Today I heard the story of “William’s rock soup” again and it made me think that I should share it and the  lessons learned from it.

It seems that William was a British soldier in the Americas during the colonial revolution. He got separated from his troops and became lost. He came upon a settlement when he was very hungry. He went to every house and asked for food but got none because the colonists said they had none to share and were hungry too.

William put his wit to work and took his cooking pot and made a fire under it and filled it with snow to melt. He did this in the town square in full sight of all the residence’s houses.

When the snow became water, he stirred it with his spoon and sniffed the  aroma. The town’s folk became curious and not only watched him from their doorways and windows but soon gathered around the fire to observe his strange behavior when he put three large, round stones into the brew.  When several were gathered around him and asked what he was cooking.  William spooned up a taste of his concoction,  sipped it and exclaimed that this “rock soup” was great but would taste better yet had it an onion or two in it. To this remark an old man said he had an onion or two and went off to fetch them. When he returned, the onions were added to the stew and after a while, William again tasted it and exclaimed it to be wonderful but had it but some carrots and potatoes, it would surely be not only better but exceptional.  Other by-standers went and fetched those very items and they were added to the stew.

After cooking a spell, William again tasted it and got a bowl of the mix and gave it to the old man who had provided the onions. The man ate the bowl of soup and then exclaimed that it was the best “Rock Soup” he’d ever tasted.  Then William and all the rest ate their fill.

The moral is that by working together everyone’s needs can be met.