B is for Beating Bandits – A to Z Blog Challenge

We are pleased to participate in the A to Z Blog Challenge (http://www.a-to-zchallenge.com/). The Story Crossroads theme for this year is Beating the Odds…Lucky Folktales Around the World to Brighten Your Day. Each post highlights that the stars aligned and what would have normally been…bad…turned out after all. Considering what we – as humankind – have experienced the past year, how nice is it to remember that all of us can “beat the odds” to some level in our lives.

And we’ll admit now…some are actually myths, legends, or epics rather than only limited to folktales. So is that a type of “loading the dice”? Ah, but the stories were too wonderful to pass by.


From Norse/Viking-

Vikings sometimes marauded and have a bad reputation of rampaging and raping. This still happened though Vikings could also succeed as traders and farmers. This story focuses on a young man attempting to be accepted into a group of thieves – and could be more likely to be part of a crew that sailed than being land-bound. It’s fascinating that the group wants the young man to steal from a farmer. A Viking farmer had to be multi-talented with skills in blacksmithing, carpentry, growing crops, and animals husbandry. Perhaps this is why the test involved a lot of luck to be more clever than such a multi-talented man. Yet, note the ending. Hmmm.

50-word-or-less summary:

Youth must steal oxen to be in bandit gang. Farmer sees shoe in path placed by youth. Walks by. Second shoe farther on. Ties up ox to run back. Youth takes ox. Another trick. Second ox taken. Admitted in gang. Members flee to prove their skills. Youth returns oxen. Marries farmer’s daughter.

That youth got lucky! Was his true goal to be part of that bandit gang or was it…to be lucky in love? What the summary does not reveal is that when the other bandits flee to prove themselves – after such trickery by that youth – the youth cleared out their den of their treasure stash. The newly married couple will be “set” more so than the average married couple.

Finding the Story “The Master Thief”:

https://en.wikisource.org/wiki/Popular_Tales_from_the_Norse that is also from “Popular Tales from the Norse” by Sir George Webbe Dasent

Version found in “The Red Fairy Book” by Andrew Lang

And many more!

Please share in the comments…or anything on your mind. While you enjoy this blog, Story Crossroads has year-round offerings with virtual as well as proper-distanced/masked/outdoors. We are excited for the monthly All Things Story virtual workshop series as well as Story Crossroads Festival on May 10-13, 2021 (then viewing beyond the event to June 15, 2021). Interested in deeper articles and e-workbooks plus stories, activities, and recipes? Then pursue Story Crossroads Memberships.

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