The Story of Stone Soup   Leave a comment

The Story of Stone Soup

A fable which was written down by Marcia Brown in 1947; the story exists in many variations throughout the world. This one is said to be an old French story (sometimes it is said to be Russian, and there is a town in Portugal that claims that it is a true story of something that happened there), and is therefore not copyrighted.

Narrator:          Three soldiers trudged down a road in a strange country. they were on

their way home from the wars. Besides being tired, they were hungry. In

fact, they had eaten nothing for two days.

Soldier 1:         “How I would like a good dinner tonight,”

Soldier 2:         “And a bed to sleep in,”

Soldier 3:         “And daughters for the beds, but that is impossible.”

Narrator:          On they marched, until suddenly, ahead of them, they saw the lights of a

village.

All soldiers:     “Maybe we’ll find a bite to eat and a bed to sleep in, (and daughters)”

Narrator:          Now the peasants of the place feared strangers. When they heard that three

soldiers were coming down the road, they talked among themselves.

All villagers:    “Here come three soldiers,”

“Soldiers are always hungry. But we have so little for ourselves.

And they’ll certainly want our daughters.”

Narrator:          And they hurried to hide their food. They hid the barley in hay lofts,

carrots under quilts, and buckets of milk down the wells. They hid all they

had to eat. Then they hid their daughters and they waited.

The soldiers stopped at the first house.

All soldiers:     “Good evening to you.  Could you spare a bit of food for three hungry

soldiers?”

Villager 1:       “We have no food for ourselves.  It has been a poor harvest.”

Narrator:          The soldiers went to the next house.

All soldiers      “Could you spare a bit of food?  And do you have a corner where we

could sleep for the night?”

Villager 2:       “Oh, no.  We gave all we could spare to the soldiers who came before

you.”

Villager 3:       “And our beds (and daughters) are full.”

Narrator:          At each house, the response was the same — no one had food or a place for

the soldiers to stay. The peasants had very good reasons, like feeding the sick and children. The villagers stood in the street and sighed. They looked as hungry as they could.

The soldiers talked together. The first soldier called out,

Soldier 1:         “Good people! We are three hungry soldiers in a strange land. We have

asked you for food and you have no food. Well, we will have to make

stone soup.”

Narrator:          The peasants stared.

The soldiers asked for a big iron pot, water to fill it, and a fire to heat it.

Soldier 2:         “And now, if you please, three round smooth stones.”

Narrator:          The soldiers dropped the stones into the pot.

Soldier 1:         “Any soup needs salt and pepper,”

Narrator:          So children ran to fetch salt and pepper.

Soldier 2:         “Stones make good soup, but carrots would make it so much better,”

Villager A:      “Why, I think I have a carrot or two!”

Narrator:          She ran to get the carrots.

Soldier 3:         “A good stone soup should have some celery, but no use asking for what

we don’t have!”

Villager B:       “I think I can probably find some celery.”

Soldier1:          “If only we had a bit of chicken and some onions, this soup would be fit

for a rich man’s table.”

Narrator:          The peasants thought it over, then ran to fetch what they had hidden in

their cellars. A rich man’s soup, and all from a few stones! It seemed like                            magic!

Soldier 2:         “If only we had a bit of barley and some stock, this soup would be fit for a

king!”

Narrator:          And so the peasants managed to retrieve some barley and stock.

All soldiers:     “The soup is ready, and all will taste it, but first we need to set the tables.”

Narrator:          Tables and torches were set up in the square, and all sat down to eat. Some

of the peasants said,

All villagers:    “Such a great soup would be better with bread and cider,”

Narrator:          So they brought forth the last two items and the banquet was enjoyed by

all. Never had there been such a feast. Never had the peasants tasted such

delicious soup, and all made from stones! They ate and drank and danced

with the daughters well into the night.

In the morning, the villagers gathered to say goodbye.

All villagers:    “Many thanks to you, for we shall never go hungry now that you have

taught us how to make soup from stones!”

Posted June 7, 2015 by Tigira

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