This session was held in Times Bookstore in Pavilion, Kuala Lumpur.
I tweaked ‘The Magic Porridge Pot’ from Usborne’s Magical Stories for Little Children a little. In that version, it tells of Hannah, a kind and generous girl who was given a magic porridge pot by an old woman when she was out collecting honey one day. The old lady taught her the magic words that would make the pot cook porridge and stop when she wants the pot to stop cooking. Hannah was happy when she got the pot because it means she wouldn’t go hungry anymore.
When she got home, she said the magic words and the pot started cooking. A greedy boy smelled the porridge and followed his nose to Hannah’s cottage. He saw what happened, learnt the magic words that made the pot cook, but he didn’t learn how to make it stop. When Hannah was fast asleep, he crept into her house and stole the pot. He got the pot to cook porridge but couldn’t get it to stop because he didn’t know the right magic words. So the porridge started to fill the entire pot, then the entire village. When Hannah saw what happened, she said the magic words stop the pot from cooking, and it did. The greedy boy returned the pot to Hannah. From then on, the greedy boy never stole anything again.
My concern: If the boy had heard the magic words, and got the pot to stop cooking, he could have gotten away with stealing.
My version: Hannah lived with her grandma who was sick and old. Not only Hannah was an obedient girl, she was also very kind and generous. She shared everything she had with her friends and neighbours. One day, when she was out looking for food for her grandma, she met an old woman who gave her a present – a magic porridge pot, as a reward for being a good girl. When Hannah reached home, she successfully got the pot to cook and stop when there was enough porridge for her to share with her neighbours. A greedy boy (whom I named Little Johnny) saw what happened, wanted to steal the pot from Hannah so he could have it all to himself. He waited till Hannah and her grandma fell asleep before he stole the pot. As soon as he reached home, he recited the magic words and porridge began to fill the pot. When there was enough porridge, he told the porridge to stop cooking but to his surprise, the pot didn’t.
And the porridge began to fill the entire village. Little Johnny decided to ask Hannah for help, who of course, saved the day 🙂 Feeling guilty, Little Johnny returned the pot to Hannah. From then on, the greedy boy never stole anything again.
Ask the children: Why do you think the pot didn’t stop cooking even though Little Johnny said the magic words correctly?
Answer: Because he was naughty/he stole, he was greedy/selfish.
One of the girls who had read the story before told me later, ‘Your story is a little different. I like it! :)’ That really put a smile on my face. First – she noticed the difference. Second – she liked it 🙂