After searching far and wide, a poor, old widow succeeds in marrying her son to a thrifty bride and lives together with the young couple, who become wealthy. By and by, the mother feels neglected and is jealous of her young daughter-in-law. She accuses her son of loving her only ‘like salt’ but his young wife ‘like sugar’ and announces that she is thinking about getting married herself, in spite of her advanced age. The son is troubled, but he orders his wife to cook all dishes only with sugar instead of salt for a while.
When the mother complains to her son about the dishes being too sweet, the latter secretly asks his wife to use only salt in the food for a week. Again, the mother complains. She is not interested in the appropriateness of the various relations within the family that her son has tried to convey to her through the salty and sweet dishes. She insists on getting married and being independent.
Now her son gives her a stick of leek to chew from top to bottom overnight and to prove she has the strength and tenacity that are necessary for a marriage. The old woman is unable to do so: her gums bleeds from chewing the stringy leek and resigns herself to not marrying. The family celebrates their reconciliation with a shared feast. However, the old mother dies from exhaustion during the night.