Before Tree-ear started working for Min, the other children in Ch'ulp'o avoided him. Since Tree-ear was an orphan, it was considered extremely bad luck to socialize or even to become acquainted with him. The older children often stepped aside when he came near, and the younger children hid behind their mother's skirts when they saw him.
It was only after Tree-ear began working for Min that the other potter's young assistants tolerated his presence at the communal kiln. Despite this, however, a friendly greeting from any of the children was rare. This changed one day when a royal emissary came to Ch'ulp'o. One of the young boys hailed Tree-ear, and a group of men and boys informed Tree-ear about the emissary's visit. A royal emissary's visit was a very important occasion because it meant that pottery commissions were being assigned for the royal house. Such a visit could well lead to paid work for the potters lucky enough to snag a commission.
The fact that Tree-ear was included in the discussion showed how much his status had changed since he started working for Min. He was no longer treated as an outcast but was considered a worthy member of society.