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Circle Round Stories, 'Of Beans and Bunnies' | Ep. 164 (1)

'Of Beans and Bunnies' | Ep. 164 (1)

Ever heard the phrase “live by your wits”?

If you live by your wits, then you're using your cleverness and cunning to get by. In today's tale we'll meet a character who doesn't just live by his wits; he uses them to outwit a not-very-nice guy!

NARRATOR: Long, long ago, if you lived in a certain small town in a certain faraway land and you ran into money trouble you needed cash to buy food, say, or pay a bill then you would go to the town banker to ask for a loan.

TOWNSPERSON 1: Please sir, my crop didn't do well this season and my family is hungry. May I borrow some gold coins?

NARRATOR: The banker was always happy to grant such requests.

BANKER: Why of course you can borrow some gold coins!

NARRATOR: There was just one catch. If you were the least bit late in paying back the money you owed?

TOWNSPERSON 1: I'm sorry, sir, but I'm going to be late with the money I owe!

NARRATOR: Then the banker would get his revenge.

BANKER: You're going to be late, you say?!? Unacceptable! For every day you're late in paying me back, I will double the amount you owe me. Double!

NARRATOR: So let's say you owed the banker twenty gold coins. The first day you were late with your payment you would owe him forty gold coins. The second day, you would owe him eighty. Then 160, and so on!

So as you can imagine, the townspeople lived in fear of the banker, who showed no mercy when somebody fell on hard times.

BANKER: You owe me double! And you! And you! And you! !

NARRATOR: Now, it just so happens that one day a traveler made his way to the banker's town. His name was Pedro.

And though Pedro carried not much more than the clothes on his back and the brains in his head—those brains were remarkable! For Pedro, you see, was as sharp and clever as they come. So even though he rarely had more than two coins in his pocket, he always had his wits.

When Pedro got to town he happened to overhear the banker talking with one of the townspeople who owed him money.

TOWNSPERSON 2: I'm sorry, Mister Banker. But I can't pay back your loan!

BANKER: You can't pay back my loan, you say? Then tomorrow, first thing in the morning, I'll be back. And you'll owe me double! Did you hear me? Double!

NARRATOR: Pedro was aghast at the banker's words. And at the way those words left the townsperson in tears!

TOWNSPERSON 2: (ad-lib crying)

PEDRO: Gosh! That banker is awful! I should do something to teach him a lesson. The question is... what?! ?

NARRATOR: Pedro's clever mind mulled over the various tricks he could play. And at last…

PEDRO: A-ha!

NARRATOR: He came upon a brilliant idea!

As the sun began to set, he rummaged through his satchel and fished out his coin purse. He loosened the drawstrings and peered inside.

PEDRO: Ah, just as I thought. I'm down to my last gold coin. But no matter. I've got something more valuable than that: my wits!

NARRATOR: Pedro put away his coin purse, hoisted his satchel over his shoulder, and raced over to the grocer's shop.

[SOT: door open/bell tinkle]

GROCER: Greetings, sir! How may I help you?

PEDRO: If you please, Madam Grocer, I'd like one clay pot, one cup of dry black beans, and one wooden spoon. Oh! And some charcoal! A whole bag, if you have it. I'll give you one gold coin for it. I'm afraid it's all I have.

GROCER: One gold coin?

NARRATOR: The grocer scratched her chin.

GROCER: Well, times have been hard, and I owe a certain banker a boatload of money. So one gold coin is better than no gold coins! You may have your one clay pot, your one cup of dry black beans, your wooden spoon, and your charcoal.

PEDRO: Thank you! Thank you very much!

NARRATOR: Pedro dropped the clay pot, dry black beans, wooden spoon, and charcoal into his satchel, then made his way to the banker's big, grand house.

It was nighttime by now, so no one was about. And right there, beneath a tree on the side of the road, Pedro rolled out a blanket and went to sleep.

PEDRO: (snoring)

NARRATOR: A few hours later, just before daybreak, Pedro woke back up again.

PEDRO: Okay! Come sunrise, that stingy banker will be striding out of his house to collect his debts. I'd better act fast!

NARRATOR: Working quickly and quietly, Pedro took the dry black beans he purchased the night before, and tossed them into the clay pot he'd purchased the night before.

[SOT: beans fall into pot]

NARRATOR: Then he filled the pot with water from his canteen.

[SOT: water pours]

NARRATOR: After that he laid the charcoal on the side of the road and lit a fire.

[SOT: lights fire]

NARRATOR: Beside the fire he dug a small hole. Once the fire died down a bit, Pedro shoveled the glowing coals into the hole.

