ONCE on a time there was a poor but very good little girl, who lived alone with her mother, and when my story begins, they had nothing in the house to eat. So the child went out into the forest, and there she met an old woman, who already knew her distress, and who presented her with a pot which had the following power. If one said to it, “Boil, little pot!” it would cook sweet soup; and when one said: “Stop, little pot!” it would immediately cease to boil. The little girl took the pot home to her mother, and now their poverty and distresses were at an end, for they could have sweet broth as often as they pleased.
One day, however, the little girl went out, and in her absence the mother said: “Boil, little pot!” So it began to cook, and she soon ate all she wished; but when the poor woman wanted to have the pot stop, she found she did not know the word. Away, therefore, the pot boiled, and very quickly was over the edge; and as it boiled and boiled the kitchen presently became full, then the house, and the next house, and soon the whole street. It seemed likely to satisfy all the world, for, though there was the greatest necessity to do so, nobody knew how to stop it. At last, when only a very small cottage of all the village was left unfilled with soup, the child returned and said at once: “Stop, little pot!”
Immediately it ceased to boil; but whoever wishes to enter the village now must eat his way through the soup!!!