Once upon a time there was a young mother with two young daughters. The father in this family had just left them alone to go on a great quest to a faraway place called "college" and couldn't afford to send them any money. The mother worked very hard, but once the rent was paid there was very little money left over for food.

Since the family lived in a neighborhood where pretty much everyone else was in the same boat, the mother decided to have a party. She knocked on the doors of everyone she knew, and even some people she didn't know, and invited them all over to her house that very night. At each house she would say, "We're providing dinner, but do you happen to have a few onions I could borrow? Or some rice?"

By dinnertime there was a huge pot of tasty tasty soup on the stove (we even put a stone in it), a house full of happy well-fed people, and a neighborhood that knew they would do a lot better in the cruel world if they stuck together and helped each other out.

I always thought the moral of this story was that I have the best mom in the world. And that no matter how poor you are you can usually find something to make soup out of. And that pooled resources go a lot farther than hoarded ones. Geesh, all kinds of morals!