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There is a common European folk-tale, often called ‘the little porridge pot.’ It tells the story of a family of hungry peasants who are given a magic cooking pot by the usual mysterious outsider. They are told two words of command: one makes the pot produce an endless supply of porridge; the second makes it stop. The pot will obviously change the peasants’ lives: hunger, and the fear of it, will be banished by a ready, endless supply of food: humble, monotonous perhaps in modern eyes, but a nourishing staple. All is well; the peasants no longer go to bed hungry.