What Is Wishbone Soup?
It's a real soup, though the recipe is vague.
It's a state of mind, which, if by 'cure' we mean 'make better,' does cure everything.
But it started with the soup:
Once upon a time there was a wonky cottage a tiny fireplace that barely heated a room, and an impressive collection of damp draughts.
There was no telephone, no internet, TV reception depended on the weather, and whether they could afford the electric bill.
Living in the cottage was a growing family with a shrinking budget.
When the gas bottle ran out they cooked on the tiny fire.
It was impossibly picturesque so don't feel sorry for them, and most weeks they could buy a chicken from the supermarket.
It was one of those sad chickens; kept in crowded filth for a short life and its bedraggled body injected with water to give an impression of plump health under glossy cellophane.
Not the happiest purchase, just affordable.
After death, the bird was given appreciation.
Roasted with a pile of cheap potatoes on Sunday, Chicken Pie on Monday; bargain-bucket flour, thick pastry; by Tuesday there were only bones left.
The feasting was over.
The bones were simmered into stock, and called Chicken Soup at first, which caused some disappointment, because there was only stock and the cheap potatoes.
So, the wishbone went back in the pot, and the soup was renamed.
Now, it had a prize in it, an actual wish.
Now, it made them laugh.
Eventually, the laughing became more important than the wish.