“What is this?”

June 25, 2007

An 80 year old man was sitting on the sofa in his house along with his 45 year-old highly educated son. Suddenly a crow perched on their window.

The Father asked his Son, “What is this?”
The Son replied “It is a crow.”

After a few minutes, the Father asked his Son the 2nd time, “What is this?”
The Son said “Father, I have just now told you “It’s a crow.”

After a little while, the old Father again asked his Son the 3rd time, “What is this?”
At this time some expression of irritation was felt in the Son’s tone when he said to his Father with a rebuff. “It’s a crow, a crow”.

A little after, the Father again asked his Son the 4th time, “What is this?”
This time the Son shouted at his Father, “Why do you keep asking me the same question again and again, although I have told you so many times ‘IT IS A CROW.’ Are you not able to understand this?”

A little later the Father went to his room and came back with an old tattered diary, which he had maintained since his Son was born. On opening a page, he asked his Son to read that page. When the son read it, the following words were written in the diary:

“Today my little son aged three was sitting with me on the sofa, when a crow was sitting on the window. My Son asked me 23 times what it was, and I replied to him all 23 times that it was a Crow. I hugged him lovingly each time he asked me the same question again and again for 23 times. I did not at all feel irritated I rather felt affection for my innocent child”.


While the little child asked him 23 times “What is this?”, the Father had felt no irritation in replying to the same question all 23 times and when today the Father asked his Son the same question just 4 times, the Son felt irritated and annoyed.

So.. if your parents attain old age, do not repulse them or look at them as a burden, but speak to them a gracious word, be cool, obedient, humble and kind to them. Be considerate to your parents.

From today say this aloud, “I want to see my parents happy forever. They have cared for me ever since I was a little child. They have always showered their selfless love on me. They crossed all mountains and valleys without seeing the storm and heat to make me a person presentable in the society today”.

Note: A friend emailed me this touching story.


19 Responses to ““What is this?””

  1. ben Says:




    *hands Ben a tissue to wipe his tears*

  2. ben Says:

    Sad story for a cold monday morning` 😦

    sad but true hor?? aiiiiii Filial piety, where art thou? 🙂

    I’m sure you’re a very filial son, Ben. 🙂

    Btw, I’ve linked you. 😉

  3. Megan Says:

    awww. i really liked this… it was cute. and very sad. and everyone should respect their elders.

    Welcome, Megan. 🙂

    Yep, the story has an important lesson for everyone.

  4. Tine Says:

    A good but wet morning to ya, folks.

    Yeah, a sad tale indeed, but true no doubt. Sometimes I’m guilty of that too; being annoyed at my parents at the slightest issues just because I can’t be bothered to see things their way. Sigh. I have so much more to learn about true filial piety 😦

    Looks like it’s a wet morning in the whole country, Tine. 😉

    Don’t worry, Tine.. you’ll learn. I did. But, sometimes we tend to forget.

  5. Wennnn Says:

    Hmmmm is always this case hor!! Sad thing..

    Yep, it sure is Wennnn.. but there is always time to rectify it.. as long as it isn’t left until too late.

  6. misti Says:

    yes, must love our parents. i am lucky i realised that before it was too late.

    Thanks for sharing, Misti. *hugs*

  7. sengkor Says:

    thanks alot for this reminder…

    The pleasure’s mine, SK. 🙂

  8. LB Says:

    Got such a deep meaning underneath a simple 4 questions.. makes us think a bit harder how we respond to elderly people, eh?

    Indeed, LB. 😉

  9. Kyels Says:

    It’s a good story. And yes, never leave our parents alone when they are old. They are our responsibility because they took time to care for us when we were still young.


    Kyels, we should try to spend as much quality time possible with them.. no matter how young some of our parents may be..

  10. Che-Cheh Says:


    It is.. Che-Cheh.

  11. Yvy Says:

    how very true…this is the reason why i dislike watching children, whether adults or otherwise, be rude to their parents. at such an old age, they tend to get all naggy n stuff but it is also a time for us, the kids to realise the value of patience n holding back on how fast our tongue can spit out words that can never be retracted. thanks for that piece.

    I whole-heartedly agree with your views, Yvy.
    Thanks. 🙂

  12. winn Says:

    i love this piece……
    😦 with ben..

    Winn, I am sure you’re a very filial daughter too.

  13. endroo G Says:

    too heavy a story for Monday.

    It’s ok, Endroo.. you can come back another day then.. 😛

  14. I’m sorry, I’m old. What is this?

    Actually, reminds me of the sentence:
    What is this, a question? 🙂

    You’re not old, Dabs. 😉

  15. may Says:

    these days I always keep myself in check when I talk to my parents. kinda weird, but… I don’t want them to be unhappy for something I said. sweet story.

    That’s very wise of you, May. 🙂
    I’m glad you like the story too..

  16. misha Says:

    jeijie jemima

    happy tuesday to you!!!

    Happy Tuesday to you too.. Misha. 🙂 *hugs*

  17. I’m not what? Speak up? 🙂

    Hehe.. 😛

  18. doc Says:

    excellent reminder of our responsibility & filial duty to the parents.

    no wonder, there’s a whole commandment in remembrance of them.

    Welcome, Doc. 🙂

    I’m glad you like the post too..

  19. Ann Sakura Says:

    Soooooo touched… now that I’m a parent too, I can really relate and appreciate all that my parents have done and still doing for me… (Luv ya, papa & mama!!!!)

    I’m glad to know that, Ann. 🙂

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