The Master Potter’s Sons

There once was a master potter of great renown and wealth, who had no family, no children, no heirs to pass his skill and wealth to when he died. Therefore, he adopted two twin brothers to raise as his heirs and teach them his craft. The potter loved them both dearly, lavished them with not only with his wealth, his time in training them as potters, but also his affections. One brother dedicated himself to carry out every task to the best of his ability that his adopted father gave; the other brother was often lazy and at times rebellious.

Years pass, the two brothers decided to put all the skill they had acquired from their father into one vase each, to present to their father on his birthday as a gift to honor his years of love and affection. They each took to their task and when the day came presented the gifts to their father. The vase of the dedicated brother was of fine quality, while the lazy brother produced one of poor quality, but the master potter received them both with gladness and praised them both for their work.

The lazy brother left the room with joy, but his sibling stayed confused and frustrated. The brother finally said to his father, “Did you not look at my brother’s vase at all?! It is a disgrace! The clay was formed roughly in places, the glaze applied showing he has not listened to your instructions well, there are cracks showing he was careless in using the kiln. He is a poor heir and a poor son!”

The master potter was silent in thought for a moment as a stern look appeared on his face. But he responded to his angry son with kindness in his voice, “What you said about your brother’s work is true, and I saw many other mistakes you have not the ability to see. But when I adopted you both, I made a promise at risk to my own reputation, to make you both into heirs befitting my name, who I will be happy to give all I own one day. I have no poor heirs, no poor sons, only beloved children who I have chosen to set my love upon, and in whom I will continue and finish the work I began so long ago, no matter the cost and pain to myself.”

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