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St Pauls C of E (VA) Primary School

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Soup to Share

When people are uncertain or scared, sometimes they will put themselves first. It can be easy to find we are only thinking about ourselves rather than caring for other people. This is a story about what can happen when we remember to be kind.

There had been a poor harvest in the village. People were worried there was not enough food to go around and that their families would go hungry. What little food they had, they hid in their homes. They even kept it from their friends.

 

One day, a traveller passed through the village. He was very tired. He looked as though he hadn’t eaten for days. “Please, could anyone spare me some food?” he asked. Most of the villagers turned away. They avoided meeting his eye and pretended they hadn’t heard him. “There is nothing here, you’d better move on,” announced one of the villagers.

 

The traveller was weary. He sat down alone. But one of the villagers looked again at the hungry traveller. It was heart breaking. He went inside his house, opened a box hidden under his bed and then walked over to the man. “I don’t have much I’m afraid, but here are a few tomatoes,” the villager said. Surprised, the traveller smiled and said,“We could make some tomato soup to share.”

 

A couple of minutes later, a second villager walked over. Hesitating slightly, she handed over a potato. “I’m sorry I can’t give you much, all I have is this potato,” she told the traveller. The traveller invited her to sit down. “Thank you. Let’s make tomato and potato soup to share.”

 

As they sat down together and started chopping the vegetables, a child ran over with some carrots they’d grown, saying, “These carrots are only little but you can have them.” “These carrots are so fresh!” remarked the traveller. “Do join us. Now our soup can be tomato, potato and carrot.”

 

One by one, the villagers gathered around, all bringing something to share. Then one villager fetched a cooking pot, another filled it with some fresh water and a third collected wood for a fire. Soon, a pot of soup was bubbling away and a wonderful smell began to fill the air. The villagers sat together with the traveller and gentle murmurs gradually became shouts of laughter. When the soup was finally ready, the traveller shared it around. Each villager ate a bowlful. It was the best meal they had eaten in months.

 

This story has been adapted from the traditional European tale ‘Stone Soup'

I wonder, which part of the story do you like best?

 

I wonder what you think is the most important part of this story? 

The villagers were worried they wouldn’t have enough food and had kept what they had to themselves. But when the hungry traveller with nothing came, they were moved to be kind. Each of the villagers only gave a small amount, but their contribution made the soup better. And there was plenty for everyone to share and enjoy!
You could draw a pot and reflect on a time you shared something with others. Or perhaps you could draw a hand and think about something you could do to be kind. Or you might want to sit and think, or to create something different – whatever is right for you today. 

If you would like to, you can say this prayer...

 

Dear God, Help us not to only think about ourselves but to care for everyone in our community. Amen

This collective worship has been taken from one written by Elisabeth Sutcliffe for CSOC
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