Stone Soup

Stone Soup by Jon J Muth illustrates beautifully what can happen when people work together.

It tells the tale of three monks who visit a town and are turned away by all when they knock on their door for charity.

So, they begin to cook stone soup in the middle of the town square.  The villagers, curious as to what they are doing, all begin to ask them questions.  Soon enough they are all pitching in items “needed” to make the soup better.

They have a huge town feast and everyone shares the town soup. The monks are lodged that night and the whole town turns out in the morning as they depart, saying “You have shown us that sharing makes us all richer.”

Great version of a timeless tale about sharing and working together to make something better.  Also, how something wonderful can be made from nothing.

Jon J Muth also wrote one of my favorite kids books, The Three Questions, which is the story of a boy trying to figure out the answer to three questions about life.

What Do You Do if You are Awakened by Your 200-lb Baby?

It hit me like a ton of bricks.

My chest suddenly felt weighed down.  I opened my eyes and didn’t see anything.  I moved my hand to rub the area that hurt and then I felt it:  fur.

Suddenly, the room lit up, a BOOM resounded in my ear, and hail was hitting the roof with a steady pounding.

I began to pet my 200-lb male English Mastiff who was lying across my chest and shivering in fear.

The room continued to be intermittently lit up.  Thunder roared. The rain continued.

I forced my dog off of me and he followed me into the kitchen where I have the best view of the night sky.  Yep, definitely a lightning storm.  The kind of lightning storm you only see once every 3-4 years.  Lightning was zig-zagging everywhere, lighting up the Heavens.  Thunder was almost constant.  Hail would mix with periods of just rain.

I went back to bed, my baby close behind.  He jumped back up, stepping on my foot in the process, and laid right next to me, his massive head on my side.

Then he jumped down, stepping over me once again and this time missing me somehow, and after a minute was back with his head in my face.

He jumped up again (after nuzzling me for a moment) and laid back down again.

This repeated itself for the entire length of the storm (about an hour).

I couldn’t yell at my poor dog.  After all, he didn’t understand.  I often wonder what goes through his mind when he hears those loud booms from Heaven.  I know he doesn’t have a concept of dying so it’s not that.  But what does drive him to seek me out? Maybe it’s like Chicken Little–The sky is falling, the sky is falling!!

Maybe it’s pure instinct; instinct that drives him to his leader and protector (me) when he’s scared, confused, or befuddled.

If he could, he would have climbed up into my body and cowered until he deemed it safe to emerge.

I did the only thing I could do:  tried to sleep in-between his antics.

Poor thing.  This is my dog whom we got at age 4 months from a breeder and when we got him he had a huge gash on his ear.  So, I’ve always inferred he was either abused or left outside with other dogs.  He’s also afraid of people.  Most find this amusing as he does weigh 200 pounds.

He’s a big dog with just a big of heart.  But you have to earn his love.  He stays away from everyone excepting those in his inner circle.

He’s a big lump of fur who’s precious when he’s scared and needs his mama.

Just like my other human babies.  But he’s my baby too.