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Stone Soup


Getting ready for our History Makers podcast recordings; here is a humorous take on an old fable from Dr Lucy Rogers...

A long long time ago, a geek was on a trip. She turned up in a village but before she could ask for food or a place to sleep, all the doors were slammed shut and bolted.

So she sat down in the village square, drew some water from the well, and started to boil some water. Then, she very carefully searched around the north side of the square. Children came to watch her. They kept their distance but nudged and winked at each other and pointed. She picked up a stone. It was brown, round and about the size of her fist.  She went to the well and carefully washed it. Then, she placed it in her cauldron. She went to the south side of the square, and again, started searching for the ideal stone. The children, bored of just watching, decided to help, and so ran around and brought their finds to her. She thanked them, carefully examined them, but then rejected them. Eventually, a little red-haired girl brought her a dark grey stone. She was so little she needed both hands to carry it. The geek took the stone, nodded, thanked the girl, and went to wash it by the well. She then placed it in the boiling water in the cauldron. The geek then went off to the west of the square. This time all the local children were eager to help this weird woman who was cooking stones. Eventually, a black stone was approved, washed and placed in the cauldron with the others.

She then sat down near the fire, took out a ladle from her backpack, dipped it into the water, and took a sip.

By this stage, the curtains were twitching. No-one could work out what the geek was doing. One of the bigger, bolder boys asked.

“I’m making stone soup” she replied.

“It’s good, but what would make it better is if it had a little bit of carrot in it”

“Am sure we’ve got a carrot at home?” said the boy, and rushed off. Before long he was back and gave a couple of carrots to the geek. She took her knife and chopped them into small lumps, and added them to the water.

After a while of stirring and sniffing, she took another sip.

“And?” asked one of the girls.

By now, some of the adults had unbolted their doors and were peering across into the square.

“It’s really good,” said the geek. “But you know what would make it even better? A little bit of potato.

“We've got a potato,” said the girl, and rushed off.

The adults edged nearer. A couple of potatoes arrived,  were chopped and then added to the mix.

Before long, the children all decided they had a little something spare and rushed off. The little red-haired girl was shy coming forward, but eventually gave the geek a pinch of salt.

The smell attracted all the adults over. The children were already drooling.

Finally, the geek declared that the stone soup was ready. And told everyone to get a bowl.

She ladled out the soup and everyone enjoyed their meal, commenting that they had never had stone soup before. The geek smiled, and told them, that this stone soup had an extra special ingredient

– something they will know in the future, as open-sauce.

History Makers podcast recordings are taking place on 15th, 18th and 23rd July @Canal Cafe Theatre, London W2

Podcasts will be available to download soon afterwards...

I am an inventor, engineer, writer and presenter. Other stuff: Royal Academy of Engineering Visiting Professor of Engineering: Creativity and Communication at Brunel University London; Fellow of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers and have a PhD in bubbles; Judge on BBC Robot Wars.

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July 12, 2018 08:43

i like this open sauce soup - can i have some more please ? :)

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