A hungry traveler had been roaming the countryside for a long time, and he hadn't eaten a good meal in quite a while. One day the traveler spotted a lovely village off in the distance.
The hungry traveler became very excited and said to himself, "I'm bound to find someone in the village who will share a meal with me."
As the traveler hurried to the town, he tripped over a stone in the road. The stone was not like any that the traveler had ever seen before. It was perfectly smooth and oval in shape.
The traveler looked at the stone carefully and decided he would keep it. "You never know when a stone like this might come in handy," he said.
Then the traveler happily headed to the village. His empty stomach grumbled as he walked.
When the traveler arrived in the village, things did not go as well as he had hoped. He stopped at a few houses with no luck finding a meal. No one had any food to share.
One house the traveler came to was very quiet. All the doors and windows were closed, and the shades were drawn. The traveler began to think that no one was home.
Finally a maid appeared in the doorway. "Can you spare some food?" the traveler asked her. "I have been traveling for days and am very hungry."
"I'm sorry, but I have only a few potatoes," the maid said. "There's not enough to spare or share. Why don't you try my neighbor next door?"
"I already have," said the traveler, "but he was very grumpy and just slammed the door. It looks like finding some food in this village will be more difficult than I thought." Still the hungry traveler refused to give up.
The traveler visited every house in the village, but no one had enough food to spare or share. At one house there was only cabbage, the next had only carrots, and a third had only salt and pepper.
Because there was no food for the hungry traveler, he decided to move on. Before he got very far, the traveler began to feel tired. He decided to get some rest in the cool shade of a tree just outside the village.
As he sat under the tree, the traveler looked back at the quiet little town. "It's a shame," he thought, "such a nice village and such a beautiful day, but nobody is outdoors talking or playing."
Then the traveler reached into his bag and took out the smooth, oval stone that he found earlier in the day. As he sat admiring the stone, the traveler suddenly had a brilliant idea!
Continue to the next page to find out what happened to the traveler.
For more children's stories and activities, check out: