conducted, he thought, “I must have evoked the suspicion of a powerful man, and he will throw me into prison.” Full of apprehension he made his escape before he had seen his father.
Then the father sent messengers out after his son, who was caught and brought back in spite of his cries and lamentations. Thereupon the father ordered his servants to deal tenderly with his son, and he appointed a laborer of his son’s rank and education to employ the lad as a helpmate on the estate. And the son was pleased with his new situation. From the window of his palace the father watched the boy, and when he saw that he was honest and industrious, he promoted him higher and higher.
After some time, he summoned his son and called together all his servants, and made the secret known to them. Then the poor man was exceedingly glad and he was full of joy at meeting his father. Just so, little by little, must the minds of men be trained for higher truths.
The author of this story is unknown and greatly appreciated!