The Sorcerer’s Offer | Ep. 184 | Circle Round – WBUR News

Have you ever taken a risk?

And we don’t mean a wild risk, like parachuting out of a plane or riding the motorbike through a flaming hoop! Taking a risk can be as simple as crossing the street all by yourself or trying a new food.

Taking risks may help us grow by challenging us and giving us more confidence. And in today’s story, a kind shepherdess considers taking a risk that could transform her life!

Our story is called “The Sorcerer’s Offer. ” It’s inspired simply by tales from Armenia, in western Asia. Voices inside this episode include Alonda Delgado, Amber Nash, and Bill Ratner.

Alondra Delgado stars in the CW series, All American . Her new book of poetry, Is Mejor to Say Adios , is out now.

Amber Nash stars in the animated grown-up collection Archer on FX, and in the upcoming film, How to Ruin the Holidays.

Bill Ratner has voiced countless movie trailers, documentaries, plus cartoons – including G. I. Joe , Robot Chicken , and Family Guy . He’s also the author of the forthcoming memoir, Announcing the Apocalypse.

This episode was adapted for Circle Circular by Rebecca Sheir. It was edited by Nora Saks. Original music and sound design is by Eric Shimelonis. Our artist is Sabina Hahn.

Coloring Page

(Sabina Hahn for WBUR)
(Sabina Hahn for WBUR)

ADULTS! PRINT THIS so everyone can color while listening. We’re also keeping an album so share your picture on Facebook , Twitter , Instagram , plus tag it with #CircleRound. We’d love to see this! To access all the coloring pages with regard to past episodes, click HERE . Our resident performer is Sabina Hahn and you can learn a lot more about her HERE .

Things To Think About After Listening

By sharing an act of kindness, Penelope received kindness in return. What’s one act of attention you may do this week?

Maybe you can help a grown-up with the chore or even share a favorite toy with the friend. Perhaps you can draw a picture for a relative a person haven’t seen in a while, or donate books to your local library.

Once you’ve decided on an take action of amazing advantages, go away and make it happen. We think you’ll find that a little kindness can go a very long way!

Musical Spotlight: The particular Santur

The santur is a type of hammered dulcimer with Persian origins. (Courtesy of Allauddin)
The santur is a type of hammered dulcimer with Persian origins. (Courtesy of Allauddin)

The santur (a. k. a. santūr, santour, santoor) is a type of hammered dulcimer : the family of stringed instruments you’ll find in various forms across southeastern Europe, the Middle East, and South Asian countries. The santur has roots in Persia, and has the flat, wooden, trapezoid-shaped body with 72 metallic strings strung throughout. To play the santur, you place the particular instrument upon your lap and strike the strings with wood mallets.

The santur has been used inside different ways in different places. In Iran, Iraq, Turkey, and Arabia, it’s been used inside classical music. In Greece, you’ll hear it within folk songs. In South Asia it has strong associations with the Sufi music of the Kashmir region of India. And the particular Ottoman Empire and the Caucasus – where modern-day Armenia is – it’s already been played in popular songs, primarily in urban areas.


NARRATOR: Once upon a time, within a village at the foot associated with a rugged, sloping hill, there lived a shepherdess named Penelope.

Penelope spent her days herding the girl wooly white sheep up and down the hillside. She found them tasty grass plus plants in order to graze on…

PENELOPE: (Calling out to sheep) Dewdrop! Magnolia! Buttercup! Follow me to the particular ridge! You’re going to love this patch of clover I’ve found!

NARRATOR: She cared for them when they were sick or injured…

PENELOPE: Cottonball! How did this particular pebble get stuck inside your hoof? No matter. I’ll take it out there in a jiffy!

NARRATOR: And most importantly, she protected them through danger.

PENELOPE: Stay with the flock, Annabel! You too, Rosemary! The particular last thing I want is regarding you to tumble off a cliff, or get gobbled up simply by a big scary animal like the wolf!

NARRATOR: One evening, after a long day of work, Penelope was herding her flock back down the slope when she heard a sound that sent the chill up her spine.

