Sweet Porridge – Beginner Level
Once upon a time there was a good little girl who lived with her mother. Her father had died, and they had very little money. One day there was nothing to eat in the house, and the mother asked the little girl to go out into the forest to look for food. The child walked and walked, but could not find anything that was good to eat. She was very unhappy and started to cry. As she did this, she saw an old woman sitting under a tree.
“Why are you crying, child?” asked the old woman.
“We have no food at home,” answered the little girl. “And I cannot find anything to eat here in the forest to take home to my mother.”
“I can see that you are good, and are trying to help your mother,” said the old woman kindly. “Take this pot. When you say, ‘Cook, little pot, cook,’ it will make as much porridge as you can eat. And when you say, ‘Stop, little pot,’ it will stop cooking.”
The girl thanked the old woman and took the pot home to her mother. Now they always had enough to eat, for they could make porridge whenever they wanted to.
One day the little girl went to play at the house of a friend. Her mother wanted something to eat and said, “Cook, little pot, cook.” The pot cooked, and when it had made enough porridge the mother said, “Stop cooking, little pot, stop cooking”. But these were not the right words and the pot cooked on. “Don’t cook, little pot, stop” cried the mother, but still the pot cooked on.
The mother tried all the words she could think of, but the pot kept on cooking. When the pot was full, the porridge came up over its top and onto the table. The pot cooked on, and the porridge started to fall onto the floor. The mother stood on a chair and called for help, but no one could hear her. Soon the room and then the house were full of porridge.
The door was open, and a small river of porridge started to go outside. It went into the next house, then the next one, and so on down the street. No one knew how to stop it, and many people ran away from their houses.
After a time, there was only one house left that was not full of porridge. It was the house where the little girl had gone to play. The child came outside and saw porridge everywhere. She ran home and called, “Stop, little pot.” The pot stopped, but would never cook again. And the people who had run away from their houses had to eat their way back inside.