Below is the next part of the children's story "Stone Soup":
The traveler ran back to the village and shouted, "Come out of your houses, everybody! I have a magic stone, and it will give us enough food for a wonderful meal. Everyone in town will have plenty to eat, and there will even be enough to spare and share!"
One by one, the curious villagers peeked out of their doors and windows.
The grumpy villager who slammed the door on the traveler earlier looked out of his window and shouted, "What's all the racket about?"
"Come help me make a pot of delicious stone soup," said the traveler.
The maid stepped out of her house as two excited children ran up to the traveler. "Is that your stomach I hear growling?" one child asked.
"Yes," the other replied, "I am very hungry."
"Does anybody have a large soup kettle to get us started?" the traveler asked.
"I've got one that you can use," said the big, grumpy villager, "but I don't think it will do any good. I don't think your magic stone will really work."
Most of the villagers were excited, but some felt the same way as the big, grumpy villager. "Do you really believe he can make soup from a stone?" asked one young lady.
"I guess we'll find out soon," said another. "I certainly hope he can. I haven't had good soup in a long time."
The grumpy villager brought out his large kettle and placed it on a pile of sticks for the fire. "Here you go," he said. "Now let's see if that magic stone of yours can really make enough soup for all of us."
"Don't worry," said the traveler. "There will be plenty."
The traveler placed the smooth, oval stone into the kettle of water and began to stir. After a little while he tasted the soup. "Not bad," the traveler said, "but I think it could use a little salt and pepper."
"I've got some," said one of the young ladies, "I'll run home and get it."
"Perhaps the soup would taste even better if I shared my potatoes," the maid suggested.
"Yes, that's a great idea," said the traveler. "Why don't you get them, and we'll add them right away."
The young lady returned and sprinkled her salt and pepper into the kettle. Then the maid came back and dropped in her potatoes. Once again the traveler stirred the stone soup. When he tasted it for the second time, all the villagers watched him with anticipation.
"This is very good, but it would taste even better with some carrots and cabbage," said the traveler. Then a young boy ran home to get some carrots, and a little girl ran home to get her cabbage.
By now, everyone was having so much fun that they forgot how hungry they were. Even the big, grumpy villager was no longer grumpy. "Let's make this meal a party!" he shouted.
The girl returned with the cabbage, and the boy soon followed with his carrots. "Just think, a huge kettle of soup made from a magic stone," said the boy. "I can't wait to try it!"
"Neither can I," said the girl.
Find out how the stone soup tasted on the next page.
For more children's stories and activities, check out: