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The Sparrow and the Kingfisher

In ancient times the sparrow and the kingfisher were siblings. Their mother died and so they began to live with their father. Sparrow the elder brother was an obedient son who honored their father by working all day in the field. The kingfisher didn’t follow the example of his brother and he played around all day.
One day the kingfisher went to his brother to ask him to go with him into the city.
“How can we leave our father alone?” the sparrow asked.
“Don’t worry, even though our father is old he is vigorous and healthy, so nothing will happen to him,” the kingfisher assured his brother.
So they left home and went into the city, and were received into the service of the lord daimyo.
The sparrow as always worked hard but the kingfisher looked around and saw the many entertainments of the city. So as time went all the kingfisher became lazy, and would rest for days doing nothing but sipping sake.
The sparrow wrote letters to his father sending much of the money he’d earned to help him. Then one day the father sent a letter saying, “ I’m glad that you’ve both become so hardworking. The only ache in my heart is that Kingfisher does not write me letters any longer. I have become old and would like to see you before I die.”
“Listen kingfisher, we have to hurry back to the village,” Sparrow told his brother. “It is our duty to visit with our father.”
“Go on ahead, and I’ll come along in a bit,” kingfisher told sparrow.
So sparrow went on ahead to the village. The kingfisher meanwhile wanted to go to the village in rich dress so that everyone would think he was successful and see him as handsome. But by the time kingfisher got to the village, dressed as fancy as can be, his father was dead. People from many surrounding villages joined sparrow in his grief. When kingfisher came they knew he’d not cared for his duty so they turned away from him.
“Father was very worried about you before his death,” sparrow wept bitterly when he saw the kingfisher.
“What have you come dressed so pompously to you fathers funeral for?” the people gathered around kingfisher asked. “You believed that his life didn’t count and exchanged cordial kindness for rich clothing.”
So the kingfisher went away, and since then kingfishers are beautifully dressed but very few people see them because they live alone deep in the mountains.