[SOT: shoveling coals]

NARRATOR: Then he placed the pot of beans over the coals so that you couldn't see them; it looked like the pot was just resting on the ground.

As the water began to boil and the beans began to cook, Pedro used his wooden spoon to stir the pot, as he recited a little rhyme.

PEDRO: Magic pot! Make some heat! Give me something good to eat! (beat) Magic pot! Make some heat! Give me something good to eat! Magic pot! Make some heat! Give me something good to—

BANKER: Excuse me, sir! ?

NARRATOR: Pedro looked up. Standing before him, in a fancy suit and shiny shoes, was the banker!

BANKER: I heard you saying your little poem as I walked out of my house just now. Given that you are on my property I demand to know. Who are you?!? And what are you doing?! ?

NARRATOR: Pedro gave his steaming pot a stir, then gave the banker a smile.

PEDRO: My name is Pedro, sir. And can't you see? I'm cooking breakfast!

BANKER: But how?!? There's no fire! The water in that pot is boiling, and I can smell the aroma of black beans cooking, yet I don't see so much as a flame!

PEDRO: That's because it's a magic pot, sir! It doesn't need any fire or flames! You just put your food in, you place the pot on the ground, you say the magic words – Magic pot! Make some heat! Give me something good to eat! – and it begins to cook! Just like that!

BANKER: Well, butter me up and call me a biscuit! That is amazing!

NARRATOR: As the banker watched the pot bubble and boil, his eyes grew wider and wider, and Pedro knew exactly what the greedy man was thinking. He was envisioning all the delicious foods he could make if this magic pot were his – or all the money he could make if he sold such a treasure!

BANKER: Listen, uh, Pedro, was it?

PEDRO: Yup! Pedro!

BANKER: Pedro. This magic pot of yours, how much do you want for it?

NARRATOR: Pedro's heart skipped a beat. Just as he'd hoped, the banker was falling for his trick.

PEDRO: I'm sorry, sir, but my pot isn't for sale! There's not another pot like it in the whole wide world!

BANKER: I'll give you one-hundred gold coins for it!

PEDRO: One-hundred gold coins? That's it? For an extraordinary pot like this one?

Frankly, sir, I am insulted!

BANKER: Two-hundred, then?

PEDRO: Nope.

BANKER: How about we raise it to five-hundred! ?

PEDRO: Nuh-uh.

BANKER: Double it to a thousand? One-thousand gold coins for your magic pot? What do you say?

NARRATOR: Pedro pretended to sigh.

PEDRO: (big over-dramatic SIGH) Alright, fine. You win. One-thousand gold coins it is.

BANKER: Splendid! I'll just go inside and collect my money! Stay right where you are! I'll be back in a flash!

NARRATOR: As the banker disappeared into his house, Pedro ate some beans from his so-called “magic” pot.

PEDRO: (eating beans) Mm-mm-mm! I have to say – this banker fellow might be made of money, but he certainly isn't made of brains! He's totally fallen for my trick!

NARRATOR: Moments later, the banker came back, holding a big silk purse.

BANKER: Here you go, Pedro! One-thousand gold coins! In exchange for your magic pot!

PEDRO: Thank you, sir! Something tells me my pot is in just the right hands.

NARRATOR: And with that, Pedro ran off down the road, one-thousand gold coins in hand.

The banker, meanwhile, began gobbling up the black beans in the clay pot.

BANKER: (ad-lib gobbling up beans in pot)

NARRATOR: Before long, the pot was empty.

BANKER: Oh! That hit the spot! Those beans were scrumptious! But I have a hankering for some more.

NARRATOR: So the banker raced into his house, grabbed a fistful of dry beans, then dashed out and plunked them into the pot.

BANKER: Okay, what were those magic words again? (beat) (trying to remember)

Magic pot, make some heat. give me something good to eat! (beat) Hmmm. Nothing's happening. Let me try again.

(clears throat) Magic pot! Make some heat! Give me something good to eat! Still nothing? Hmmm...

NARRATOR: The banker spent the next hours reciting the magic words again…

BANKER: (desperate, tired) Magic pot! Make some heat! Give me something good to eat!

NARRATOR: …and again!

BANKER: Magic pot! Make some heat! Give me something good to eat!

NARRATOR: But the pot refused to cook! At last, the banker reached down and lifted the pot off the ground. And the moment he did…

BANKER: (shocked) Well, fry me in butter and call me a catfish! There are coals underneath this pot! And they're black and cold as can be!