[SOT: wolf howl]

PENELOPE: Oh no! That was a wolf howl! A fierce, ferocious wolf must be nearby! Come, my darlings! Let’s get out of here!

NARRATOR: Penelope motioned for her flock to follow her to safety. But instead, the sheep let out a frightened bleat…

[SOT: sheep bleating]

NARRATOR: …and began scattering this way and that!

[SOT: sheep bleating]

PENELOPE: Dewdrop! Stop running toward that will cliff! Buttercup! Magnolia! Arrive this way! This way!

NARRATOR: Penelope chased right after the head as they scurried upward, down, and around the particular hillside. But each lamb seemed to be operating in a completely different direction! And before long, Penelope had lost track of them all. The wolf was nowhere to be seen, either.

PENELOPE: I can’t believe this particular! My flock is gone! Scared off by a fierce, ferocious wolf! Or, worse, eaten by it! My sheep are my life – plus my livelihood! What am I likely to do right now? (Bursts into tears. )

WOLF: I am so sorry, good shepherdess!

NARRATOR: Penelope froze.

PENELOPE: (Suddenly stops crying. ) What?!? Who’s there?!?? Who said that?!?

HAIR: I did! And seriously! I am so very apologies!

NARRATOR: Penelope glanced around.

PENELOPE: Yet – but who are you? And where are you? I don’t see anyone else on this hillside!

NARRATOR: Suddenly, Penelope heard a rustling sound. She turned her head, and what should she spy slinking out from beneath a bush… but the wolf!

It was a she-wolf, but there was nothing “fierce” or “ferocious” about her! The creature was small – no larger than a pup. And though the girl green eyes were bright, her gray fur was patchy and matted, plus her body was therefore thin a person could count her ribs!

PENELOPE: Little hair! Are you the one who spoke in order to me just now?

NARRATOR: The wolf tucked her shaggy tail between the girl scrawny legs.

WOLF: Yup. It had been me. I wanted to apologize for scaring away your flock! You see, not thus long ago, We lost my parents, and I’ve been living on my own ever since. Food’s already been hard to come by, so when I actually caught sight of your own plump, hearty sheep I couldn’t help myself!

PENELOPE: But did a person actually catch any associated with my sheep? And did you actually… (unable to bring herself to say “eat them”)… you know…

HAIR: No . I’m so tired and weak, I’m not much of a hunter these days. But I’m sorry intended for scaring your flock away, Penelope. I truly is. Can you forgive me?

NARRATOR: Penelope thought about her lost flock… and lost livelihood. Yet as the girl gazed at the haggard, hungry hair pup, the lady couldn’t assist but feel pity.

PENELOPE: Okay, little wolf. I can forgive you. And you know what? I can do a person one better! Here!

NARRATOR: Penelope reached in to her satchel and tossed the hair some leftover bread plus cheese from lunch. The ravenous creature devoured the food and licked the girl chops.

WOLF: Mmmm! Delicious! Thank you, good shepherdess! I’ll never forget your closeness!

NARRATOR: The wolf lifted the particular corners of her mouth, as if she were smiling. Then she leaped to her feet, blinked her green eyes, and disappeared up the hillside.

PENELOPE: Well that was unexpected! A talking wolf! And a missing group. This hill is therefore rocky plus rugged, the sheep could be anywhere! Trapped behind a boulder, stranded on a cliff… or even worse! But the sun’s going down, so I’d better get home. Maybe I’ll try looking for them tomorrow.

NARRATOR: With the girl heart feeling heavy and her mind hanging low, Penelope trudged down the mountain. But just as she reached the village…

MAN: Good evening, ma’am! Though, judging by the look on your own face, your evening offers been anything but good!

NARRATOR: Penelope looked up. Standing before her was a tall man leading a brown cow. The man was dressed all in black. Penelope thought he looked oddly familiar.

PENELOPE: Oh yea! Hello, sir! Do I understand you?

NARRATOR: The mysterious smile crossed the particular man’s lips.

MAN: Let’s just say We spend our share associated with time around these parts… But tell me, ma’am. Why the long face? What troubles you?

