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The Stone In The Soup
written by: JPK
A beggarman came and he sat alone
by the banks of the village stream,
and he took from his bundle a fine white stone
which he boiled in the pot and got good and hot
'til it raised up a fine white steam.
The farmer scowled on his way into town
at the raggedy man in his weeds.
But the beggarman, smiling, said "come and sit down,
I have sun and fresh air, and there's soup to spare,
though I feel there is something it needs".
They tested the soup and agreed it was fine,
though, the farmer thought, just a bit thin.
"I have cabbages here in this old sack of mine,
which are better than rocks for thickening stocks.
Let's chop one up and pop it in".
They sat back to chat as they let the soup boil.
They talked of the lives they had led.
The farmer told stories of labour and toil,
the beggar of skies far away, full of stars
and the warm friendly earth for a bed.
The butcher came by to open his shop
and regarded the curious pair
who waved and entreated him "Gentleman, stop,
and give us your view on our stone cabbage stew,
for its flavour is savoury and rare."
Sipping the broth from an old wooden spoon
the butcher was duly impressed
but opined "Without wishing at all to impugn,
a couple of pieces of veal, nicely dressed,
are what’s needed to flavour this soup to its best.
Stay there, I’ll be back with them soon."
As the morning rolled on others joined in the group,
spice merchants, vintners and such,
and each added something to sweeten the soup
and, better than that, each one joined in the chat
for they all loved the company so much.
Noon came and went and the brew grew more rich
as ingredients went into the mix.
The company too, well it just grew and grew
on that riverside walk, for the laughter and talk
and the smell of soup had them bewitched.
The beggarman tasted the savoury blend
and announced that the meal was complete,
whereon each happy soul helped themselves to a bowl
and agreed, once replete
that there’s not much to beat
a soup made from stone with some friends