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The Town Musicians of Bremen

The Town Musicians of Bremen - How a donkey, a dog, a cat and a cockerel chased a band of robbers away

A donkey, a dog, a cat and a cockerel were old and no-longer needed by their masters. The four animals decided to move together to the big Town of Bremen. They wanted to earn their bread there as town musicians.

On their journey they came to a deep, dark forest. As Bremen was still a long way off, they decided to spend the night there. Soon they discovered a house where a light was burning and the table was laid with delicious food. A band of robbers was seated round the table, eating roast meat and drinking wine. Because they were so hungry, the animals decided to chase the band of robbers away. So they discussed the best thing to do.  

The donkey put his front hooves onto the window sill, the dog jumped onto his back, the cat climbed onto the shoulders of the dog and finally the cockerel flew onto the head of the cat. Then, all at once, all four of them began to make really unearthly music. The donkey yelled, the dog barked, the cat meowed and the cock crowed. Then they ran into the house among the horrified robbers, who fled into the forest in a wild panic. The animals were pleased and gathered round the table where they ate and drank until they were full before they went to sleep.

After midnight, when no light could be seen in the house any more, the robbers returned. The captain sent one of them into the house to see if they could enter it again. The robber slipped in and lit a match so he could see better. Then the cat sprang spitting at his face and scratched him. The robber was scared and wanted to escape through the back door. The dog was lying there and bit him in the leg. The donkey gave him an enormous kick with his hoof and the woken-up-cockerel crowed after him. The bandit was battered about when he reported to his captain that there were ghosts in the house. The men did not dare to enter their old robbers' den again. The Town Musicians were so happy with the house that they stayed there for good.