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Stone Soup


One day, a weary traveler was passing through a village. Times were hard, and people were not particularly warm or hospitable to strangers, or to each other for that matter. They looked at the traveler with suspicion from behind closed doors and locked windows.

“There’s nothing to be afraid of,” he called out to the empty streets. “I am only a simple traveler, looking for shelter for the night and a warm meal.”

A door creaked open, and a face looked out cautiously.

"You’ll find nothing here stranger. We have no food. We’re weak and our children are starving. If I was you, I’d just keep moving on."

“Oh, no-no-no! I have everything I need for a meal," he said. “Actually, I was thinking of making some …….stone soup."

 

“Stone soup?” came the reply.

 

“Stone soup!” said the traveler, “And I’d be happy to share some with all of you!”

 

And with that, he took out a large iron pot. Then, he gathered some wood and lit a fire. He filled the pot with water. While the water began to boil, he opened his backpack. He took out some wooden bowls, a ladle, and then, with great ceremony, he revealed….. a perfectly normal-looking stone! He raised it above the pot, and plopped it in!


“Mmmmm, nothing better than a tasty stone soup!” he said to no one in particular, licking his lips.

 

With All this activity most of the villagers had come out of their homes or were watching from their windows. 

 

“Stone soup!” the skinny old tailor muttered, “I’ve never heard of such a thing!”

 

“If you ask me, I think he’s lost the plot,” said his wife.

 

The stranger heard them and smiled. “Not long now. You can have some when it’s done. Trust me, this is going to be delicious. Of course, there are many varieties of stone soup. There’s stone soup with lots of water, stone soup with just a little water, pebble soup, rock soup,but I have to say, stone soup with cabbage. Oh! Pure delight!”

 

“Cabbage?” whispered the tailor. “Haven’t we got a little cabbage?”

 

His wife excitedly bustled about her kitchen and eventually emerged with a precious bit of cabbage. She and her husband opened their door and stepped out to join the traveler. They offered him the cabbage.

 

“It’s not much, but….well.. stone soup with cabbage does sound good !”

 

“Wonderful!” cried the stranger, and expertly chopped the cabbage and added it to the soup. He continued to stir the pot, occasionally dipping his ladle in to taste, then smacking his lips with satisfaction. “It’s coming on well. You know, once I had stone soup with cabbage and a bit of salted beef. It was amazing! Truly fit for a king."

 

Shortly, another door opened. The village butcher came trundling towards them, red-faced and huffing and puffing with excitement. “I’ve got a bit of beef!” he said, presenting the stranger with a small bundle. “Not much for a meal, but it will go well in your pot.”

 

And in went the beef. The butcher and Mr and Mrs Tailor looked on hungrily, a gleam of excitement in their eyes.

 

Another door opened. “I’ve got a few potatoes,” came a voice.

 

And another door opened, “How about some carrots?”

 

“Mushrooms?”

 

“Some onions too!”


“And I think I’ve got a bunch of celery somewhere!”

 

A crowd began to gather around the fire. Soon the whole village was offering all kinds of things from their garden or pantry in the hope that the soup would taste better. People were laughing and smiling, telling jokes and even playing music.

 

“This is the most fun I’ve had in years,” laughed on old lady to the village in general. 

 

By this time the soup was starting to smell really good. The traveler took another sip of the soup. Everyone looked on expectantly in silence.

 

“It’s done!” he declared.  He then began to ladle generous servings of soup into bowls and handed them around.

 

“Delicious!”

 

“Outstanding!”

 

“Marvellous!”

 

“Delectable!”

 

Everyone thanked the traveler for the marvelous stone soup. The village elder approached the stranger and said, “We don’t have much money, but we would dearly like to buy your magic stone.”

 

The traveler smiled and replied, “It was not this ordinary stone that made the soup taste so good!”

 

The villagers gasped!

 

“It was all the other ingredients that all of you so generously contributed. Sometimes in life, just like with this stone soup, if everyone pitches in just a little and gives what they can. if we all work together, we can work wonders!”

 

The villagers thanked the traveler and from then on, even in hard times, in fact ESPECIALLY in hard times, the villagers became kinder and more helpful to one another. By working together, no task or challenge was too great for them to overcome.


QUIZ TIME!

  1. Why did the villagers initially refuse to help the traveler?

  • A. They didn't like his cooking skills

  • B. They were afraid of strangers

  • C. They had no food to spare

  • D. They were busy with their own tasks

  1. What did the traveler claim he could make with just a stone?

  • A. Stone stew

  • B. Stone pie

  • C. Stone soup

  • D. Stone salad

  1. Which ingredient did the skinny old tailor and his wife contribute to the stone soup?

  • A. Potatoes

  • B. Carrots

  • C. Cabbage

  • D. Mushrooms

  1. What did the village butcher contribute to the stone soup?

  • A. Chicken

  • B. Beef

  • C. Pork

  • D. Fish

  1. What lesson did the traveler teach the villagers with the stone soup?

  • A. The stone had magical powers

  • B. It was the ingredients contributed by everyone that made the soup delicious

  • C. The soup tasted good because of the traveler's cooking skills

  • D. They should never underestimate the power of stone soup

Answers:

  1. B. They were afraid of strangers

  2. C. Stone soup

  3. C. Cabbage

  4. B. Beef

  5. B. It was the ingredients contributed by everyone that made the soup delicious

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