Straw, coal, and bean

An old woman lived in a village. She had gathered a serving of beans and wanted to cook them, so she prepared a fire in her fireplace. To make it burn faster she lit it with a handful of straw. While she was pouring the beans into the pot, one of them fell unnoticed to the floor, coming to rest next to a piece of straw. Soon afterward a glowing coal jumped out of the fireplace and landed next to them. The straw said, Dear friends, where do you come from? The coal answered, I jumped from the fireplace, to my good fortune. If I had not forced my way out, I surely would have died. I would have burned to ash. The bean said, I too saved my skin. If the old woman had gotten me into the pot I would have been cooked to mush without mercy, just like my comrades. - Would my fate have been any better? said the straw. The old woman sent all my brothers up in fire and smoke. She grabbed sixty at once and killed them. Fortunately I slipped through her fingers.
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