Stone Soup is a folk tale about a town coming together to combine different ingredients to create a soup that they can share with each other!
A kindly, old stranger was travelling through the land when he came upon a village. As he entered the village, the villagers went back to their homes and they locked their doors and shut their windows.
The traveller smiled. He asked, why are you all so frightened. I am a simple traveler, looking for a soft place to stay for the night and a warm place for a meal.
“There isn't not a bite to eat in the whole province," he was told. "We have no food and our children are starving. Best that you move along."
"Oh, I have everything I need," he said. "In fact, I was thinking about making some soup to share with all of you." He pulled an iron cauldron from his cloak, filled it with water, and began to make a fire under it.
Then, with great ceremony, he drew an ordinary-looking stone from a silken bag and put it into the water.
By now, hearing the rumour of food, most of the villagers had come out of their homes to watch. As the stranger sniffed the "broth" and licked his lips in anticipation, their hunger began to overcome their fear.
"Ahh," said the stranger to himself rather loudly, “There’s nothing I like more than a good stone soup. Of course, stone soup with cabbage, well -- that's hard to beat."
Soon a villager approached hesitantly with a small cabbage he had retrieved from its hiding place, and placed it to the pot.
"Wonderful!!" cried the stranger. "You know, I once had stone soup with cabbage and a bit of salt beef and it could not be beat. It was fit for a king."
The village butcher managed to find some salt beef . . . And so it went, through potatoes, onions, carrots, mushrooms, and so on, and so on until there was indeed a delicious meal for everyone in the village to enjoy.
A villager elder offered the stranger a great deal of money for the stone, but he refused and traveled on the next day.
As he left, the stranger came across a group of children from the village by the road. He gave the silken bag with the stone to the youngest child and he whispered, "It was not the stone, but the villagers that had performed the magic."