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“Stone Soup.”

Once upon a time there was a famine in the land. People hoarded their food and hid it from neighbours and friends. One day a stranger arrived at the village, very hungry and dishevelled. He went from door to door looking for someone to receive him, to take him in and for something to eat. One after the other the villagers told him that they too were starving and so they could not help him.

It was not until he had reached the last house in the village that the poor woman who lived there told him that all she had left over was a little water but he was welcome to share the water with her. The stranger said that was more than enough. Then he told her that he had a magic stone with which he could make enough soup to feed the whole village. The starving woman was very excited and went around the village to alert all her neighbours. The stranger filled a large pot with the water and threw his round, shiny, magic stone into it.

The stone soup cooked and all the hungry villagers waited expectantly. Then the stranger tasted the stone soup and said loudly, "Ah, I love this stone soup but stone soup with a little cabbage in it would be very hard to beat." Soon a villager approached hesitantly, holding a cabbage she had retrieved from its hiding place, and gave it to the stranger for the soup. "Wonderful", cried the stranger, "but I once had some stone soup with onions in it as well and it was fit for a king!"

Very soon a second villager appeared with some onions and some garlic and other herbs and the stranger put them all into the stone soup. And so it went on..."If only we had a few potatoes," and..."How wonderful it would be if only we had a few carrots." And after a little while there was a delicious soup meal for all the starving villagers, and for the stranger too!!

The villagers offered the stranger a great deal of money for the magic stone but he refused to sell it and he travelled on to another village the next day. Soon the famine ended but the people of the village never forgot about the finest soup they had ever tasted.

When each of us contribute only a little we can feed the whole world village!!

Original author unknown




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