Taro's father was the wealthy president of a large clothing company. He was proud of his son and took good care of him.
Besides being rich, Taro was small and weak. He found great difficulty in making friends. Other boys in the neighborhood made fun of him and sometimes beat him up.
Taro, however, had one friend whose name was Jiro, an orphan who was raised by his grandparents. His grandfather was the janitor at the boys' school. Jiro was big for his age, and strong in a fight. Whenever bullies teased Taro, Jiro would say, "Hit me first," as he protected Taro.
Neither Taro's parents nor Jiro's grandparents were pleased about the close friendship. However, the two boys found other places to play, and were happy together.
But then tragedy struck. Jiro caught pneumonia and died. The funeral was simple, with few mourners. Taro could not hold back his tears as he prayed before the coffin. He had lost his first true friend.
Taro is now the president of the clothing company. Through the years, he has known many important people, and has had many close associates. But he has never had another friend like Jiro.