Why the sea is salty

Once upon a time there were two brothers who lived near each other. One was rich and one was poor. On a new years eve, the poor brother had nothing to eat in his house and he had no money to buy any.

Since he had no other choice he went to his rich brother to ask for some food.

The rich brother did not welcome him.

“I'll give you plenty of meat if you promise to go away and never come back" he said grumpily.

“Thank you, thank you “his brother replied, “I promise I’ll never bother your again”

The poor brother was very pleased and he set off with the meat over his back.

On his way back home, he saw an old man with a long white beard. “Good evening” he said “Where are you going?”

“Well I’m going home. My wife is waiting for me.”

The old man was looking at the meat with hungry eyes. The poor man felt sorry for the old man and said “Here, I would like to share my meat with you. No one should be hungry tonight.”

The old man couldn’t believe his eyes; the poor man was so generous! For that reason, he gave him a hand-mill as a gift.

The poor man thanked the old man for the hand-mill. He had no idea that it was a magic mill!

When he got home, his wife was very happy. Soon, they sat at the table. But they had no lights. “I wish this mill could grind lights” she whispered with a sigh. At once there were candles shining everywhere. “Grind a tablecloth!” she whispered again. A snow white cloth appeared. Now the husband asked the mill for meat, bread, milk, and presents until the cottage was filled with good things. The mill went on grinding whatever they wanted, day or night.

The poor couple loved to share whatever they had. So they invited all their neighbors for a feast. When his rich brother arrived he was very angry and jealous at all the changes in his brother’s house.

“My brother had no food and money. Now he’s giving a feast like this! Does he think he is the King? Where did all these things come from?”

The younger brother was always honest with his older brother and “Oh from here and there” the poor man said “It’s just my little secret” and he couldn’t keep his little secret to himself any longer.

“Here‘s my secret, this little mill made me a rich man” He made the mill grind a great present for each of his friends and showed them how it worked.

Well, this made the elder brother even angrier for he hated to see anyone else getting rich. He wanted to mill very much, so he begged his brother to sell it to him. In the end, the younger brother agreed to give up the mill at harvest time for a large bag of gold. That mill worked very hard for the next few months because the younger brother filled his house with enough money and treasure to last him for many years.

At last harvest time came and the rich brother couldn’t wait to get the mill. He was in such a hurry to take it away that he didn’t even ask how it worked!

The next day he sent his wife to the fields and said “I’ll stay and get dinner ready “

Just before dinner time, he put the mill on the table in the kitchen and said “Grind lentil soup! Grind at once and well” He ordered. At once the mill began to grind out lentil soup. It filled every bowl, every dish, and every pan in the house. Then it overflowed all over the kitchen floor and the table and the chairs started to float. The man grabbed the mill. He twisted it to make it stop but it was useless. He couldn’t turn the mill off!

He ran across the farmyard and down the road. But the mill kept on grinding. The lentil soup was bubbling, splashing, and spluttering and rushing after the man. He ran until he reached his brothers house and begged “stop this thing from grinding, if you don’t, the whole village will be flooded by lentil soup; and you can take the horrible mill back at once”

“Certainly“ the other brother said calmly, and got the mill back.

So the younger brother was richer than the old brother. They build a very big house near the sea. The house was shining with gold, so that it was as good as a light house for the ships far out on the sea.

One day a sea captain sailed into the harbor. He went to see the famous house and the mill.

“Can it grind salt?” he asked

“Salt!” said the owner. “This mill can grind anything”

“I’d like to buy your mill. What’s your price?” he asked

“I can’t give it up” said the man “It’s just like an old friend now”

But the captain begged him to change his mind and after some time the man agreed to sell the mill for a big bag of gold.

The sea captain set off at once with the mill on his back and his sailors set sail for the open seas.

The captain sailed his ship to the middle of the sea and ordered

“Open all doors to the store rooms, men!”

“Now, grind salt! Grind at once and grind it fast!” At once the mill obeyed the order. White salt poured out. It flowed smoothly like a river. It couldn’t stop! The whole ship was full of salt!

“I can’t turn the steering wheel” called the sailor “There’s salt all around it”

The captain shouted at the mill to stop grinding. But salt kept pouring out. He pulled and tugged at it. His sailors pulled and tugged at it. No matter what they did how hard they tried, it didn’t stop. His ship was sinking!

The lifeboats reached the water just in time. The ship sank in front of their eyes. The mill went to the bottom of the sea but it didn’t stop grinding. It goes on day after day grinding away and that is why the sea is salty.