I adore this sweet little story which always makes me feel warm inside! 🙂 I’ve shared it with my class before and they adore it too. I’m pretty sure you’ll have heard of this story before. It’s mega popular.
It centres around Hans who comes from a poor family. He is walking to school one day when he meets an old woman. She asks for some food and he shares his only crust of bread with her. On the way home, he meets her again. She hands him a cooking pot and tells him that it’s a thank you for his kindness. She tells him to tap it and say ‘Cook, little pot, cook.’ She said it will give them as much porridge as they wish. If they want it to stop they have to say ‘Stop, little pot, stop!’ Hans thanked her and took the pot home.
Hans showed his mother and his brother Fritz. From that day on, they never had to go hungry again. Sometimes they stirred in jam or berries. Sometimes they invited their neighbours in.
One morning when Hans was at school, Fritz decided he wanted more porridge. His mother was outside so he took advantage of that. The porridge kept on cooking. He didn’t notice until he had licked his bowl clean. ‘Stop cooking pot!’ he said, but the pot didn’t stop. It spilled onto the stove and onto the kitchen floor. Fritz started to cry and his mother came in to see what had happened. She said ‘Stop, porridge pot, stop!’ The pot kept cooking. It flooded the kitchen and flowed out through the back door. It kept on spreading. The villagers were alarmed as the porridge oozed into their homes. The children could make porridge snowmen but soon the porridge was too thick to play in. It flowed all the way to the school.
Hans could smell the porridge. He ran out of school and realised what had hapened. He couldn’t get home to set things right. However, a gust of wind gave him an idea. He got a kite that they’d been making at school. He threw it into the village which the wind then took into the sky. He grabbed its tail and held on until he was at his own porridge garden. He tapped the porridge pot and said ‘Stop, little pot, stop!’ It stopped cooking at one.
It took many days to eat their way through the porridge and nobody in that village, except Hans and his family, ever ate porridge again!
An extract from A Year Full of Stories, by Angela McAllister, illustrated by Christopher Corr (Frances Lincoln Children’s Books, 2016)
Next Fairy Tale/Folk Tale Friday- King Of The Forest