A miller had a donkey that used to carry loads of flour on his back. But when he grew too old to work, the miller chased him out of his house. The poor donkey walked along the road to Bremen. He decided to become a musician.
Beside the road, he saw an old dog sitting under a tree, looking very sad. “What’s the matter?” the donkey asked. “My master was going to shoot me because I’m too old to help him hunt deer now,” replied the dog, “So, I ran away!”
”Would you like to come with me to Bremen?” asked the donkey, “I’m going to be a musician and play a banjo. If you come along and play the drums, we can make some money!” “Hey! That’s a great idea!” said the dog, jumping up to join him.
As they walked along, they found a cat was mewing sadly in a yard. “What happened to you?” asked the donkey. “I’ve grown old and can’t catch mice any more,” said the cat, “So, my master was going to drown me! So, I ran away!”
The dog said to the donkey, “She can play the cymbals.” The donkey told the cat that she could join their band if she liked to go with them to Bremen. The cat was delighted. And the three of them set off on the road to Bremen.
When they reached a farm, they were surprised to see a cock sitting on a fence crowing at the top of
his voice. “Hey, why are you crowing at this time?” asked the dog. “I’m crowing for the last time now,” said the cock sadly, “I crowed at night and woke up everyone. So, my mistress is making me into a soup tonight.”
“Good heavens! You had better come with us!” said the donkey. “Yes, you have a nice voice, and will be a good singer,” added the cat. “You can sing with our band in Bremen,” said the dog. The cock was very happy to escape and joined them.
The four of them reached a forest outside Bremen when night fell. The donkey and the dog curled up to rest under a tree. The cat settled down on one of the branches. The cock flew up to one of the higher branches to
roost. He looked around and saw light from a cottage in the forest.
”Hey, friends!” the cock called out, “There’s a cottage near by. Let’s ask them for shelter, shall we?”
They agreed and the four of them went to the cottage. Peeping in, they saw that there were thieves
inside. They were going to have their dinner and sharing what they had stolen. The four friends decided to chase the thieves out of the cottage.
The dog stood on the donkey’s back, carrying the cat who had the cock on her back!
Then the four sang together, “Braybray, woof-woof, meow-meow, cock-adoodle.”
It was a terrible din! The thieves looked around, terrified! They dropped
everything and ran out of the cottage into the forest.
The four musicians went into the cottage. Dinner was spread on the table and they were very hungry. They
feasted on the bread and porridge, fruits, cheese and milk. There was even some fish and meat! Then it was time to sleep.
The cat curled up near the fireplace. The cock flew up and settled on the roof. The dog stretched out at the back door. And the donkey lay down on the straw outside the door. Soon they all were asleep.
The captain of the thieves was a clever fellow. He waited for a while. Then he sent one of his men to
check up if all was fine in the cottage. It was dark inside. The man went in carefully looking
for matchsticks near the fireplace.
He stepped on the cat’s tail and she shot up, screeching and scratching his face! This woke the
cock up who began to crow loudly. The man ran to the back door and fell over the
dog who bit him in the leg! Frightened, he rushed out where the donkey woke up and kicked him hard!
”Ghosts!” he screamed as he ran to his friends, “They screech and crow! One scratched my face! Another
one bit me! And a third one hit me!” The frightened thieves ran away. The four friends had found a home!