Trummisen/The Drummer | Skillshare Projects

Emil Siggelkow




Trummisen/The Drummer

Preface: I want all your constructive comments!!! :)


Trummisen – The Drummer


I would like to rewrite/storyboard an old fairy tale with the advice provided in this class. I have already added significantly to the original 4 or 5 sentences that the myth is traditionally, but hopefully Danny and other people in this class can help me improve it! The myth originally comes from the German city of Wismar, which was ruled by Sweden for about 200 years - hence the Swedisch title. :)

Det var en gång [once upon a time] a young man was wrongly accused of a grave crime. He was taken to court and, with the weight of the evidence against him, the judge was compelled to sentence the boy to death. As the court made preparations for the young man’s execution, a witness came to testify on his behalf. Eager to find proof of the boy’s innocence, the judge was prepared to retry the case. But the witness unexpectedly made an immediate appeal to the judge: „This boy is the finest drummer in all the Swedish army. He does not need to stand trial in your court. If he is innocent, then let his drum resonate through this earth!“

The judge, disbelieving this testimony, asked the boy whether he would prefer to have another trial or to accept the witness’s challenge. The boy assured the judge that he was indeed the best drummer in all of Sweden and that he could prove his innocence with his drum.

The judge revised the sentencing: the boy would to be sent into the crypt of the Franciscan Monastery. From there he would march through the crypt’s tunnels to the Church of St. Jakob while drumming. If his drum could be heard on the streets of the town, then his innocence would be assured. Once more the judge asked the boy if he could fulfill such a task. Confident in his abilities, the boy hesitated not a moment before attesting to his unparalleled skill.

Dressed in full uniform, the young drummer was then escorted to the old monastery. At the entrance to the crypt the judge asked the boy for a third time if he were capable of the feat. With a foolish smile the boy swore that if he failed „then the devil could take him.“ With a resigned sigh, the judge ordered him into the crypt. As the boy began to drum into the darkness, the door was locked behind him.

As the judge returned to the street he was shocked to hear the clear vibrations of a drum. Maintaining perfect rhythm, the drumbeat marched forward. The judge and court officials followed the drumming through the town and down to the market square. As they reached the old waterwell, however, the beat became weaker. The soft thump of the drum, hardly audible, crept forward as it grew ever fainter. A few echoes rose from the bottom of the well before silence settled over the square.

After an hour, most of the judge’s men gave up on the boy and left for home. The old judge, remembering the malicious grin of the latecoming witness, was struck with remorse over the disappearance of the promising youth. Cloaked in his massive robes, the judge stood vigil over the well that night, but he never heard the drummer again.

***The myth traditionally ends with „To this day, if you stand by the well at night you may just hear the echoes of a drum,“ but I am not sure whether I want to include that here. It already seems to have a good enough ending, and the story of silence followed by haunting echoes doesn’t seem very neat.

Some very rough ideas for panels:


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