The legend of stone soup
Posted: Thursday, January 17, 2013 6:00 pm
The Messenger, January 17, 2013
A hungry traveler had been roaming the countryside for a long time, and he had not eaten a good meal in quite a while.
One day he spotted a lovely village off in the distance. He became very excited and thought, I’m bound to find someone in the village who will share a meal with me.
As the traveler hurried to the town, he tripped over a stone in the road.
The stone was not like any that he had ever seen before. It was perfectly smooth and oval shape. He looked at it and decided he would keep it thinking, you never know when a stone like this might come in handy. Then he happily headed to the village. His empty stomach grumbled as he walked.
At the first few houses no one had any food to share. At the next house he asked, can you spare some food, I have been traveling for days and I am very hungry. I’m sorry said the cook, I only have a few potatoes. The hungry traveler refused to give up. No one had enough food to spare or share. At one house there was only a cabbage, the next had only carrots and the third had only salt and pepper.
Since there was no food for the hungry traveler, he decided to move on. Before he got far, he began to feel tired. He decided to get some rest in the cool shade of a tree outside the village. As he sat gazing back at the village he thought, what a shame, such a nice village and a beautiful day, but nobody is outdoors visiting.
Then the traveler reached into his bag and took out the stone. As he sat admiring the stone, he suddenly had a bright idea. He ran back to the village and shouted, “Come out of your houses, everybody. I have a magic stone, and it will give us enough food for a wonderful meal. Everyone in town will have plenty to eat, and there will even be enough to spare and share.”
One by one, the curious villagers peeked out of their doors.
One villager asked, “What is this all about?”
“Come help me make a pot of delicious stone soup,” said the traveler.
As a crowd gathered, the traveler asked, does anybody have a large kettle to get us started?
“Yes,” said one villager, “but I don’t think it will do any good. I don’t think your magic stone will really work.”
“I guess we’ll find out soon enough,” said someone else.
“I certainly hope so because I haven’t had good soup in a long time,” said another.
The traveler filled the kettle with water and placed it on the fire. He placed the smooth, oval stone into the kettle and began to stir. After a while he tasted it and said, not bad, but it could use some salt and pepper and perhaps a potato.
“I’ve got salt and pepper,” said one young lady. “I’ll run home and get it.”
Another lady added her potatoes, and once again the traveler stirred the soup. When he tasted it again, all the villagers watched with anticipation.
“This is very good, but it would taste even better with some carrots and cabbage,” he said.
By now, everyone was having so much fun.
“Let’s make this meal a party,” he shouted.
Finally the traveler announced that the stone soup was ready. He filled all the bowls and everyone began to eat.
Afterward there was plenty of soup leftover to spare and share. For the first time in years the villagers came together.
Editor’s note: New Ebenezer Cumberland Presbyterian Church will host a Stone Soup Supper for the community Jan. 26 at 6:30 p.m.