A-Z Challenge

S is for Sweet Porridge (Fairy Tale Spotlight A-Z)

The Sweet Porridge Fairy Tale Vs. The Boston Molasses Disaster of 1919

A long time ago – and yet perhaps it wasn’t such a very long time ago –
there lived a woman and her daughter. They were poor and they were hungry.

One day, fortune shone upon the daughter. She met an old woman in the dark woods who (of course) gave her an enchanted pot that magically bubbled-up sweet porridge anytime it heard the words, “Little pot, cook.”

Happy, and with full bellies, the girl and her mother lived until one fateful day when the girl was away and her mother forgot how to make the pot STOP.

The whole village nearly drowned in sweet, sticky porridge.  None too soon, the girl returned home and said, “Little pot, stop.” And so it was, the disaster was mended and the story ended.

Oddly enough the Sweet Porridge fairy tale, which is hundreds of years old, rings a striking resemblance to a bit of lesser known American history: The Great Boston Molasses Disaster of 1919.  {Insert Twilight Zone music here.}

On January 15, 1919, a large molasses storage tank burst at its’ seems. This sent and a wave of molasses rushed through the streets of Boston. This molasses flood killing 21 and injured 150. It is said, on hot summer days you can still smell the sticky sweetness. Eerie coincidence or something more?

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2 thoughts on “S is for Sweet Porridge (Fairy Tale Spotlight A-Z)

    • Sure. I discovered the molasses disaster when reviewing reading passages to use with my 5th grade students at school.

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