The Story of The Stone Soup

One day, a 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. Hardly anyone responded to the traveler’s hearty greeting or to his cheery attitude. Unfazed by the lukewarm reception, he sat down in a corner and got busy. He took out a large iron pot, whistling a merry tune as he did so. He proceeded to light a fire. He filled the pot with water. While waiting for the water to boil, he made a big to-do about taking a knife, a soup ladle, and a polished stone, whistling all the while. All this activity attracted the attention of passersby.
“What are you cooking?” asked a curious onlooker.
“Stone soup, ” was the cheerful reply.
“Stone soup! I’ve never heard of such a thing,” said another.
“Stick around and have some when it’s done,” was the warm response.
A crowd was starting to gather around the traveler, curious about the so-called stone soup. He continued to whistle away as he dropped the stone into the huge pot of water.
Finally, the water started to boil. The traveler took his ladle and took a sip of the soup.
“How does it taste?” asked a voice from the crowd.
“It tastes good,” said the traveler, ” but it would taste even better if it had a couple of potatoes,” he added wistfully.
“I have some potatoes,” volunteered an elderly lady. She came forward and handed them over to the traveler. He peeled and chopped them expertly, and added them to the soup. Then he took another sip.
He declared it the best stone soup ever, but conceded that it would taste even better if it had carrots in it.
“I think I have some carrots somewhere ” said a man who was watching the whole thing. He ran home and quickly came back with a handful, which he handed over to the traveler.
The traveler continued to stir his concoction. Every time he would taste the soup, he would smack his lips and declare it the best ever, but would add that it would taste better if only it had this ingredient or that. Cries of “I have leftover meat,” or “I have some onions,” “salt,” “pepper,” etc, rang through the crowd.
People offered all kinds of stuff from their garden or pantry in the hope that the soup would taste better.

In the meantime, the waiting crowd sat down, exchanged pleasantries and even played music. Everyone agreed that it was the most fun they’ve had in a long time. Pretty soon, the soup was starting to smell really good. The traveler took another sip of the soup and declared it done. He ladled generous servings of it into bowls and handed them around.

Everyone thanked the traveler for the marvelous stone soup and asked him for the secret. The traveler revealed to them that it was not the stone that made the soup taste good, but all the other ingredients that everyone contributed. He added that in life, as in the case of the soup, if everyone pitched in a little something, a  wondrous thing will come out of such an undertaking. The villagers  thanked the traveler again for his words of wisdom. From that time on, the villagers became kinder and more helpful to one another. So the traveler, satisfied,  went on his merry way, determined more than ever to share the secret of his stone soup to anyone who cared to listen.

2 Comments (+add yours?)


  1. Dec 31, 2016 @ 05:51:30

    Good story

    Reply

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