Originally Posted by jabbur
The rock in the story "Stone Soup" really is nothing more than a catalyst. The villagers were all hoarding their food but starving in the process snce they each had only a small amount of food. The traveler starts with water and a stone. The villagers become curious about his cooking. He tells them he's making stone soup. It's a very good soup but could be made better if he had an onion. So one villager says he has an onion. The story continues like this until a hearty vegetable soup is in the making from everyone contributing their own little bit. There was enough for everyone to eat their fill. The rock really had nothing to do with the soup itself as far as being magical except that it brought everyone together.
My grandmother used to read us that story when we were little. Even as a little kid, I understood and loved the moral: as individuals, they had didn't have enough resources, but when they teamed up to pool their resources, they had plenty. A great lesson in business, families, and life.