Sweet Porridge

Once upon a time, there was a poor but good girl who lived alone with her mother. They had nothing left to eat, so the child went into the forest. There she met an old woman who felt sorry for the child’s sorrow. The old woman gave the girl a magic pot and a magic word. If she said, “Cook, little pot, cook,” the pot would cook delicious sweet porridge by itself. And if she said, “Stop, little pot,” then the pot would stop cooking.

The girl took the pot to her mother. Now they were free from their poverty and hunger! They ate the sweet porridge as often and as much as they wanted. One day, when the girl was away, her mother said, “Cook, little pot, cook.” And the pot cooked, and she ate so much sweet porridge until she was full. Then she wanted the pot to stop cooking, but she didn’t know the magic word. So the pot kept cooking and the sweet porridge rose over the edge.

The porridge filled the whole kitchen and the whole house. And then the sweet porridge even went on to the next house and even down the whole street. It was as if the porridge wanted to satisfy the hunger of all people in the world. Everyone was now in great fear because no one knew how to stop the cooking. When there was finally only one house left without porridge, the child came home and simply said, “Stop, little pot,” and the pot stopped cooking.

And whoever wanted to return to the city had to eat their way back through the sweet porridge.