• Tree-ear is out scavenging in a rubbish heap and finds a rice container that has sprung a leak. He tells the farmer who owns it.
• The farmer is grateful and tells Tree-ear he can take the spilled rice home. Crane-man is Tree-ear's guardian at home.
• Crane-man is happy for the rice and even happier about Tree-ear's honorable behavior.
• As a reward that evening Crane-man tells Tree-ear the story of how Tree-ear came to live with him.
• Tree-ear's parents had died in the capital city Songdo, and a monk sent Tree-ear with travelers to find his uncle.
• They could not find the uncle and took Tree-ear to a local monastery which had illness within its gates.
• The monks told them to take Tree-ear to Crane-man who was disabled until the monks could retrieve him.
• Tree-ear refused to leave and Crane-man had kept him for more than ten...
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