THE STRAND OF STRAW, THE COAL AND THE BEAN

Long before, somewhere in a country far away, there lived an old, very old woman. One day she went to the garden and filled a bowl with beans that she wanted to cook for lunch. She lit the fire and make it light better, she threw a handful of straw and put the pot on it. That’s how our story begins. When the old woman threw the beans inside the pot, a bean fell on the floor. She fell and stood there next to the strand of straw. A lit small piece of coal jumped from the fire and fell on the floor too. The strand of straw said:

- My dear friends, how come you’re here?!

- It’s me, - answered the coal, - I jumped from the fire. If I had stood there, I would have been burnt there with my friends and I would turn into ash.

- I was lucky to fall here too, - said the bean. – I would be boiled with my friends inside the pot.

- I am happy too, I didn’t fall into the fire, - said the straw.

They were thinking about what to do, and they decided to go for a walk around the world. So the three of them set off together. They walked and walked and arrived nearby a pond of water. The pond was so small and narrow, and there was no bridge to pass to the other side. The strand of straw was wondering, then she said:

- I know what we should do! I will stretch from here to the other side and you’ll pass over me. The straw lied down from one side to the other and the first that passed was the coal, and he was walking like he was over the bridge. He walked to the middle of the way, then he began to cry out loud:

- I am scared of the water! I am scared!

And while he stood there and shouted, the strand of straw got burnt and broke off into two pieces. So they fell in the water, both the coal and the straw.

I am drowning! Help! Help me! – shouted the coal and sank to the bottom.

The bean was very careful. She stood at the shore and began to laugh at the straw and the coal. She was laughing so hard that she cracked. She would have ended worse, but she was lucky because a tailor was passing nearby. He took out a needle and sewed the two halves of the bean. But he hadn’t white thread with him, he sewed the bean with a black thread. From that day on, all the beans have a black dot in the middle.