blog description

Old women talk about old things: history, myth, magic and their
checkered pasts, about what changes and what does not.

Friday, October 11, 2013

Crone Stone Soup

Have you heard the story of Stone Soup? This is the tale as my Irish granny told me and it was, she swore, the very same one that her granny told her……
A long time ago but not that far away there was a famine in Ireland. Even the dependable potatoes had rotted in the fields and remnants of families were moving to the New World across the great cold Atlantic.
In those days there were many tramps on the roads looking for small jobs or a place to shelter from the damp. On the day of the stone soup a group of stragglers had arrived during the night and set up camp in the commons.
The women went scrounging for supplies while the men tried to find work. "No" was the only reply they heard through the long day. By late afternoon the young children were crying and the older ones were looking quite desperate.
The matriarch pulled out her cast iron kettle, filled it halfway with fresh water and put it on the campfire to heat. When the water was simmering she added a smooth stone and announced in a loud voice "Our delicious stone soup will be ready in just a bit and if there's enough we'll share with all".
Then going back around to the village doors she asked again if they had any small bits to add to the pot. One woman gave her a few carrots, another donated a handful of herbs and so it went. With all the meager contributions by sunset there was a delicious thick soup that was shared by all with some leftovers for the three town dogs.

As women together we can do so much more than any one alone
We can stitch a quilt of many colours; feed a crowd with soup made with a stone
We can share our stories, snort raucous laughter, plan outrageous schemes
Then celebrate when one succeeds beyond our wildest dreams


  1. Time for a story of stone soup--the connections that women make hold society together. Thanks for both old story retold and the lovely artwork!

  2. The power of crones - and the stories they tell! Blessed be, NJ.