stone soup story & my mum
i was going to make a bowl of soup noodles this morning with some soup stock that mum had prepared for the grand Reunion dinner tonight - it was going to be plain, just noodles and delicious soup stock. but mum started suggesting putting vegetables, and then mushrooms, and how about fishballs, prawns, pork slices and liver? into it and eventually she just took over the whole of the cooking from me and starting whipping up this amazingly delicious ingredient-filled bowl of noodles for my breakfast.. :p
standing next to her as she was cooking, i began to tell my mother how the whole incident reminded me of the Stone Soup Story - where a tired and hungry peddler comes riding into town and manages to convince (con??) a whole village to contribute ingredients they had in their homes to his huge pot of nothing but water and stone, making it into a yummy pot of soup. it was a story of sharing, love, compassion...and guess what? my mum hated the story!! "those people obviously don't know how to make soups!!" she exclaimed indignantly. "that guy certainly wouldn't be able to cheat me or anyone who knows how to make soups!!" and moreover, she thinks that there is nothing more wicked than to deceive a poor village, and that cheating others to get what you want is wrong whichever way you see it.. and she stressed that if stones could really make soups, then the villagers should have just make the peddler make a big pot of soup with many stones and just water...
hahahaha... my mum is so funny....you can certainly tell that i didn't grow up with Aesop's Fables, Hans Christian Andersen or such Western stories... :p i did grow up with Chinese fables though - my favourite story is the one where once upon a time, there was a guy who was so lazy and slept all the time that his mother had to do everything for him (i think my mother was trying to tell us something here..) One day, for some reason, his mother had to go on this long journey. Afraid that he will starve to death in her absence, she baked him this giant donut-shaped cooke that hung around his neck so all he had to do was to turn it and just nibble.. But when she came back eventually (i guess after a few weeks or something), she found her son dead! Why? Because he was so lazy he didn't even turn the cookie to nibble on the other parts, just the area in front of him!!
hahahaha... :D anyway, for what it's worth, the story has stuck with us all these years..so i guess it works..