Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Story - The Magic Pot

I've read and heard several versions of this story.
You can listen to one about porridge in the pot (above)
and read the following about noodles.

The Magic Porridge Pot

A story from Germany

Once upon a time there a lived little girl and her mother
Once upon a time there a lived a little girl and her mother and they were hungry.
The cupboards were empty, the shelves were empty,
And their tummies were empty.
So the little girl took an empty basket and she walked out of the house and out of the village to see what she could find.
She walked for a long time and she walked for a very long time until she saw a tangle of bramble bushes covered with fat black berries.  These are what she needed.
She picked and she picked till the branches were bare and her basket was full.  Then she turned on her heel and set off for home.  She walked for a long time and she walked for a very long time but as she was just drawing close to home she met an old woman.
Thin as a scarecrow that old woman was.  Dressed in rags and tatters.
Her face wrinkled like an old winters apple.  She looked at the little girl and she smiled a toothless smile, "those are lovely fat bramble berries you have in your basket my lovely young child.  You couldn’t spare a handful for an old grandma who hasn’t a tooth in her gums nor a penny to her name".
The little girl looked at the poor old woman and she forgot how hungry she was
"Of course I can," she said, "you can eat as many as you like." 
She held up the basket and the old woman dipped her shaking hand into the black berries, scooped them into her mouth.
"Mmm those are good black berries and you are a good girl with a kind and tender heart.  And because you’ve been good to me, I’ll be good to you."
The old woman reached beneath the rags and tatters of her shawl and pulled out a black iron pot.  She pressed it into the girl’s hands.
"Here’s a present for you my child, it is a magic pot."
"Put it on the table when you get home and say “Boil, pot, boil and it will give you all the porridge you can eat.  When you’ve had your fill just say “stop pot stop”.
Do you understand?"
The little girl looked into the pot, yes she said and thank you
When she looked up the old woman was gone.
So she went home with the iron pot and the basket of blackberries
Her mother was very pleased to see her and even more pleased when the little girl put the iron pot on the table and said “boil pot boil”
Straight away it was bubbling over with porridge.
They filled one bowl, they filled another then the little girl said “stop pot stop”
And the iron pot was as clean and black and as empty as before.
They fetched spoons and tasted the porridge.  It was delicious.  Creamy and sweet and when they stirred the black berry into it well it was the best meal they had in their lives.
They went to bed that night with their bellies full and smiles on their faces and from that day on whenever they were hungry the little girl would say “boil pot boil” and there would be porridge in plenty and “stop pot stop” when they’d had their fill.
All was well and good until one day the little girl’s mother said, "do you remember that time we had blackberries in our porridge?  Do you remember how good it tasted?"
And the little girl said "yes, I remember and if you like I’ll go pick some more."
She took the empty basket and she walked out of the house and out of the village.  She walked for a long time and she walked for a really long time till she to the tangle of brambles with their new crop of fat blackberries.  And she began to pick
But while she was away her mother was sitting at home looking at the black iron pot sitting on the table. And the more she looked at it the hungrier she felt.
I’ll just have one little bowl full she thought, just to pass the time.
She fetched her bowl and turned to the pot,  “boil pot boil”.
Straight away the pot was bubbling over with steaming porridge.  She filled her bowl to the brim “stop” but the pot didn’t stop more and more porridge was bubbling over the rim. Soon the table was covered in porridge.
She picked up her spoon and hit the pot “stop” but the pot didn’t stop.
Soon the porridge was dripping on to the floor “please stop” but the pot didn’t stop.
The floor was covered, the steaming porridge was carrying out of the door.
She climbed onto a chair “please, please, stop”  but the pot didn’t stop.
Soon the whole village was covered with porridge.  People were climbing onto tables, they were climbing up stairs “please, please, please stop” but the pot didn’t stop.
When the little girl came home at the end of the day with her basket full of fat blackberries, she saw a flood of steaming porridge, lapping the gutters of the roof tops of the houses and all the people clinging to their chimneys.
“Tell that pot to stop”, they shouted
The little girl smiled and said “stop pot stop”
And straight away the pot stop and floated on the flood as clean, as black and as empty as before
The little girl sat down at the edge of the porridge, she poured her blackberries onto it.  She stirred it with her finger.  She scooped up handfuls of the delicious mixture and gulped it down.
As for her mother and the other people of the village, well they had to eat their way indoors.  They didn’t mind.
After all it was the sweetest creamiest porridge in the world
And that was the end of that story.