Stone Soup: Story & Moral

Instructor: Audrey Akins

Audrey has more than a decade of experience teaching elementary. She has a bachelor's in journalism and a master's in education.

The story 'Stone Soup' has many different versions, but all versions have the same moral. In this version, retold by Heather Forest, you'll follow characters through a village in the mountains and watch them teach a lesson to a village full of people who are more able than they said they were.

A Beautiful Village

The story 'Stone Soup' opens with two travelers arriving in a village of beautiful houses in the mountains. The village looks so nice that the travelers know that people there will be able to give them some food. After knocking on doors at a couple of houses, the travelers realize they aren't going to get any food. From house to house, the travelers hear, ''I don't care, I won't share. There is no food!''

After hearing this so much, the two travelers decide that the people in the village need their help more than the travelers need help from the villagers. To help the villagers, the travelers plan to make them a ''magical soup.''

Making Soup

To begin their magical soup, the travelers shout out from the top of a mountain, asking for a large black pot. Surprisingly, a villager appears offering a pot. By the time the two travelers have a fire started and the water boiling, steam fills the air. A crowd begins to gather, wondering what the two men are doing.

One of the travelers adds a stone and announces they are making stone soup. He goes on to ask for ingredients such as a carrot and a potato. These are offered by a girl and a man in the crowd. Then the people in the crowd offer other ingredients, such as green beans, an egg noodle, pepper, parsley, and turnips. Soon everyone in the town is offering at least one ingredient for the pot of stone soup.

While the soup cooks in the large pot, people continue to bring things such as loaves of bread, cheese, and fruit. They also bring bowls, chairs, and tables to set up so that they can eat the soup when it is done cooking.

Sharing the Soup

By the end of the story, all of the people in the village sit at tables happily eating the soup that they all helped to make. After the villagers share in the stone soup, the two travelers leave. But before they leave, they remind the villagers of the simple recipe: ''Bring what you've got. Put it in the pot. Every bit counts, from the largest to the least.''

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