Tree-ear is an orphan that lives under a bridge, he is an orphan because he has no parents. Tree-ear lives with someone Called Crane-man. Tree-ear lives in Ch'ulp'o. Tree-ear found pottery and emired it but Min/the owner of the pottery found Tree-ear and thought he was a thief, after a while Tree-ear decided to work for Min. He must go to Sondgo for the emissary to see Min's pottery.
Tree-ear got robbed in the middle of his journey. The robbers was hoping they would find rice but they found none, instead they found some money. In anger they threw the vases off the cliff and shattered them. Tree-ear's response to is was to jump off rather than tell Min the bad news.
At the end of the story Tree-ear goes to see the emissary. But he shows the emissary the single shard. When Tree-ear gets back home he comes to see that Crane-man died, given a new name and and a new home.