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2010-04-30 digital edition

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2010-04-30 / General Stories

Stone Soup

The woman sat in her sad living room and thought how lonely she was. She wanted her friends and family to visit, but she had nothing to offer them. Only she and her cat occupied the house. Nothing much to eat. Nothing much to do. How would she entice them to visit?

She had occasionally asked them to come and sit with her for a while just to talk, but they always had better things to do. What if she threw a big party and invited everyone? Surely they would come. Everyone likes parties. But parties cost a lot of money, and she was on a fixed income.

“Well,” she thought, “I could merely tell them I was having a party. They might be mad, but hey, they’d already be here and it would be rude to leave, right?”

So she called her son and told him about the “party” she was having. The whole family was invited. There would be food and cake and games and. “Oh, by the way, I forgot to buy cookies. Would you bring some cookies with you?”

“Sure, Mom. See you soon.”

“Sweet!” she thought. “But, oh, he’s going to be so mad when he finds out that there is no party and that all we have to eat are his cookies.”

She called her daughter and invited her and her new boyfriend to the “party.” Her daughter asked what she could bring and was told to bring a salad.

“Well, we’ll have cookies and salad at least,” the woman thought. Then she thought, excitedly, “If I simply invite enough people, I could have a real party!”

She called everyone she knew and asked each one to bring something different: Plates, cups, streamers, food, cake, drinks, games - everything one needed to have a party.

The day of the party finally arrived and every guest brought a piece of the party with them. She could tell by the way her house looked that it was a great success.

The next day, the woman sat in her living room and happily recalled her “party.” Her plan worked so well, she just might have another one.

The food was so good that Uncle Angus had to leave the top button of his trousers undone all night. Aunt Kay thought he looked like a puffer fish with a case of psoriasis.

There was punch in her fish bowl for lack of a punch bowl. The fish was stashed in her teapot. Thank goodness nobody wanted tea!

The cat was chewing on the remains of somebody’s leftover tuna salad that had toppled into her recliner.

The kids had brought coloring books, but evidently they thought that the coffee table needing decorating. It was lovely, but it would take some elbow grease to get it clean again.

Old Davy brought the beer and proceeded to single-handedly empty the case into his stomach because, as he said, “Somebody had to drink it!” Then he puked into her African Violet and wrapped himself in the living room drapery. That Dave! What a joker!

If her house smelled like vinegar and dill, it was only because little Kristen dropped a jar of gherkins onto a heating vent. It broke, of course. If the woman had any trouble remembering her party, she would be reminded every time the furnace kicked on.

The place was a disaster, but she had a great time and so did everyone else!

Now, she picked up the phone to call her son and tell him she was having another party - tomorrow - and, oh, by the way, could he please bring a mop?

Laura Snyder is a nationally syndicated columnist, author & speaker. You can learn more about Laura a www.lauraonlife.com.

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