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  • Writer's pictureDavid Shay

The Story of Stone Soup

Updated: Mar 3

While the classic folk story, Stone Soup, has been told in countless variations and across any number of cultures through the years, the essential elements are always the same:

1. A stranger enters a town whose people have become isolated from each other and who are loathe to share their resources with one another, let alone with a passing stranger.

2. Without asking for any assistance, the stranger sets up a huge pot in the middle of town, boils water and drops in one stone.

3. When asked by a curious (and suspicious) town's person, the stranger explains that he is making a 'stone soup' that will be fit for a king and that, while he needs nothing, the town's person is free to join him -- of course, since he will be sharing the wonderful soup, if he has a carrot or two to add...

4. This interaction is repeated many times over, with each new soup eater explaining to yet another potential soup eater the story of the soup fit for a king and how they are free to share in it, if only they add a little something to the pot -- celery, onions, salt, beef, etc...

5. Soon enough, all the town's people have opened up their cupboards (and their hearts), and they are all thrilled to be enjoying this royal meal that came from a simple stone.

"Imagine that! Soup from a stone!"

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