NARRATOR: The banker felt his stomach clench. His jaw, too. And all at once, he realized: the magic pot wasn't magic at all!

BANKER: That settles it. I will get revenge on this Pedro fellow. And oh, victory will be sweet!

[theme music in]

NARRATOR: What do you think the banker will do next?

And will Pedro get away scot-free? Or will he have to pay the piper?

Or… banker?

We'll find out… after a quick break.

[theme music out]

[BREAK]

[theme music in]

NARRATOR: Welcome back to Circle Round. I'm Rebecca Sheir. Today our story is called “Of Beans and Bunnies.”

[theme music out]

NARRATOR: Before the break, a hardhearted banker gave mischievous, quick-witted Pedro one-thousand gold coins for a magic pot – which, as it turned out, wasn't magic at all!

Pedro took the gold coins and handed them out to all the townspeople who couldn't afford to pay back the banker's loans.

TOWNSPERSON 1: Thank you, Pedro!

TOWNSPERSON 2: Thank you, Pedro!

TOWNSPERSON 3: Thank you!

TOWNSPERSON 4: Thank you!

TOWNSPERSON 5: Thank you!

NARRATOR: Pedro knew the banker would be furious once he learned the magic pot wasn't really magic. So the clever fellow decided to cook up another scheme.

Keeping a handful of coins for himself, he visited a farm on the edge of town and told the farmer he'd like to buy two...bunnies.

PEDRO: Those twins over there! The little gray ones that look exactly alike! I'll take them both!

NARRATOR: Pedro brought the twin bunnies to a nearby boarding house and rented a room. Then he asked the owner of the boarding house if she could do a certain favor.

PEDRO: Dear lady, I wonder if, for dinner tonight, you can prepare a feast in the dining room. The finest meal you can muster. Roasted meat, luscious stew, perhaps a nice fried fish? Say, five o'clock? I'll give you several gold coins for your trouble.

NARRATOR: The woman agreed. So Pedro left one of his new bunnies at the boarding house, then tucked the other identical bunny into his satchel and made his way into town.



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'Of Beans and Bunnies' | Ep. 164 (1)

Ever heard the phrase “live by your wits”?

If you live by your wits, then you're using your cleverness and cunning to get by. In today's tale we'll meet a character who doesn't just live by his wits; he uses them to outwit a not-very-nice guy!

**NARRATOR:** Long, long ago, if you lived in a certain small town in a certain faraway land and you ran into money trouble you needed cash to buy food, say, or pay a bill then you would go to the town banker to ask for a loan.

**TOWNSPERSON 1:** Please sir, my crop didn't do well this season and my family is hungry. May I borrow some gold coins?

**NARRATOR:** The banker was always happy to grant such requests.

**BANKER:** Why of course you can borrow some gold coins!

**NARRATOR:** There was just one catch. If you were the least bit late in paying back the money you owed?

**TOWNSPERSON 1:** I'm sorry, sir, but I'm going to be late with the money I owe!

**NARRATOR:** Then the banker would get his revenge.

**BANKER:** You're going to be late, you say?!? Unacceptable! For every day you're late in paying me back, I will double the amount you owe me. Double!

**NARRATOR:** So let's say you owed the banker twenty gold coins. The first day you were late with your payment you would owe him forty gold coins. The second day, you would owe him eighty. Then 160, and so on!

So as you can imagine, the townspeople lived in fear of the banker, who showed no mercy when somebody fell on hard times.

**BANKER:** You owe me double! And you! And you! And you! !

**NARRATOR:** Now, it just so happens that one day a traveler made his way to the banker's town. His name was Pedro.

And though Pedro carried not much more than the clothes on his back and the brains in his head—those brains were remarkable! For Pedro, you see, was as sharp and clever as they come. So even though he rarely had more than two coins in his pocket, he always had his wits.

When Pedro got to town he happened to overhear the banker talking with one of the townspeople who owed him money.

**TOWNSPERSON 2:** I'm sorry, Mister Banker. But I can't pay back your loan!

**BANKER:** You can't pay back my loan, you say? Then tomorrow, first thing in the morning, I'll be back. And you'll owe me double! Did you hear me? Double!

**NARRATOR:** Pedro was aghast at the banker's words. And at the way those words left the townsperson in tears!

**TOWNSPERSON 2:** (ad-lib crying)

**PEDRO:** Gosh! That banker is awful! I should do something to teach him a lesson. The question is... what?! ?

**NARRATOR:** Pedro's clever mind mulled over the various tricks he could play. And at last…

**PEDRO:** A-ha!

**NARRATOR:** He came upon a brilliant idea!

As the sun began to set, he rummaged through his satchel and fished out his coin purse. He loosened the drawstrings and peered inside.

