“Amazing Chicken Soup,” Friend, Apr. 2001, 34
Emily smelled something good coming from the kitchen. I know that smell, she thought. Mom’s making chicken soup. She watched her mom ladle soup from a big, steaming pot into a glass jar. “What are you doing with the soup?” she asked.
“Mrs. Jenkins isn’t feeling well,” Mom replied, putting the jar into a sturdy paper bag with a handle. “I was hoping that you would take it to her.”
“Sure. Your chicken soup always makes me feel better when I’m sick.”
Mrs. Jenkins was their neighbor. She was old and lived alone.
That gave Emily an idea. She raced to her room and hunted for her favorite storybook, “The Three Little Pigs.”
“What’s the book for?” asked Mom.
Emily buckled her sandals. “I thought I’d read it to Mrs. Jenkins while she eats.”
Emily rang Mrs. Jenkins’ doorbell. There was no answer, so Emily rang the doorbell again.
Mrs. Jenkins’ door finally creaked open, and Mrs. Jenkins peeked around the door.
She’s as white as a marshmallow! Emily thought.
“Good afternoon, Emily.” Mrs. Jenkins’ voice was barely above a whisper.
“I brought you some chicken soup that my mother made.” Emily held up the bag. “We hope it makes you feel better.”
“Please come in.”
While Mrs. Jenkins got a bowl from the cupboard, Emily set the soup on the kitchen counter. “I brought a story to read to you while you eat.”
Mrs. Jenkins sipped some of the soup.
“Once upon a time, …” Emily began.
Mrs. Jenkins sipped another spoonful.
“Is the soup good?” Emily asked.
“It’s wonderful.” Mrs. Jenkins smiled. “Now, please read on.”
Emily read. She made huffing and puffing sounds every time the wolf tried to blow one of the pigs’ houses down.
Mrs. Jenkins laughed every time Emily huffed and puffed.
By the time Emily had finished the story, Mrs. Jenkins had finished her soup. Her cheeks were pink, and her eyes sparkled. The chicken soup had sure worked fast!
“Maybe you should have another bowl,” Emily said.
“Only if you read the story again.”
So Mrs. Jenkins had another bowl of soup, and Emily huffed and puffed some more.
“I feel much better,” Mrs. Jenkins said. “Thank you. And thank your mom for me, too.”
“Mom, your chicken soup is amazing!” Emily exclaimed when she went back home. “Mrs. Jenkins already feels better.”
Mom gave Emily a great big hug. “I don’t think it was just the soup.”
The hug felt warm and good. Emily thought about Mrs. Jenkins alone in her big house with no one to share hugs with. “May I read another story to Mrs. Jenkins tomorrow?”
Mom smiled. “I’m sure she’d like that.”
Maybe it isn’t just the chicken soup, Emily decided. Maybe visits and stories are good medicine, too.