Smuggled to Finland by a ruthless but oddly bureaucratic criminal organisation, Vatenescu, a Romanian construction worker, is soon put to work as a beggar on the streets of Helsinki. The terms of his contract are punitive: ’75% to me, 25% to you’, as his gangmaster, Yegor Kugar has it; yet an incident involving an unexpected feast and a wounded rabbit puts an end to Vatenescu’s contract, and inadvertently, to Kugar’s as well.
Pursued by both the state and by the criminals that smuggled him, Vatenscu (and his rabbit) find themselves driven across Finland. Yet despite the fact that they are outcasts on the run, somehow their luck always seems to keep them coming out on top, and on their way they encounter restauranteurs, soldiers, environmental activists, magicians, and eventually the president himself. As much an exploration of Finland’s relationship with its neighbours and of the nature of European capitalism as it is a witty and entertaining picaresque, The Beggar & The Hare is an assured and beguilingly-told modern fable.