The Pack of Ragamuffins

Brothers Grimm


The Pack of Ragamuffins

In a big, beautiful chicken coop lived a handsome and proud Rooster, together with his wife Hen. When summer turned into autumn they decided to go on a trip, but they didn’t know where to go. After discussing it for a long time the rooster said: ‘We are going to Nutmountain for a good meal. It is, after all, the season that nuts are ripe and otherwise we’ll be too late. The squirrels will have eaten them all’. ‘Yes, you’re right’ said the Hen. ‘It’s a very good idea, let’s do it!’.

The weather was clear and warm, so the Rooster and the Hen spent all day rummaging on Nutmountain. They spent so long rummaging that they had not even noticed that it was getting dark. Rooster made a cart out of nut shells and when it was ready, Hen took a seat and said ‘Let’s go home quickly, before it turns completely dark’.

Just as they were about to leave a duck came quacking down the mountain. ‘Thieves! Who gave you the right to take my nuts? Get out of here!’

Rooster however was not impressed and defended himself against the duck. He was a great deal stronger than the duck and made the duck pull the cart of Rooster and Hen. Once they hit the road, Rooster made the duck go faster and faster.


The Pack of Ragamuffins

A bit further down the road they ran into two pedestrians, a pin and a needle. They asked if they could hitch a ride, because darkness would fall soon and the road was muddy because of heavy rain so it was hard for them to move forward.

Rooster allowed it. They were after all tiny little things that wouldn’t take up much space. But they had to promise not to step on Rooster’s and Hen’s feet.

Meanwhile night had fallen and they had to look for shelter. They soon passed an inn. The owner walked outside with a torch and refused the late guests. But Rooster promised the innkeeper that he could have the eggs of both Hen and the duck. So the innkeeper agreed to let them stay the night.

They had all kinds of good food put on the table and they ate until late at night. The next morning, when the sun rose, Rooster woke up Hen. They quickly ate the just laid egg and threw the eggshells in the fireplace. Then they went to Needle, who was still sleeping and put Needle in the towel of the innkeeper. The Pin they put in the seating of his chair and they fled as fast as they could.


The Pack of Ragamuffins

The duck who was sleeping in front of the door, heard Rooster and Hen flee and ran away as well. She soon found a stream and swam away. A little while later the innkeeper woke up and went for a shower. He started to try himself with the towel. But OH NO! The Needle scratched his face.

Recovered from the fright the innkeeper went to the kitchen to make a fire. In the fireplace he saw the eggshells. Bummed out by his luck this day, he crashed in his chair. Pff you had to be there to believe how fast he stood up again! For he sat down right on the Pin. The innkeeper started to suspect his late night guests...

He went to find them, but no matter how well he searched he could not find them. They had eaten the best food and had drunk the best drinks, they pretended to be decent and what did he get as a thank you? They had hurt him. Never again, he told himself, he would let people stay in his inn, based on promises.

Download the PDF of The Pack of Ragamuffins with illustrations