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Grimm’s Complete Fairy Tales: Sweet Porridge

“There was a poor but good little girl who lived alone with her mother, and they no longer had anything to eat.”

Sweet Porridge is a silly and sort of sad little tale; I say little because it’s around one-hundred words, and sad because of the implications my adult brain recognizes. It’s about a little girl who meets an old woman in the forest. The old woman sensed the little girl’s sorrow and gave her a pot, which cooks and stops cooking porridge on command. One day, the little girl goes out and her mother asks the pot to cook, but doesn’t know the word “stop” so the porridge fills the house, the street, and the town. Before it overwhelmed the last house in the town, the little girl arrives and tells the pot to stop, “and whosoever wished to return to the town had to eat his way back.”

I’m not sure there’s a direct lesson or message of this tale – maybe don’t talk to random old people in the forest? But Sweet Porridge is a cute story, nonetheless.

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