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Oh, its you. Arenít you going into the party then? Everyone else from round here has. Can't you hear them? There hasn't been this big a party since - well I don't think there's ever been such a big party. He's even killed the fatted calf.

I ask you. Does he deserve this kind of treatment - does he? Should be run out of town more like. Five years - FIVE years he's been away. And the things he's done (tuts), makes me sick just to think about it.

Did you know that Dad has thought about him every single day since he left? Every single day! I have too mind.  I've been out digging the fields, with the farm workers - doing the work of two men. And I've thought to myself - 'he had a nerve.'

That younger brother of mine always had a lot of cheek. Always the one Dad preferred I reckon. He thought I couldn't hear, the day he sidles up to Dad and says - 'Dad, I've been thinking...'. Him - think! Their voices got a bit quieter then, but by his excited look and Dad's sad and resigned one, I knew they were talking about money.  I'd seen it happen before. I shrugged my shoulders and went off to top pasture.

After my supper Dad sat me down and broke the news to me. That he was going to sell half the farm and give the money to my brother - sort of his inheritance in advance. All the rest would be mine. I couldn't believe it. I was so angry at the boy - fancy doing that to Dad - that I never spoke to him again before he left. Not that he cared. he was too busy telling people of his grand schemes, his big plans, his new life in the city. The last I saw of him was waving to Dad as he set off 'to stand on my own two feet' as he called it. I never thought I'd see him again.

Until today. Like I said, Dad has thought about him every single day. he's put some work in on the farm but his heart hasn't really been in it. He's spent most of his time with his eye on the road to the village. Just in case. Many's the time I've said to him - 'Face it Dad, he just isn't coming back' And then today, Dad looks up and says 'Its him'. 'Dad, you're mind is playing tricks on you'. 'Its him, it is' says Dad and starts to walk fast towards the village. I shout 'Dad, come back, I can't see anything'. But he's gone, running towards what I can now see is a tired figure dressed in rags.

Dad reaches him and catches him in his arms, just as he collapses. The next thing I know the farm estate is buzzing. 'Its party time' a servant shouts to me as he runs past, his arms full of Dad's best clothes. I was so mad.  After all this time, that brother of mine swans back and there's a party organised. Five years I 've worked all the hours I can - but I've never even had a little goat for a dinner party. I told Dad what I thought when he came out to see why I wasn't celebrating.

He gave me this story about how my brother had wasted all his money on wild living and ended up working with pigs. With PIGS! And how he had finally 'come to his senses' and would go home and ask for Dad's forgiveness and live as one of the servants. And how Dad was so happy because he had thought him lost and he was found, dead and now he was alive again. And that he was still his beloved son and there would be a big party. 'And you are my beloved son too' he says to me 'everything I have is yours. But we should be glad and celebrate! Are you coming in or not?'

Am I coming in or not? I still haven't made up my mind