In the story, a father has two sons, a younger and an older. The younger son asks the father for his inheritance, and the father grants his son's request. However, the younger son is prodigal (i. e. , wasteful and extravagant) and squanders his fortune, eventually becoming destitute. The younger son is forced to return home empty-handed and intends to beg his father to accept him back as a servant. To the son's surprise, he is not scorned by his father but is welcomed back with celebration and fanfare. Envious, the older son refuses to participate in the festivities. The father reminds the older son that one day he will inherit everything, and that they should still celebrate the return of the younger son because he was lost and is now found.