I opened a can of soup yesterday and a genie appeared.      
      "Who are you?" I asked.      
      "I am the Soup Genie, " he said. "I've come to grant you three wishes!"       "That's easy, " I said. "I wish to be happy all the time, for the rest of my life, no matter what!"
      "I'm just a Soup Genie," he replied. "I'm only allowed to grant wishes having to do with soup."      
      This was getting boring. I mean, I'll have a cup of soup every now and then, but I'm not what you'd call in love with the stuff.      
      But suddenly I had a brainstorm.      
      "Genie," I said. "For my first wish, I would like a cup of soup, that when I drink it, it will make me happy all the time, for the rest of my life, no matter what!"      "Granted," said the genie, bowing low with his hands folded together. On the table in front of me suddenly appeared a bowl of thick, steaming, yellow-green, ugly, stinky liquid that looked and smelled awful! Still, I picked up a spoon, placed it in the soup, and brought it to my lips.
      "Aaaaaaaagggghhhhhhhh!" I screamed. It tasted as bad as it looked! I could never get that stuff down my throat!      
      Just then, my dog, Poochie, came running in from the next room, jumped up on the table, buried his face in the bowl, and slurped up all the soup. Poochie will eat anything! Then he ran, laughing and smiling, back into the next room, and I knew at least that Poochie was going to be happy all the rest of his life.      
      "That was your first wish," said the genie slowly.     
      I started to panic. Then I remembered, I did still have two more wishes.      And then I had a second brainstorm.      
      "Genie," I said, "For my second wish, I would like a soup that is very tasty, and will make me happy all the time for the rest of my life, no matter what!"            "Granted," said the genie, bowing again.
      On the table now there suddenly appeared a bowl of—well, it looked like some kind of vegetable-tofu soup, or something. This time, it looked and smelled delicious. I spooned up a little bit of this soup and brought it to my mouth. Ex-cel-lent!
      "Genie," I said, "For my third wish, could you get me a few crackers, since they do have something to do with soup?"      
      "Why, yes," said the genie, bowing a third time. "Crackers we can get you."      So I crunched up the crackers and slurped down the soup.      

     And that's why, ever since that day, I've been completely happy, all the time, no matter what's happened to me! I don't tell most people how I got this way, for the simple reason that they wouldn't believe me.      
     Usually, folks just assume that I've either fallen in love or inherited a lot of money. But it was just the soup that I wished for and drank on that special day.
     And oh, yes. Poochie's at home, and he's still laughing and smiling, too!

© 1990, 2004  by Max Reif

Stories page