"Stone Soup" - A Green Wizards Parable

David Trammel's picture

There once was a traveler who came to a small village, tired and weary from his long journey. The traveler did not have anything to eat and hoped that a friendly villager would be able to feed him.

He came to the first house and knocked on the door. He asked the woman who answered if she could spare just a small bit of food as he had traveled far and was very hungry. The woman replied, “I’m sorry I have nothing to give you. I can barely feed my own family.”

So the traveler went to another door and asked again. The answer was the same: “I have nothing to give you.” He went from door to door and each time was turned away.

Undaunted, the traveler went to the village square, took a large cooking pot from his bag and filled it with water. From twigs he gathered nearby he started a fire and put the pot on it. As he boiled the water, a passing villager stopped and asked him what he was doing.

“I’m making stone soup." The traveler replied, "Would you like to join me?"

From his backpack the traveler took out a small red velvet bag. The villager watched as the traveler reverently remove a small round stone and held it up.

"My grandfather got this from a dragon long ago as reward for a debt." The traveler dropped it carefully into the now boiling water. "It is magical and when cooked, produces a wonderful and hearty soup."

The two of them sat there for a few minutes watching the pot and fire. Then the traveler removed a spoon from his pack and took a small sip of the soup.

"Hmmmmm," he said. "Almost done but it needs something..."

The villager asked if carrots were good in stone soup. “Sure,” said the traveler. The villager went home and returned with carrots from his garden to add to the boiling water.

Soon, another curious villager came by and she too heard the tale of the magical stone. The traveler invited her to join them when the soup was done.

He took another sip of the soup.

"Hmmm," he said. "Almost done but it needs something..."

She asked if potatoes were good with stone soup. "Sure," said the traveler. She went home and returned with some potatoes. A young boy passed by and hearing the tale of the magical stone, ran home to soon rejoin the group, bringing his mother and a collection of fine china dinner bowls from their home which they shared with the group.

In time, a crowd gathered with each new arrival hearing the tale of the magical stone. After a few minutes, each would come back and offer their own ingredient: mushrooms, onions, salt, black pepper, acorn, squash. Everyone wanted to be part of the creation.

Finally after the whole village had gathered the traveler removed the stone and declared, “The stone soup is ready!” And everyone joined in a feast where there was none before.


I can't remember when I first read this story, probably was when I was very young. Six, maybe seven. And over the years I've come across many different versions, some where the traveler is a soldier, others where it is set in the Middle Ages. All of them though have a similar theme. That of a stranger, who through a bit of "mis-direction", for the lack of a better term, manages to bring a village of strangers, out of their homes and into contributing to the common good.

Each contributes what they can, to help feed the entire community.

This concept, I believe, is at the heart and soul of "Green Wizardry".

If you have spent time in the survivalist community (now the "prepper" community), you'll soon notice a sizable minority of people participating that take the entirely opposite view. That the "Community" is a danger to them and theirs, something to be stood off by force if necessary.

I've even read posts by people, swearing that their "Stupid, non-preparing Brother and family" will see the business end of my shotgun, if when "The (expletive) Hits The Fan"!

I think that's what has drawn me to "Green Wizardry", that concept of looking outward to the community around them. That is going to be the only way that we as humans can save anything out of the coming Collapse.

Big or small. Be it teaching a few kids in the apartment complex the joy of watching a plant grow from seed to plant, or standing before a city council working to pass sensible legislation so people can help themselves as things get tough, Green Wizards "connect" to their community.

You can't be a Green Wizard, without being involved.