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Elphinstone Kist   Stories for Bairns

Froyim Greydinger Maks Soup wi a Stick (A Yiddish Folk Tale)     by: Wheeler, Les

Froyim Greydinger wis a gey chiel an near aabody kent him or kent o him. He gaed fae ferm tae ferm an toon tae toon deein fit he could tae mak a bit siller. There wis ae time fan Froyim wisna makkin ony siller at aa an he wis gey hungry. Weel, he cam tae a wee country inn an askit the wife o the hoose if she could spare onything for him tae ait, but the wife said that she’d nithin hersel.

Froyim wis jist gyan tae move aff fan he saa through the windae a muckle hen an a gran pile o veggies lyin on the kitchie table.
“Oh, I see,” he says, “that’s the wye things are.”
Noo he kent fit the wife wis like, he kent fu tae dee wi her.

He pickit up a stick fae the side o the road an gaed back tae the wife.
“D’ye see this stick?” says he, “Weel, wi jist this stick an a pottie o waater I could mak ye a fine pan o soup.”
“Wi jist a stickie?” spiers the wife.
“Och, aye.” says Froyim. “If I stir a pot o waater ower a fire wi this stick I can mak onything I like.”
Sae the wife fillt a pot wi waater an says, “Richt, on ye go, then!”

An Froyim stirred awa at the waater an fin it sterted tae bile he says, “Noo, tae gie it a bittie o colour it wid be fine if we hid a bane an twa-three bitties o giblets an maybe a bittie o saut forbye.”
“Nae bother. I’ve got that,” says the wife an gaed Froyim a fine marra bane, some giblets an some saut. They wir pit intae the pot an Froyim stirred awa.

He stirred awa for a fylie an gaed the wife anither look.
“A bittie o neep an twa-three carrots wid thickent up some; an maybe a hanfae o barley.”

The wife, mair teen wi the stick that iver, says, “I’ve plenty o neeps, carrots an barley. Here ye are an dinna hing back wi them.”
In wint the veggies an the barley an Froyim stirred awa.

Syne, fan he’d bin stirrin for a fylie, the wife spiert at him, “Kin I hae a tastie?”

“Fine that,” says Froyim an gies the wife a taste.
“Michty me!” says the wife, ”That’s as gran soup as iver I’ve tastit. Thon stick is jist fit we’d need here at the inn. Will ye sell it?”

“Oh, I couldna,” says Froyim, “My faimlie’s hin this stick for hunner years. I couldna jist sellt like that.”

“I’ll gie ye a hanfae o siller. There ye are.” she says, huddin oot a muckle hanfae o coins.

“Och, I couldna jist tak money. That wid be wrang!”

“Fit wid ye tak then? Jist tell me. If I hiv it, it’s yours. I jist hiv tae hae the stick.”

“Weel, I kin see that ye’re a gweed, honest body, sae I’ll tell ye fit I’ll dee. If ye gie me a hen, some veggies an the siller, ye kin hae the stick!’

“Richt ye are!” says the wife, “I’ll jist get a seck tae pit them in.”

An that wis that. The greedy aul wife got the magic stick an Froyim wint aff wi a hen an veggies tae gie him a fine sabbath denner an a hanfae o siller forbye.

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