This is an old tale from Europe. There are many variations of this story. Here is one of them.
A traveller came into a small village one winter day. She noticed that everyone in the small village was very poor. No one had enough to eat and each person hoarded what little they had. The woman was very tired, so she decided to stay and live in the village for the winter.
One day she began boiling water in a very large pot. She then chose some large stones, and added them carefully one at a time to the pot. One of the villagers came by, and he stood for a while, watching the stranger stir the water. Finally the villager asked, "What are you doing?"
The traveller replied, "I'm making stone soup." Then she added, "But it's still missing something. Would you like to try some?" The villager tasted the soup and agreed. Something was still missing.
"Maybe I could go home and bring you a few carrots to add to the soup," the man offered.
One by one the other villagers came. They watched what the woman was doing, and were curious about the odd soup made with large stones. After a while, each of the villagers offered to bring a little of what they could spare to add to the soup. One brought a few potatoes, another an onion, another a cabbage, and so on until there were many rich and varied ingredients in the soup.
As they waited for the soup to be ready, the villagers gathered together around the pot. They told each other stories and it began to feel like a celebration. Finally the soup was ready and indeed, it was very tasty and there was enough for all. They were nourished by the delicious meal and the teamwork that had made it possible.
The people of the village all agreed, 'We shall never go hungry again now that we know how to make soup from stones."
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