Sparrow's plan is certainly intricate, and in many ways calculated to dispense justice in the most effective way. Sparrow rewarded the old man for his kindness while punishing the old woman for her cruelty, and he did so by playing on her greed. As soon as she finds out her husband has received a basket of riches for showing concern for Sparrow, the woman feigns concern and friendship herself. The Sparrow sees through this, however, and when she asks for a parting gift, she gets a basket full of evil spirits. So it is a wonderful plan for retributive justice.