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.

As we are a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, you can also support by donating today!

R is for Golden Rings & Reed Pipe–A to Z Blog Challenge

AtoZ2019RWe 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 Golden…And All Things That Glimmer.  Each post highlights golden items from a folktale from around the world. Each time you have to wonder, is something that is golden a blessing, a curse, or both?

What has inspired all this gold?–The Golden Spike with the 150th Transcontinental Railroad and the Spike 150 Grant for this year’s Story Crossroads Festival.

Golden Rings-

Images of “The Lord of the Rings” comes to mind, though this golden ring that can multiply itself and even serves as a symbol of fertility…combined with death.

Viking Lore AND About Gold Ring Draupnir –http://www.ancientpages.com/2017/07/26/draupnir-god-odins-magical-ring-multiply/

50-word-or-less summary:

Loki tricks dwarves to compete in making gifts for the gods while offering his head in payment. One of the gifts (besides Thor’s hammer) is a ring that multiplies itself with eight other rings-given to Odin. Brokk and Ertri won. Loki said can have his head but not his neck.

Viking Lore AND About Gold Ring Andvaranaut –http://www.ancientpages.com/2017/04/12/andvaranaut-magical-ring-made-gold-stolen-norse-god-loki/


50-word-or-less summary:

Odin, Loki, and Hœnir kill an otter-shapeshifting-dwarf. Father of dwarf seeds skinned otter skin and demands justice. Loki sent to gather ransom (fill otter skin with gold). Loki uses cursed gold of Andvari as well as the magical ring, Andvaranaut. Loki knew curse would destroy Dwarf’s kingdom. Much death.

Golden Reed Pipe-

This is really the same story as “Golden Flute” but this instrument is “Golden Reed Pipe.” Otherwise, the same.  Though, this is more complete than the link found for “Golden Flute.”

China (Yao) – http://chinese-tales.blogspot.com/2008/04/golden-reed-pipe-yao-folktale.html

50-word-or-less summary:

Little Red (girl) stolen by dragon. She predicted brother would save her. Mother confused-no son. She eats berry, pregnant, has son, Little Bayberry. Bayberry becomes like 14-year-old in days. Learns of sister through crow. Quest. Pushes rock. Finds golden flute. Lizards dance/obey. Plays for dragon. Forced dancing. Rescues sister.

Please share in the comments…or anything on your mind.

While you enjoy this blog, Story Crossroads has year-round offerings including the culminating Festival on May 15, 2019 with free performances May 13-16, 2019 (see schedule here: https://storycrossroads.com/2019-schedule/.  

We thank our funders such as the National Endowment for the Arts, the Utah Division of Arts and Museums, the Western States Arts Federation, Utah Humanities, the Utah Department of Heritage and Arts (Spike 150), the City of Murray, the South Jordan Arts Council, Utah Valley University and many other businesses and individuals. Join us in the support by attending or donating or both! (Click here to donate or get tickets.