An African Tale.
Long, long ago there lived an old woman who sold the best soup in the market. It was chicken soup. Nobody knew the old woman’s name. Nobody knew where she lived. Nobody knew why her soup was always the best in the market and why it was so hot. But people did not think about that. They bought the soup and ate it. Every morning the old woman came to the market square. She carried a big black pot of hot chicken soup on her head. Then she sat down under a tree and it did not take her long to sell her soup.
There lived a small boy not far from the market square. His name was Kalari. He liked the soup very much. He wanted to know where the old woman came from. One day when the old woman put her empty pot on her head and left the market square. Kalari followed her. But she did not see him. They went a long, long way. They climbed up a high hill. Evening came. Kalari was afraid. But he went on.
At last the woman came to a little hut on that high hill. There stood a very large pot. “How big the pot is,” thought Kalari. The woman went into the hut. Kalari went up to the pot and looked into it. It was empty. Then the woman came out of the hut. Kalari quickly hid himself. The woman came up to the large pot. Then she began to sing.
‘’ Magic pot, magic pot make hot soup for me. Make hot soup for me.
Make soup with Chicken. Make soup with Chicken.
Make this soup for me to sell. Make this soup for me to sell.
And for people to buy and for people to buy
Magic pot, magic pot! ’’
Very soon the soup was ready. Steam came out of the pot. The smell of the soup was very good and Kalari was very hungry. Then the old woman went back into her hut. Kalari came up to the pot. He looked under it. There was no fire there. But the pot was full of hot chicken soup! “I must have some of it. I am so hungry!” Kalari said to himself and put his hand into the pot to take a piece of chicken. But suddenly the old woman came out of her hut. She saw Kalari with his hand in the pot. “Oh, No” she cried.
Kalari ran down the hill as quickly as he could. The old woman ran after him. But she could not catch him. Kalari ran and ran and at last came home. He told his parents about the old woman on the hill and her magic pot. From that day on the old woman stopped coming to the market with her soup. Nobody went up that high hill to see her. They were afraid of the old woman. But now, when people see clouds round the hill, they say, “Look! There is the steam from the magic pot.”