Once upon a time, there was great famine in a poor village where the peasants jealously hoarded and hid whatever little food they had.
Two wise travelers, decided to stop at the little village for the night. “How I would like a good dinner tonight," said the first. "And a soft bed to sleep in," added the second.
But when asked by the travelers for these humble luxuries, the peasants declared: "We have no food for ourselves! In fact, there's not a bite to eat in the whole village. You’d better move on.”
The first traveler declared, "Good people! We are hungry we’ve asked you for food and you have none. I suppose we will have to make stone soup." The peasants just stared. The traveler added mysteriously, "Our king gave me a very special gift when I saved his life in battle."
He then asked for a big cauldron and water to fill it. When the villagers brought the cauldron, the two travelers placed it in the middle of the square and built a huge fire underneath. Then the first traveler took out an ornate bag from a secret pocket of his cape, removed three very ordinary-looking stones from the bag, and with great ceremony dropped them into the water.
"A good soup needs salt and pepper," the first traveler said, so one of the peasants sent his children to fetch some salt and pepper.
"Oh!" the traveler said to himself rather loudly, "I do love stone soup. Of course, stone soup with carrots...that's hard to beat."
Hearing this, one of villagers sent his son home to fetch some carrots hidden in the cellar. Soon the son returned and they ceremoniously added the carrots to the pot. "Magnificent!" exclaimed the traveler. "You know, I once had stone soup with carrots and some salt beef as well, and it was fit for the king!" The village butcher managed to find some salt beef. And so it went, until soon there were onions, potatoes, barley, cabbage, and milk added to the cauldron.
The village peasants had never before tasted anything so good that was made of stones, and soon they began singing, dancing, and making merry well into the night.
The moral of the story? Talent, nimble thinking, teamwork, resourcefulness and creativity go a long way.