A poor girl and her mother have nothing to eat. Luckily an old woman gives them a magic porridge pot with which to make sweet porridge…
Sweet Porridge is a Brothers Grimm fairy tale about a girl and her mother who have nothing to eat. An old woman gives them a magic porridge pot with instructions. The mother makes porridge but can’t stop the pot. The porridge floods the village until the girl tells the pot to stop cooking.
Complete text Sweet Porridge
There was a poor but good little girl who lived alone with her mother. They no longer had anything to eat.
The child went into the forest, and there an aged woman met her who was aware of her sorrow. She presented her with a little pot. When she said, “Cook, little pot, cook,” the pot would cook good, sweet porridge. When she said, “Stop, little pot,” it ceased to cook.
The girl took the pot home to her mother. They were freed from their poverty and hunger and ate sweet porridge as often as they chose.
Once upon a time when the girl had gone out, her mother said, “Cook, little pot, cook.”
It did cook and she ate till she was satisfied, and then she wanted the pot to stop cooking but did not know the word. So it went on cooking and the porridge rose over the edge. It cooked on until the kitchen and whole house were full. Then the next house, then the whole street, just as if it wanted to satisfy the hunger of the whole world.
There was the greatest distress, but no one knew how to stop it. At last, when only one single house remained, the child came home and just said, “Stop, little pot,”.
It stopped and gave up cooking, and whosoever wished to return to the town had to eat his way back.
Tips for Telling Sweet Porridge
- This is a very gentle, comforting tale. Like a pot of porridge. There is not really a villain, just a mother that didn’t know how to stop the magic pot. Imagine eating something warm and comforting and take that feeling into your telling.
- You can lengthen the telling of the tale by telling your listeners a little more about the characters and their relations to each other.
- This tale has a lot to do with the different senses. How does hunger feel, sound and taste? How does the warm pot of porridge feel, taste, sound and smell?
All Questions Answered
It was published by the Brothers Grimm in the second book of the first edition of their Grimm’s Fairy Tales. Their source was Henriette Dorothea Wild.
The Brothers Grimm included it in 1815 in their Grimm’s fairy tales.
The fairy tale Sweet Porridge is also known as ‘The Magic Porridge Pot’.
More useful information
The Brothers Grimm Fairy Tales on this website are based on the authentic translation of Margaret Hunt. They were edited and reformatted for pleasant reading and telling by Storyteller Rudolf Roos.
See the complete list of The Brothers Grimm Fairy Tales