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31 OCTOBER 2021

THREE WONDROUS BEGGARS

HALLOWEEN SPECIAL · PART III

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There once lived a hard-hearted merchant whose name was Roman. He could not stand the sight of poor people, and if he caught sight of a beggar anywhere near his house, he would order the servants to drive him away, or would set the dogs at him.
    Then one night three very poor old men came begging to the door, and just as he was going to let the fierce dogs loose on them, his little daughter, Anastasia, crept close up to him and said: ‘Dear daddy, let the poor old men sleep here to-night.' Her father could not bear to refuse her...

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This episode tells the story of The Three Wonderful Beggars or Vasili the Unlucky.  Originally a Serbian folk tale, it can be found in Andrew Lang's Violet Fairy Book, and was originally collected in Alexander Afanasyev's Russian Fairy Tales, a collection of nearly 600 fairy and folktales published between 1855 and 1863 which he modelled on the work of the Brothers Grimm.

A type of wonder tale, The Three Wonderful Beggars is populated with many familiar folk motifs, but also larger-than-life characters and ideas.

 

Instantly recognisable are the motifs of the hero bearing the letter with instructions for his own death, changed or erased before they reach their recipient. The ploy of pushing a character into a vat in a factory which is avoided or foiled (sometimes suffered instead by the evildoer in other tales). The long quest or journey in which the hero encounters a diverse cast of characters with questions about their own fate. The servant who harbours the hero; the tricking of the enemy into divulging their secret knowledge to the hero unwittingly, here through the ruse of relating a dream.

 

The three beggars of the story's title seem to be a version of the Three Fates. Their unsettling conference in the loft at the beginning of the story sets the story in motion, recalling not just the fates but also the Greek chorus, and characters like Shakespeare's three witches, as they enter and leave the story repeatedly to direct events to their own mystical ends, invoking both forces of destiny, but also justice, as they pronounce upon the character of the greedy merchant. The hero, Vasili, journeys to the ends of the earth and encounters deep mysteries:a talking oak tree, a ferryman (recalling the ferryman who delivers souls to the land of the dead), and a beached whale who has become a bridge, in order to reach the land of the Serpent King.

The original story features 'Marko the Rich' as the evil merchant. This telling changes the merchant's name to Roman: I was concerned that the character of an evil merchant called Mark might easily be an antisemitic motif.

 

A Serpent King (Tsar Zmei) is a mythical serpent in Slavic folklore who symbolises cruelty and evil, but was more than a simple dragon. They appear as either male (Zmei) or female (Zmeya) in Slavic literature and poetry, and appear as dragons, as humans with dragon-like features, or are able to shapeshift and take on these and other forms.  Even in human form they possessed beast-like characteristics, drives and abilities.  They were sometimes depicted with multiple heads (anywhere between three and twelve) and were often matched against Slavic folk heroes known as bogatyr (similar in concept to the knight-errant). 



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EPISODE CREDITS

Stories interpreted and performed by Rick Scott.
Sound editing, audio design and original illustrations by Rick Scott.
Lore & Legend Series Theme composed and performed by Robert Bentall.
Original incidental music and chords also by Robert Bentall.

Podcast hosting by Anchor. Video and audiogram creation using Headliner.

AUDIO CREDITS

'The Streets of Kiev' by Caleb Henessey on Album: Suibhne

'Muzychna Taverna' by Caleb Henessey on Album: Suibhne

'The King's Return' by Caleb Henessey on Album: Suibhne

'Khoru' by Caleb Henessey on Album: Suibhne

'The Manghud' by Caleb Henessey on Album: Suibhne​

Caleb Hennessy Compositions  on:

Bandcamp
Facebook

YouTube

'Night in Russia' by Derek Feichter on Album: Slavic Lands

'The Bogatyr' by Brandon & Derek Feichter on Album: Slavic Lands

Brandon & Derek Feichter Music on:

Bandcamp

Spotify

Youtube

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Additional incidental music, background ambience and sound effects by multiple authors sourced from Freesound.org.

See below for the full list of audio files and attribution credits for the 2021 Halloween Special Episodes:

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crcavol

crcavol

setuniman

setuniman_

setuniman_

adam-n

setuniman

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sankalp

tritus

kyster

robinhood76

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duckduckpony

duckduckpony

everheat

ahill86

focusbay

aderumoro

aderumoro

lazymonk

bosk1

innominatus

crazy-freerider

arnaump

jarredgibb

jarredgibb

jarredgibb

productionnow

fewes

moddingtr

moddingtr

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foolboymedia

leosalom

klankbeeld

csaszi

stevious42

splicesound

inchadney

aglinder

kessir 

kessir

cydon

jsfft

zagi2

darcydunes

sforsman

sforsman

aust-paul

hello-flowers

bevibeldesign

nikhill-kumar

reitanna

150118nicolekalamer 

davidfrbr

adam-n

cormi

tim-kahn

natemarler

natemarler

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arctura

dpsa

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edsward

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tadaizm

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ckvoiceover

ckvoiceover

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170084

turchinoa

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skymary

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shlbystudio

inspectorj

jamius

inspectorj

inspectorj

14fpanskabenesova-barbora

sypherzent

aurelon

domestophonics

4toiletrolltube

toiletrolltube

setuniman

erh

soundholder

soundholder

katfolker

helen-noir

1urker

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topschool

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lyd4tuna

cueckermann

cueckermann

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kyles

novino

tieswijnen

toiletrolltube

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jamesmbock

toiletrolltube

toiletrolltube

johanwestling

be-a-hero-not-a-patriot

lextao

kragdigital

nomerodin1

jonnyruss01

craigsmith

craigsmith

phonosupf

phonosupf

craigsmith

an-na-ba-na-na

phonosupf

bockelsound

phonosupf

phonosupf

phonosupf

phonosupf

phonosupf

phonosupf 

phonosupf

solarphasing

jedimichael

soundflakes_

soundflakes_

petebarry_

kinoton_

johnzwick45

laserlife_

phonosupf__

secondbody__

neospica__

magnuswaker_

quedicemipez

aceinet

profispiesser  

stomachache

newlocknew

digifishmusic

digifishmusic

department64

eminyildirim

eminyildirim

angel-perez-grandi

laribum

robinhood76

fran-ky

sagetyrtle

room

timbre

jasonelrod

mwlandi

timbre

davidou

lxx-70

cgeffex

plamdi1

hamface

11896206_1155901677757253_74058739797073

RICK SCOTT
STORYTELLER