NARRATOR: Penelope felt a sudden urge in order to tell the tall guy everything.

PENELOPE: Well, I’m the shepherdess simply by trade. And today a hair scared off my entire flock! Turns out it has been just a hungry little pup, but regardless, now I’ve lost my sheep… plus my job! I don’t know what I am going to do!

NARRATOR: The particular man gave Penelope a long, thoughtful look.

GUY: Listen, ma’am. I’ll tell you what. You observe this brown cow here?

PENELOPE: I do! She’s beautiful!

MAN: She furthermore gives the best milk in the country! White as the clouds, pure as the snow, and sweet since the honey from a hive! People pay top dollar for milk from this cow. Plus I’d like you to have her!

NARRATOR: Penelope’s jaw dropped.

PENELOPE: You’re giving me your own cow?!?

MAN: Not “giving. ” Loaning. I can let a person borrow this particular beautiful brown cow for three years. She will give you good milk to sell, plus you will never go hungry.

PENELOPE: That would be amazing! (beat) And when the particular three years are upward, I must give her back…?

MAN: Well, not necessarily…. When the three years are up, I will come in order to your house in the stroke of midnight and ask you four questions. If you may answer the questions correctly, you may keep the cow. She will be yours forever.

NARRATOR: Penelope suddenly experienced uneasy. This particular conversation had been taking a very strange turn.

PENELOPE: Okay… But what if I actually can’t answer your questions?

GUY: If you can not answer our questions…

NARRATOR: The man’s face darkened.

MAN: In case you can’t answer my questions, then I will take the cow back… and place a curse upon your house!!!

NARRATOR: All at once, Penelope sensed her blood run cold. Because in that instant the girl realized that this guy was; he was the sorcerer! She’d heard the villagers tell sinister tales about a tall man outfitted in black who worked all sorts of dark magic.

MAN: So , ma’am…? What do you say? Do we have a deal?

NARRATOR: Penelope hesitated. If the lady said simply no, and didn’t take the particular cow, she would be forced to scrape by until the girl found a brand new job. When she discovered a new job!

Yet if the lady said yes, she’d end up being guaranteed three years of comfort. And who else knows? Once the three years were up, she might get lucky and find the right answers to the sorcerer’s questions! And her good fortune would continue!

Penelope was torn. She took a breath, opened the girl mouth, and then –

[Theme music in]

NARRATOR: Oh! You know what that music means! Time for a quick break!
But what do a person think? Will Penelope take the risk… as well as the cow?
We’ll discover out… when Circle Round continues.

[Theme music out]


NARRATOR: I’m Rebecca Sheir. Welcome back to Circle Circular. Today our story is called “The Sorcerer’s Offer. ”

[Theme music out]

NARRATOR: Before the break, the hungry wolf-pup with brilliant green eye scared away Penelope’s go.

The shepherdess was out of luck, plus out of a job, until a sorcerer made her an intriguing offer.

He would loan her his cow, so she can sell the cow’s dairy. But after three years, he would return at midnight and ask Penelope four queries. If she could answer them properly, the cow was hers. But in case she couldn’t, the sorcerer would get back the particular cow… and place a curse on Penelope’s house!

Penelope carefully considered her options. Then the girl stood upward straight plus tall and looked the sorcerer right in the particular eye.

PENELOPE: I’ll take those cow, sir. Plus I’ll get the risk. It’s better than going hungry.

MAN: Very well!

NARRATOR: The wizard handed Penelope the cow’s rope.

MAN: Great luck to you, Penelope. You may very good need it!

NARRATOR: As it turns out, the sorcerer was right about the beautiful brownish cow: the lady did indeed give the best milk within the nation! And customers paid top dollar for it at the particular market.

So it wasn’t long prior to Penelope could afford plenty of great food to eat and nice clothing to wear. She even bought a whole new flock associated with wooly white sheep.

At last, she was living comfortably. Yet in the back of her mind, she has been anything yet comfortable, while she silently counted the days until the sorcerer’s dreaded return.

