When Mr. Pot Cracked Storytelling
When Mr. Pot Cracked Storytelling
Categories Protect Nature 

When Mr. Pot Cracked: The Beauty of Imperfection

Retold by Vered Hankin

Once, a long time ago, when people wanted water, they could not just turn on the tap or twist the knobs on the shower or press the button on the drinking fountain. Once, the only way to get water was to walk all the way to the well. The well was very deep, and you would need to throw a big bucket down the well with a rope around the handle. The water would fill up the bucket, and the bucket would become very heavy. Then someone would have to pull, pull, pull the bucket up, up, up out of the well. Not everyone could do this because it was a very difficult job. But people needed water, and so every village had at least one water carrier, someone whose job it was to go fetch the water out of the well. Usually, the water carrier would carry two very large buckets or pots filled with water back and forth from the well to the town. It was a tough job, yes, but it was very rewarding. After all, what more important job could someone have than to supply people with their most basic need--water?

Garvey was the water carrier of his town. He had been the water carrier for many years, and he had watched many children in the town grow up. He had seen many things and spoken to many people and was respected by all. Every single day, he would trudge out to the well with two very large pots. He would fill the two pots to the rim and carry water about the neighborhood, selling some to each of the neighbors. Then he would head back to the well, several times a day, until finally it was time for him to turn in for the night. After all, he needed his sleep for another day of work!

One night as Garvey was sleeping, his pots, the very pots he carried every single day, began whispering to each other. “Did you notice how much water I carried today?” Ms. Pot asked, puffing up. “Did you notice how full I was?”

“Yes, you did pretty well,” Mr. Pot conceded. “But I have to say I was pretty full myself. I’m certain the villagers drank their full in large part because of me!”

“Oh, you think so?” Ms. Pot retorted. “I don’t think you’re quite the pot you think you are.”

“What does that mean?” Mr. Pot raised his voice.

“I’m afraid, Mr. Pot, that your place among the rest of the pots will not last long. You, my friend, are cracked.”

“Agh!” gasped Mr. Pot, and then he fell silent. After a few minutes, Mr. Pot sheepishly looked up. “Um, you were just being mean. right? I’m not really cracked, am I?”

Ms. Pot looked down, ashamed. “I’m sorry I said it in such a mean way, but … I’m afraid you are. Look!”

Mr. Pot looked down and indeed there was a thin but noticeable crack running down his side. “What good am I?” Mr. Pot began to wail. “A cracked pot! Poor Garvey has to work so hard pulling up the water, and then I probably leak it all out!” All night long, Mr. Pot could not sleep. Instead, he just cried silently to himself, and little teardrops slid out through the crack.

The next day, Garvey woke up early as he always did. He lifted Mr. and Ms. Pot over his shoulders, as he usually did. He began walking the long way toward the well. As he walked, Mr. Pot was shaking and shivering, feeling terrible about his crack. Should Mr. Pot tell Garvey? After all, if the water leaked out, Garvey would have to make twice the trips to the well! Just then, they arrived at the well, and Garvey grunted as he slowly and strongly pulled up the full pots of water. He lifted the heavy pots over his shoulders and began on the path back to the village.

Mr. Pot tried soooo hard to hold the water inside, but soon the water began trickling out of the tiny little crack. Mr. Pot felt soooo bad. He finally couldn’t take anymore, and so he called out “Garrvvvveeeeey!”

Garvey turned toward the pot. “Mr. Pot, what is it?” he asked, concerned.

“Oh, Garvey, I’m so sorry, but I’m no use to you anymore. I hate to tell you because I’m sure you’ll throw me out, but … but … well … I have a … crack! I’m leaking!” Mr. Pot covered his ears, terrified at what Garvey might say.

“Oh, Mr. Pot!” Garvey shook his head, smiling. “Is that what you’re worried about?”

Mr. Pot slowly nodded. “Don’t you see?” Garvey asked. “Mr. Pot, look down the path as we walk.” Mr. Pot looked down, though he could barely stand it, and he saw the water spilling out of the crack. “By the time you get to the village half of my water will be gone!” he exclaimed.

“Oh, Mr. Pot,” Garvey said, calmly. “You’re not looking closely enough. Yes, the water is spilling out, but look where it’s going.” Mr. Pot looked down on the ground, and he could barely believe his eyes. Along the path, there was a beautiful trail of flowers, rising up just where the water was falling. “If it wasn’t for you, Mr. Pot, we wouldn’t have these beautiful flowers along the path. Every morning as I walk down this path, my day is brightened as the flowers smile to me, lighting my way. And others in the village feel the same way. We think, thank goodness for Mr. Pot!”

Even Ms. Pot, who heard the whole thing, had to admit that a piece of her wished that it was she who had a crack, just like Mr. Pot. That night, all of the pots in the house honored Mr. Pot for being the most special pot, the only one who could create a trail of flowers for all of them to appreciate as they walked down the long path home.

 Source: Hankin, V., Elias, A. J., Omer, D., & Raviv, A. (2012) Talking Treasure: Stories to Help Build Emotional Intelligence and Resilience in Young Children by Vered Hankin, Maurice J. Elias, Devorah Omer, and Amiram Raviv. Champaign, Illinois: Research Press. www.researchpress.com

Reprinted with permission.