A tale apropos nothing

Once long ago, there was a war where many soldiers went off to war. In those days, win or lose if the war was over you were dropped out of the army and walked your way back to your home countless miles away.

Now there was one formerly conscripted soldier named Nema who walked through the forests and she came upon a village. Now Nema was very hungry but had no money as whatever payment was either long gone. She begged from house but found that the villagers did not like soldiers and told her to go somewhere else. In fact, the villagers were tired of soldiers and fighting and looting and always being the ones trodden on. They didn't even like each other that much because they were all sure that someone had been a collaborator sending soldiers to their house to take their last food.

When the villager had gone to all the houses, Nema sat in the square wondering what to do. Her grumbling stomach told her that she couldn't walk to another village. She had nothing to trade as the only weapon the army had let her take back, an axe, had broken when she had cut wood for her meal to villages back. Looking at the head of the axe an idea sprang into her mind. Nema remembered that one of the villagers had a large cauldron in her front yard.. probably to clean clothes or something..

Going to the villager hut, Nema asked again if she could borrow the pot to make a soup. She would clean it out as a service but she had a magical axe which just needed some water and a fire to make the tastiest soup ever. The old villager eyed Nema as crazy, but because the cauldron was outside and it did need a good cleaning thought it would be an even score. Nema cleaned the pot and gathered water from the village well. She got a fire going and put her axe in it.

The villagers started to gather around this crazy soldier and with much laughter asking how the water soup tasted. Nema would spoon out a bit and say "hmm it is OK but it just needs something to flavor it up a bit." One of the villagers thought and said "Oh I have some old beans.. maybe that will do it." They got the beans from where ever they were hidden and the soldier put it in the pot. Again the villagers asked "oh how is the soup". The soldier stirred some more and said "Oh the beans helped a lot but now it needs a balance." Another villager remembered some old carrots and onions they had. These were added to the pot. This went on for a while and shortly afterwords there was a wondrous soup for everyone to share and eat.

After all the soup had been divvied up, Nema took her magic axe head out of the bottom and put it back in her pouch. She would make it back to her own village many miles away, and this villagers would talk with each other and make many soups from what they had through the long winter.

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