Sweet Porridge – Beginner English Version
Once upon a time there was a little girl who lived with her mother. Her father had died, and they had very little money. One day there was nothing in the house to eat. The little girl went out into the forest to look for food. She walked and walked, but could not find anything that was good to eat. The girl 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 nothing to eat at home,” answered the little girl. “And I cannot find any food here in the forest to take home to my mother.”
“You are a very good girl for trying to help your mother,” said the old woman. “Take this pot. When you want food say, ‘Cook, little pot, cook.’ It will start to cook porridge. And when you say, ‘Stop, little pot,’ it will stop cooking.”
The girl thanked the old woman and took the pot home. Now they always had enough to eat. 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. “Cook, little pot, cook,” she said. The pot cooked and soon had made enough porridge. “Stop cooking, little pot, stop cooking,” said the mother. But these were not the right words. 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 it went into the next one, and so on down the street. No one knew how to stop it. Many people ran away from their houses.
After a time, there was only house left that was not full of porridge. It was the house where the little girl had gone to play. She 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.