One year passed… then two… and finally, it has been the night the particular sorcerer was set to come back. Penelope sat by the fireside, wringing her hands as the clock in the village square struck nine [SOT: clock]… then ten [SOT: clock]… after that eleven [SOT: clock]. At five minutes before night time, Penelope jumped up through her chair and started pacing around the living room.

PENELOPE: Just five minutes till the sorcerer comes back and asks his 4 questions! These past 3 years I’ve been so happy, and living so well. But when I can not answer the particular sorcerer’s questions correctly, everything will go up in smoke! And what’s worse, he’ll put a curse on my house! (beat) Ugh. Possibly I shouldn’t have taken the cow! Maybe I should have just let well enough alone and figured out a way to –

[SOT: knock]

PENELOPE: (Gasps. ) Could that will be the particular sorcerer already? He’s early!

NARRATOR: Penelope tiptoed towards the front door plus squinted through the peephole. To her relief, she did not really see the sorcerer. Instead, the girl saw the woman, wearing a hooded cloak made from gray fur. Her vivid green eyes somehow twinkled in the dark.

[SOT: door opens]

PENELOPE: Hello, miss! May I help you?

WOMAN: We hope you can! I’ve already been wandering about the hillside all night and I am so very hungry! Might I come in for a bite to eat?

NARRATOR: Penelope hesitated. The particular sorcerer would be here any minute! Yet she had been too kindhearted to change the woman away.

PENELOPE: Of course you can are available in! Please! Have a seat.

NARRATOR: Penelope led the girl to the fireplace. After that she went into the kitchen and brought out a large plate of food.

PENELOPE: Here you go, skip! Eat almost all you want, and if you’d like seconds, I’m delighted to get you anything your heart desires!

[SOT: clock strikes midnight]

NARRATOR: Penelope felt the girl heart drop. It was midnight! She turned to the particular woman with a nervous grin.

PENELOPE: Miss, I have to tell a person something. You may not believe this, but the sorcerer is on his method to the house! You observe, three years ago he let me borrow a cow, on the condition that once the 3 years experienced passed he’d come back at nighttime and ask me personally four queries. If I actually could solution those four questions correctly, the cow will be mine. But if I couldn’t, this individual would take back the cow and put a problem on the house! Forever!

NARRATOR: As Penelope recounted her tale, the lady expected the woman to grow frightened. But instead, the girl grinned, the girl green eye shining shiny.

WOMAN: That’s quite a tale! Yet don’t you worry about that wizard. You’ve been so kind to me, We promise I can protect a person.

PENELOPE: ‘Protect me’?!? How could you possibly protect myself from a sorcerer with magic powers that will –

[SOT: harsh, aggressive rapping at door]

PENELOPE: Oh no! The sorcerer is here! I’d better allow him inside!

NARRATOR: Penelope was about to open the door whenever all of a sudden the particular woman within the cloak leaped up through her seat and pushed Penelope into the kitchen!

PENELOPE: What do you think that you’re doing? Are you away of your own mind?!? [SOT: gets interrupted]

LADY: No time to get questions! Just stay hidden behind the kitchen door! I told you: I will certainly protect you!

NARRATOR: The woman pulled her hair hood just about all the way over her head, so that it covered the girl face. Then she threw the front doorway open wide and the sorcerer came striding in.

[SOT: door opens]

FEMALE: Greetings, good sir!

MAN: Greetings… Penelope!

NARRATOR: The real Penelope could hardly believe her ears because she hid behind the particular kitchen door. The green-eyed woman in the gray fur cloak has been pretending in order to be the girl! And the sorcerer had been buying this!

GIRL: Well, today that you’ve come back again after three long years… I suppose you’re going to inquire me your four questions?

GUY: Obviously We are! I have long already been awaiting this moment. Are you ready?

WOMAN: Does a wolf howl at the moon? Of course I’m ready!

MAN: Very well, then. I’ll start with an easy one. In summer I actually is dressed up. In winter I feel naked. What is I actually???

