Stone Soup Venture
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Proof that when everyone contributes a little, a greater good is achieved.
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The Story of Stone Soup

Once upon a timeā€¦..

In a small village in Northern Europe there was a terrible drought. Food was scarce and most people hoarded what little food they had, not even sharing with their friends and neighbors. Times were very hard and the villagers were becoming suspicious of everything and everyone.
One day three soldiers wandered into the village and the soldiers were tired and very hungry. One soldier walked into the small store and asked if they could spare a few potatoes and he was told, “There’s not a bite to eat in the entire village. Better keep moving on.”

Then they walked up to a small farmhouse and knocked on the door. One of the soldiers kindly asked if they had any bread but again they were told, “I barely have enough to feed my own children and can not spare even one crust of bread. Better keep moving on.”

Seeing an elderly woman sitting on the porch, one soldier asked if he could borrow a large, iron pot. The women asked “Now what in the world are you going to do with a big iron pot?” The soldier said “Well, I’m going to make some Stone Soup! If you have a large pot I can borrow, I will share my soup with you and your family.” The woman curiosity got the best of her and she quickly went to her kitchen and returned with a big, black iron pot and handed it to one of the soldiers.

The soldiers took the pot and began walking towards the center of the village, telling everyone they passed “Come along! We’re going to make some delicious Stone Soup and everyone is invited to join us for dinner”.
The townspeople had never heard of making soup from stones and thought it was a ridiculous idea. But the soldiers sounded so convincing and excited about the Stone Soup that they followed along laughing about making soup from a stone!
When the soldiers reached the town square, they built a huge fire and hung the iron pot and filled it with water. Once the water began to boil, each soldier dropped a large stone into the pot. The crowd watching the soldiers was now quite large and each were amazed and could not believe the soldiers were actually going to make soup from a stone.
But then one of the soldiers said, “You know what would make the stone soup really good is a hefty dash of salt and pepper.” One of the men in crowd said “I have some salt and pepper. I’ll run home and get it and be back in a minute or two.” And he ran off and returned with the salt and pepper which was added to the pot of simmering stone soup.
Then one of the soldiers said, “I like carrots in my Stone Soup, I wish we had some.” This time an older women in a red apron said “I have some carrots I can spare and some parsnips too, I’ll go get them.” Once the woman returned with the carrots and parsnips, they were chopped and added to the pot.

A young man in the group said, “I have some corn ready for harvest, would that be good in the soup?” One of the soldiers said, “Yes the corn would add a delightful flavor! The young man raced off and returned with a small sack of yellow corn and he added it to the soup.
One child in the crowd said “Mother, don’t we have some fresh herbs that we could add to the soup?” And the Mother said “Well, yes we do. Please go and gather some herbs from my garden and come back as soon as you can.” The boy jumped up and before long he came back with a small basket of fresh basil, marjoram, parsley, garlic and thyme. One of the soldiers minced up the herbs and added them to pot.
Well, the Stone Soup was starting to smell pretty good by this time and the crowd of people was growing larger and nearly every one in the Village was standing watching the pot of simmering Stone Soup.
One man walked up, inspected the pot of soup and said, “Hey I’ve got some potatoes and onions to add, if you think they’d be good.” And one of the soldier’s replied, “The potatoes and onions would work out nicely, please get as many as you can spare.” And the man went and got a wooden bucket of potatoes and onions which were quickly peeled and added to the soup.

Then a man said, “I just happen to have butchered some chickens today and I’d like to add them to the soup too”. One of the soldiers said “The chickens would be delicious in the Stone Soup.” So the man went home and got the chickens and added them to the pot of Soup.
Oh my, the soup was starting to smell very good and every one’s stomach was starting to growl with hunger! The townspeople, now convinced that the soldiers had actually made soup from stones, set up long tables so everyone would have a seat for the big feast. One woman said, “I just baked fresh bread and rolls today. I’ll run home and get it to serve along with the soup.” And she ran home and got all the bread she had just baked and set a basket of freshly baked bread and rolls on each table.
Finally, one of the soldiers tasted the soup and said “I think the soup is ready”. Each person was handed a steaming bowl of Stone Soup and everyone sat down for a big feast. They all ate and danced and sang well into the night and everyone had a great time.

In the morning, the three soldiers awoke to find the entire village standing before them. A man came forward and said “You have given us the greatest of gifts, the secret of how to make soup from stones. This is a lesson we will never forget and one we will cherish forever.”
A soldier turned to the crowd, smiled and said: “There is no secret to stone soup, but one thing is certain, it takes many people, sharing what they can to make a great feast.”

The moral of the story is that by working together and everyone contributing just a little, a greater good is achieved.



The Story of Stone Soup