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 tells the older son "you are ever with me, and all that I have is yours, but thy younger brother was lost and now he is found".