NARRATOR: The real Penelope held her breath. The particular four questions were actually riddles! She’d always got trouble solving riddles. Hopefully that was not the case along with her new friend within the hide!

LADY: (Carefully repeating) Let’s see… “In summer I was dressed. Within winter I am naked. ” That’s simple! You are a tree! In summer time you’re covered with leaves and in winter you are bare!

NARRATOR: The sorcerer broke into a grin.

MAN: That is correct, Penelope! The particular answer is a tree! Boy, you’re a quick one, aren’t you?! But to prove how quick you truly are, let’s see in the event that you are able to answer my second question. When I’m empty, I stand. When I am full, I walk. Exactly what is We?

NARRATOR: Trembling in the kitchen, Penelope felt her palms sweat. Yet the woman in the particular cloak seemed cool since a cucumber.

FEMALE: (Carefully repeating) “When I’m empty, I actually stand… Whenever I’m full, I walk. ” Isn’t it obvious? You’re the shoe! You only walk when you’re full of somebody’s ft!

NARRATOR: The wizard grinned again.

GUY: Very great! The answer to my second riddle is really a shoe! But this next one is harder. So listen up. I speak every language, yet I only speak when I is spoken in order to. What are I?

NARRATOR: Penelope’s heart has been beating thus fast, she was certain they could listen to it upon the other side from the door. However the woman within the cloak remained calm plus collected.

WOMAN: (Carefully repeating) “I speak each language, however I just speak once i is spoken to. ” Duh! You’re an echo! We only hear an echo after all of us say something, no matter what language we’re speaking!

NARRATOR: Penelope found herself beaming from ear to hearing. The wizard was, glowing, too – though their jaw was clenched, and beads associated with sweat had been popping up on his forehead.

MAN: (Growing a bit annoyed from her success) My, our, my! You’ve correctly answered three of my riddles, Penelope! When you can’t answer my fourth, I’ll get back the cow… plus leave you with a curse! So right here goes. (beat) I am born within an instant, yet We can last a lifetime. I could bring you in order to laughter, I can bring a person to tears; I could even bring back the particular dead. What is I actually?

NARRATOR: Inside the kitchen area, Penelope’s heart was racing. Could the woman really guess the answer to this particular puzzle?

WOMAN: (Carefully repeating) “I am born in an instant… yet I can final a life time. I can provide you to laughter…I can bring you in order to tears… We can still bring back the dead. ” Hmmmm…

NARRATOR: Penelope’s coronary heart was beating so fast, she thought it would burst from the girl chest. Yet then…

WOMAN: I’ve got it! The answer to your fourth question is… a memory! A memory is born quickly and can stay in your mind forever. It can create you joyful, or sad; it can even make you remember those who are no longer with all of us.

NARRATOR: This time, the particular sorcerer do not smile. Instead, his eyes grew dark and his face increased pale.

MAN: Nicely. What perform you know? You have answered all four associated with my questions correctly, Penelope. As such, you might keep the cow… and your own good fortune. (beat) My work here is done!

NARRATOR: And with that…

[SOT: magical sound]

NARRATOR: :. the sorcerer vanished.

Penelope was therefore excited that she burst with the cooking area door directly into the living room.

PENELOPE: Oh, miss! That was amazing! Exactly how can I actually ever begin to thank -– [stops short]

NARRATOR: Penelope stopped short. With her surprise, the girl was talking to herself! Because the living room was empty. And the front side door has been open broad.

PENELOPE: What?!??

NARRATOR: Penelope hurried out there into the night, hoping to find the green-eyed woman within the grey fur cloak.

PENELOPE: Why did my brand new friend leave so soon? I did not get to thank her on her kindness! I’ll never forget how she –

[SOT: wolf howl]

NARRATOR: Penelope stood stock-still. Then she turned the girl head. And what should the girl spy sitting at the particular end of the lane… but the gray hair.

A gray she-wolf along with twinkling green eyes.

The particular wolf stared at Penelope. Penelope looked back. And just before the wolf hopped to her feet and disappeared straight into the dark… Penelope could have sworn that will maybe, simply maybe, the lady saw the furry beast smile.

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