Stone Soup : A Stranger’s Stone and a Village Feast

A weary traveler, his clothes dusty and his face etched with the lines of a long journey, arrived at a small village nestled between rolling hills. Hunger gnawed at his stomach, and he desperately needed a hot meal. He approached the first house, a sturdy cottage with smoke curling from its chimney. Knocking on the door, he politely asked the woman who answered if she could spare a bite to eat.

The woman, her face etched with worry lines, peered at the stranger suspiciously. Times were hard in the village, and food was scarce. “I’m afraid I have nothing to offer,” she said curtly, shutting the door before the traveler could plead his case. Dejected, the traveler moved on, his hopes dwindling with each closed door.

He tried his luck at several other houses, but the response was always the same – a shake of the head, a muttered apology, and a quick shutting of the door. Disheartened, the traveler slumped down on a large rock beside the village well, his stomach grumbling in protest. Just then, a curious young girl with bright eyes and a mischievous grin skipped by.

“Why the long face, mister?” she inquired, tilting her head in concern. The traveler recounted his tale of hunger and his unsuccessful attempts to find a meal. The girl, brimming with optimism, declared, “Don’t worry, I have an idea!” She darted back into the village, returning moments later with a small, chipped pot in hand.

“I don’t have any food to share,” she admitted, “but I do have this pot. Perhaps you can make some soup?” The traveler, touched by the girl’s kindness, chuckled softly. “Soup? With nothing but an empty pot?” The girl’s eyes sparkled. “Well, I hear the best soup starts with a special ingredient,” she said, winking.

Intrigued, the traveler reached into his knapsack and pulled out a smooth, polished stone. “This stone?” he asked, raising an eyebrow. The girl nodded enthusiastically. “This is no ordinary stone, mister. It’s a magic stone! It makes the most delicious soup you’ve ever tasted.”

The traveler, playing along with the girl’s game, carefully placed the stone in the pot and filled it with water from the well. He then built a small fire and placed the pot over the flames. News of the “magic stone soup” spread like wildfire through the village. Soon, curious villagers gathered around the well, peering into the pot with a mixture of skepticism and hope.

The girl, seizing the opportunity, addressed the crowd. “This kind stranger is making magic soup,” she announced, “but the magic won’t work without a few more ingredients.” One by one, the villagers, their curiosity overcoming their initial apprehension, began to contribute. A woman brought a handful of carrots from her garden, a baker offered some leftover bread, and a farmer shared a few onions.

As the pot bubbled merrily, a delicious aroma filled the air, warming the hearts and stomachs of the villagers. The “magic” of the stone, they realized, wasn’t in its ability to conjure food from thin air, but in its power to inspire a spirit of sharing and cooperation.

When the soup was finally ready, the villagers gathered around a makeshift table, sharing not just the meal but also stories and laughter. The traveler, no longer a stranger, sat amongst them, his heart full of gratitude. He had found not just a warm meal, but a warm community, proving that even in times of scarcity, the magic of sharing can create abundance for all.

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Mga Kwentong Bayan
Mga Kwentong Bayan