World Folk Tales – Paco and his Chicken Manchow Soup
When Paco is unwilling to share his soup, he learns his lesson the hard way…
Once upon a time in the continent of America when the age was unknown and humans were primitive, there lived a man called Paco. He was walking for a long time and he felt tired. Paco sat down under a tree and from his jute bag,he took out a wooden container. Once he opened its lid, a lovely aroma filled the air around him.
The scent of the chicken manchow soup was too good for Paco. At once he forgot all about his tiredness and on seeing the chunks of chicken and the colour of the soup, Paco became very excited to eat it. He looked around carefully to see if anyone was watching nearby and once he saw no one was around, he immediately prepared himself to gobble up the soup. Just as he was about to drink his first serving of soup, a voice called out to him.
Paco at once grew irritated and also knew that whoever had spoken, wanted a share of the food. And Paco was right! A raccoon came from behind the bushes and asked him for some soup as he was hungry. Paco refused him quickly and tried to send him off. The raccoon said that sharing food was common and must be done to anyone who is hungry. But Paco was not about to share his precious Manchow soup to anyone just because of a rule. But the raccoon did not allow him to drink the soup and so Paco had to think of a way to get rid of the raccoon. Paco then suggested a race, saying that if he won, he would keep the soup all to himself. And if he lost, the raccoon could drink half of it. The raccoon disagreed with this saying that Paco had bigger legs and hence he would be able to run faster. So Paco said he would tie a big rock behind him and run with it. The raccoon accepted the race on this condition.
The race would be run on a round track where the start line would serve as the finish line as well. The container of Manchow soup was placed on a rock near the finish line. At the start line, the raccoon waited as Paco counted down and just as he blew his horn, Paco began to run fast, not bothering to see how far the raccoon was behind him. Suddenly, Paco feared where the raccoon was and when he turned back, the raccoon was nowhere in sight. Another fear gripped Paco now. He thought that maybe the raccoon had overtaken him and so he removed the rock from behind his back and began to run at full speed towards the finish line. As soon as he reached the finish line, the raccoon was nowhere in sight and neither was the container of Manchow soup to be seen. Paco panicked and he began to search everywhere for the raccoon and the soup. He went into bushes, he lifted rocks and he climbed trees,but he could not find the raccoon nor the soup.
Paco then went to the river to quench his thirst and there he found the raccoon! In the middle of the river, the raccoon was seated on top of a rock and he did not even notice Paco, as he was bust gulping down the soup from the wooden container. Paco was enraged and he shouted at the raccoon. The raccoon paid no heed to him and continued to drink the soup. Then Paco had no other choice other than to request him to share the soup with him. But the raccoon flatly refused him, saying that he would consider sharing the next time when some other food was available. It was then that Paco realised what he had done.
Moral – One must always learn to be kind to animals and humans alike.