Cactus Soup

Cactus Soup

It's a bad day when a troop of soldiers comes marching toward the town of San Miguel. The mayor gets everyone together and they make a plan because they all know that those soldiers will take every morsel of food they own and leave them with barely a crumb by the time they're done feasting. Working together, the townspeople hide their tortillas and their chiles and their pigs. When the soldiers arrive, the mayor explains to the captain that there is nothing left to eat because other soldiers recently passed through and ate the few "beans and tortillas" they had left. The children cry "just as they had practiced." But this is a wily captain and he solves the problem of no food by announcing that they will simply have to make cactus soup. The water begins to boil and in goes the thorn of a cactus to get things started. The clever captain muses that the soup always tastes better with a pinch of salt....and bit by bit the needed ingredients magically appear. Chiles, beans, carrots, and tomatoes come marching to the pot. In fact an entire feast appears and everyone celebrates and celebrates with a fiesta.This is a Mexican version of the Stone Soup story.

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