Short Story - Spoon Soup
Once a farmer went to the city on some business. In the evening he felt that he must return to his village at once. If delayed it would be difficult for him to reach home, he thought. He set out at once leaving the business half done.
But he had gone a little far when the clouds darkened and cold winds started blowing. He walked faster. It started drizzlmg. The farmer kept walking in the hope of making it to his home.
The weather became worse. The dark clouds poured down water in buckets. The farmer stopped. The road ahead was dangerous. He shivered with fear and cold.
He looked around for a shelter. Through rain he saw a faint image of a log cabin. The farmer ran towards it and crouched in its outer verandah. The cold wind was biting into his bones. And now he was feeling hungry too. The poor farmer didn’t know what to do. He thought that if he could get something hot to eat it would make him feel better. With great hesitation he knocked at the door of the kitchen. An old woman opened the door. She lived their alone. She asked, “Who are you? What are you doing at my door on this stormy night?’
The farmer politely answered, “I am a poor farmer. My name is Joe. I had come to the city on some business and got caught in this storm and rain.’
The stout body of the farmer had frightened the old woman. But she courageously said, ‘So. what do you want from me?”
“Mother! I am freezing in cold out here. And I am very hungry. Please allow me in and give me something to eat. I will be very thankful to you.”
The old woman tried to put him off. “Joe…There is nothing to eat today in my house. I would have gladly giver something to you.”
Joe peeped in and happened to see a spoon in the Kitchen. He informed, ‘Mother, don’t worry about it. I will prepare soup of spoon. Have you got a spoon?’
The old woman knew that the farmer had seen the spoon. So, she could not make any excuse. She wondered how one could make soup out of a spoon. She wanted to see how the farmer would do it. She allowed the farmer into her kitchen.
The farmer made fire in the wood stove. Then he asked for a cooking pot. He rubbed the spoon clean as the old woman watched with great interest.
The farmer poured water in the pot and put it on the stove to boil. He tossed the spoon in the pot. When the water boiled he said, “This is how jolly Joe makes his tasty spoon soup.’
After a while, the farmer said, ‘Mother! Would you give me a little salt?”
She could not refuse and handed over the salt container. The farmer put salt in the water.
He stirred the boiling water with a ladle. He smelled the ladle and made a face as if he had savoured a great dish. The farmer sad smacking his lips, ‘The soup is coming up fine… Delicious… It would be perfect if we put some vegetables in it’
“What vegetable do you want? I have some I think,” the old woman sad. She was just wondering.
“Tomatoes, potatoes, gourd, pumpkin .anything!”
The old woman thought that she was learning to cook a new kind of soup. She saw no harm in sparing a few tomatoes to the farmer. The farmer accepted the four tomatoes the old woman gave him. After cutting them with knife, the pieces were put into the boiling water. As the cooking went on, the farmer kept pressing the tomato pieces to thicken the soup.
The farmer announced, “It looks that we have a very delicious soup cooked. The smell is great. I should let you get a taste of it.”
The old woman was pleased. She had learnt to make soup out of a spoon. The farmer took out a little soup in the ladle and spoke, “Mother dear…..If you kindly put a spoonful of sugar in the soup you’ll find it tastier.”
The old woman at once brought a spoonful of sugar and gave it to him. He put it in the soup. Then, the clever farmer put the soup in two large bowls. He handed one of them to the old woman and said, ‘See, how jolly Joe’s tasty spoon soup is!”
The old woman tasted the soup. She found it very delicious. She remarked, ‘I had never heard of spoon soup before. But this soup is realty wonderful.”
The farmer and the old woman sat down to enjoy the hot soup. The warmth of the spoon soup had driven away their cold.