A father had two houses and two sons. It came about that the father was to leave for a time, so he gathered his two sons, saying,”I must go and I know not when I shall return. I leave to you my houses to live in and money for food and anything else you may need. When I return I will repair what needs repair and you both shall inherit the properties.”
He gave unto each son a key and departed for his journey. After watching their father disappear over the horizon the sons gathered their families and went to the houses. The first son, telling his family of the promise to restore the house began hosting parties and stripping siding and wood to sell for his own gain. He ravaged the furniture and left a foul mess from his gluttony.
The second son gathered his family and told them of the agreement with his father and the promise to restore what was broken upon his return. He kept house and repaired what needed it. He kept the yard clean and the grass trimmed. He treated as his own and respected the belongings inside as precious, for they were his father’s.
The day came for the father’s return. He called his sons to him and asked what needed to be restored. The first son came with a list many pages long and demanded work begin immediately. The second son came with a much shorter list and asked forgiveness for what little damage had been caused in his father’s absence. The father honoured his promise and restored both houses.
To which son would the father be most pleased?