**PEDRO:** Ah, just as I thought. I'm down to my last gold coin. But no matter. I've got something more valuable than that: my wits!

**NARRATOR:** Pedro put away his coin purse, hoisted his satchel over his shoulder, and raced over to the grocer's shop.

**[SOT: door open/bell tinkle]**

**GROCER:** Greetings, sir! How may I help you?

**PEDRO:** If you please, Madam Grocer, I'd like one clay pot, one cup of dry black beans, and one wooden spoon. Oh! And some charcoal! A whole bag, if you have it. I'll give you one gold coin for it. I'm afraid it's all I have.

**GROCER:** One gold coin?

**NARRATOR:** The grocer scratched her chin.

**GROCER:** Well, times have been hard, and I owe a certain banker a boatload of money. So one gold coin is better than no gold coins! You may have your one clay pot, your one cup of dry black beans, your wooden spoon, and your charcoal.

**PEDRO:** Thank you! Thank you very much!

**NARRATOR:** Pedro dropped the clay pot, dry black beans, wooden spoon, and charcoal into his satchel, then made his way to the banker's big, grand house.

It was nighttime by now, so no one was about. And right there, beneath a tree on the side of the road, Pedro rolled out a blanket and went to sleep.

**PEDRO:** (snoring)

**NARRATOR:** A few hours later, just before daybreak, Pedro woke back up again.

**PEDRO:** Okay! Come sunrise, that stingy banker will be striding out of his house to collect his debts. I'd better act fast!

**NARRATOR:** Working quickly and quietly, Pedro took the dry black beans he purchased the night before, and tossed them into the clay pot he'd purchased the night before.

**[SOT: beans fall into pot]**

**NARRATOR:** Then he filled the pot with water from his canteen.

**[SOT: water pours]**

**NARRATOR:** After that he laid the charcoal on the side of the road and lit a fire.

**[SOT: lights fire]**

**NARRATOR:** Beside the fire he dug a small hole. Once the fire died down a bit, Pedro shoveled the glowing coals into the hole.

**[SOT: shoveling coals]**

**NARRATOR:** Then he placed the pot of beans over the coals so that you couldn't see them; it looked like the pot was just resting on the ground.

As the water began to boil and the beans began to cook, Pedro used his wooden spoon to stir the pot, as he recited a little rhyme.

**PEDRO:** Magic pot! Make some heat! Give me something good to eat! (beat) Magic pot! Make some heat! Give me something good to eat! Magic pot! Make some heat! Give me something good to—

**BANKER:** Excuse me, sir! ?

**NARRATOR:** Pedro looked up. Standing before him, in a fancy suit and shiny shoes, was the banker!

**BANKER:** I heard you saying your little poem as I walked out of my house just now. Given that you are on my property I demand to know. Who are you?!? And what are you doing?! ?

**NARRATOR:** Pedro gave his steaming pot a stir, then gave the banker a smile.

**PEDRO:** My name is Pedro, sir. And can't you see? I'm cooking breakfast!

**BANKER:** But how?!? There's no fire! The water in that pot is boiling, and I can smell the aroma of black beans cooking, yet I don't see so much as a flame!

**PEDRO:** That's because it's a magic pot, sir! It doesn't need any fire or flames! You just put your food in, you place the pot on the ground, you say the magic words – Magic pot! Make some heat! Give me something good to eat! – and it begins to cook! Just like that!

**BANKER:** Well, butter me up and call me a biscuit! That is amazing!

**NARRATOR:** As the banker watched the pot bubble and boil, his eyes grew wider and wider, and Pedro knew exactly what the greedy man was thinking. He was envisioning all the delicious foods he could make if this magic pot were his – or all the money he could make if he sold such a treasure!

**BANKER:** Listen, uh, Pedro, was it?

**PEDRO:** Yup! Pedro!

**BANKER:** Pedro. This magic pot of yours, how much do you want for it?

**NARRATOR:** Pedro's heart skipped a beat. Just as he'd hoped, the banker was falling for his trick.

**PEDRO:** I'm sorry, sir, but my pot isn't for sale! There's not another pot like it in the whole wide world!

**BANKER:** I'll give you one-hundred gold coins for it!

**PEDRO:** One-hundred gold coins? That's it? For an extraordinary pot like this one?

Frankly, sir, I am insulted!

