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The Pot that Would Not Walk

Published June 15, 2005
Countries: England, United Kingdom, Puerto Rico
Age Levels: 5-6 and up

A Big Pot sat in the window of a store.  The Big Pot was made of iron.  It was meant to be used for cooking.

A man saw the Big Pot sitting in the window.  "That Big Pot will make my wife happy," he said to himself.  "I will buy it for her."  He went into the store and bought the Big Pot.  He picked it up and carried it out of the store.  My, the Big Pot was heavy.

He put the Big Pot on his back and started to carry it down the road.  The Pot hurt his back.  The Pot hurt his arms.  It even hurt his legs.  The man stopped to rest.  He put the Big Pot by the side of the road and sat down in the shade to rest.

The man rubbed one arm.  He rubbed his other arm.  He reached behind himself and rubbed his back.  Then he rubbed one sore leg.  He rubbed his other leg.  Then he looked at the Big Pot.  "It is not fair!  I am tired from carrying you."  He looked at the Pot.  It had three legs.

"You have three legs," the man said to the Big Pot.  I only have two," the man said.  "You should be carrying me."  Then the man sat down inside the Pot.  He waited and waited, but the Big Pot did not move.  The Big Pot was sitting in the sun and was very hot.  The man said, "I understand.  You are too hot to walk right now."

"I cannot wait all day," said the man.  "I am walking home on my two legs.  You will have to walk by yourself on your three legs when you cool off."  The man told the Big Pot how to get to his home.  Then he walked home by himself.

"I bought you a gift," said the man to his wife.  "I bought you a Big Pot to cook with."

"I do not see a Big Pot," she said.  "Where is it?  Did you really buy me a gift?"

"The Big Pot was too heavy to carry.  It hurt my back, my arms and my legs," her husband said.  "Then I saw it had three legs.  I only have two.  So, I told it how to get to our home and left it to walk by itself.  It should be here shortly."

The man's wife smiled.  She loved her husband, but he was not always very smart about the things he did.  She thanked her husband for the gift.  She cut him a big slice of warm bread and covered it with fresh butter.  "Sit down and rest," she told him.  She poured him a cold cup of milk.  Then she walked down the road to carry the Big Pot home by herself.

The man was finishing his treat as his wife came home with the heavy Big Pot.  "I am glad that you went to get the Pot," her husband said.  "I was beginning to worry.  It might have run away, and we would have never seen it again." 

Story Notes: This story is folktale motif J1881.1.3.  Versions of the story are told in England.  Juan Bobo tales make use ofthe same plot in Puerto Rico. 

 Dr. Mike Lockett is an educator, storyteller and children's author from Normal, IL. Dr. Lockett has given more than 4000 programs across the USA and as far away as eastern Asia. Contact Mike by writing to in order to book him for a storytelling program or young authors program or to inquire about purchasing his books and CDs