**BANKER:** Two-hundred, then?

**PEDRO:** Nope.

**BANKER:** How about we raise it to five-hundred! ?

**PEDRO:** Nuh-uh.

**BANKER:** Double it to a thousand? One-thousand gold coins for your magic pot? What do you say?

**NARRATOR:** Pedro pretended to sigh.

**PEDRO:** (big over-dramatic SIGH) Alright, fine. You win. One-thousand gold coins it is.

**BANKER:** Splendid! I'll just go inside and collect my money! Stay right where you are! I'll be back in a flash!

**NARRATOR:** As the banker disappeared into his house, Pedro ate some beans from his so-called “magic” pot.

**PEDRO:** (eating beans) Mm-mm-mm! I have to say – this banker fellow might be made of money, but he certainly isn't made of brains! He's totally fallen for my trick!

**NARRATOR:** Moments later, the banker came back, holding a big silk purse.

BANKER: Here you go, Pedro! One-thousand gold coins! In exchange for your magic pot!

**PEDRO:** Thank you, sir! Something tells me my pot is in just the right hands.

**NARRATOR:** And with that, Pedro ran off down the road, one-thousand gold coins in hand.

The banker, meanwhile, began gobbling up the black beans in the clay pot.

**BANKER:** (ad-lib gobbling up beans in pot)

**NARRATOR:** Before long, the pot was empty.

**BANKER:** Oh! That hit the spot! Those beans were scrumptious! But I have a hankering for some more.

**NARRATOR:** So the banker raced into his house, grabbed a fistful of dry beans, then dashed out and plunked them into the pot.

**BANKER:** Okay, what were those magic words again? (beat) (trying to remember)

Magic pot, make some heat. give me something good to eat! (beat) Hmmm. Nothing's happening. Let me try again.

(clears throat) Magic pot! Make some heat! Give me something good to eat! Still nothing? Hmmm...

**NARRATOR:** The banker spent the next hours reciting the magic words again…

**BANKER:** (desperate, tired) Magic pot! Make some heat! Give me something good to eat!

**NARRATOR:** …and again!

**BANKER:** Magic pot! Make some heat! Give me something good to eat!

**NARRATOR:** But the pot refused to cook! At last, the banker reached down and lifted the pot off the ground. And the moment he did…

**BANKER:** (shocked) Well, fry me in butter and call me a catfish! There are coals underneath this pot! And they're black and cold as can be!

**NARRATOR:** The banker felt his stomach clench. His jaw, too. And all at once, he realized: the magic pot wasn't magic at all!

**BANKER:** That settles it. I will get revenge on this Pedro fellow. And oh, victory will be sweet!

**[theme music in]**

**NARRATOR:** What do you think the banker will do next?

And will Pedro get away scot-free? Or will he have to pay the piper?

Or… banker?

We'll find out… after a quick break.

**[theme music out]**

**[BREAK]**

**[theme music in]**

**NARRATOR:** Welcome back to Circle Round. I'm Rebecca Sheir. Today our story is called “Of Beans and Bunnies.”

**[theme music out]**

**NARRATOR:** Before the break, a hardhearted banker gave mischievous, quick-witted Pedro one-thousand gold coins for a magic pot – which, as it turned out, wasn't magic at all!

Pedro took the gold coins and handed them out to all the townspeople who couldn't afford to pay back the banker's loans.

**TOWNSPERSON 1:** Thank you, Pedro!

**TOWNSPERSON 2:** Thank you, Pedro!

**TOWNSPERSON 3:** Thank you!

**TOWNSPERSON 4:** Thank you!

**TOWNSPERSON 5:** Thank you!

**NARRATOR:** Pedro knew the banker would be furious once he learned the magic pot wasn't really magic. So the clever fellow decided to cook up another scheme.

Keeping a handful of coins for himself, he visited a farm on the edge of town and told the farmer he'd like to buy two...bunnies.

**PEDRO:** Those twins over there! The little gray ones that look exactly alike! I'll take them both!

**NARRATOR:** Pedro brought the twin bunnies to a nearby boarding house and rented a room. Then he asked the owner of the boarding house if she could do a certain favor.

**PEDRO:** Dear lady, I wonder if, for dinner tonight, you can prepare a feast in the dining room. The finest meal you can muster. Roasted meat, luscious stew, perhaps a nice fried fish? Say, five o'clock? I'll give you several gold coins for your trouble.

**NARRATOR:** The woman agreed. So Pedro left one of his new bunnies at the boarding house, then tucked the other identical bunny into his satchel and made his way into town.

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