There once was an old donkey who was tired of working for a miller every day. No matter how hard the donkey worked, the miller never thought it was good enough. So the donkey ran away. He had thought that with his great bray sounds, he could earn a lot of money as a town musician. He packed his things and set off for Bremen.
On the way, the donkey met an old dog. The dog told the donkey that it had to flee from its old owner. The owner had decided to put the dog in the shelter because he was too old to take care of it any more.
‘Come with me to Bremen,’ said the donkey to the dog. ‘You’ll be able to bark the stars from the sky.’ ‘With my beautiful barking we shall make good money there. Besides, it’s more fun to go on an adventure with two.’
The dog decided to go with the donkey to Bremen to make music.
Not long after, the donkey and the dog came across an old cat. The cat was no longer happy in its old owner’s house. ‘She only wants me to catch mice for her,’ said the cat, ‘but I haven’t been very successful lately. I’m getting older by the day.’ The cat liked the idea of a musical adventure in Bremen. His vocal cords were fine, so the donkey and the dog decided that the cat could come along and make music with them.
A little later, an old rooster crossed their path. The rooster became too troublesome for his old surroundings and something terrible threatened to happen to him if he stayed there. His cackling drove people crazy and they wanted him to shut up. He decided to escape all this and has been wandering around on his own ever since. Joining the Bremen Town Musicians was music to his ears. Fortunately, the donkey, the dog and the cat thought so too, and so the cockerel joined in as the fourth musician.
The four animals had been on the road all day and it was getting night. The way to Bremen seemed longer than they thought. There they saw a light shining in the distance. ‘Maybe there is a house there,’ said the donkey. ‘Maybe we can eat something there and sleep in exchange for some cheerful music,’ said the dog hopefully. And so, they went on their way to the house. They looked through the window and saw to their horror that they were robbers.
The donkey came up with a plan. ‘Let’s scare the hell out of those villains,’ he said bravely. ‘They are probably on the run. Let’s all stand on each other and sing very loudly. They’ll probably run off soon.’ No sooner said than done. The thieves were frightened by the deafening noise and rushed out of the house. The donkey, the dog, the cat and the rooster all enjoyed their meal and realised that they were tired from the journey. They all found a nice spot in the house to sleep.
Further on, the robbers were thinking about what had happened to them. They saw in the distance that the light in the cottage was extinguished. The leader of the robbers decided to take a look.
Once he had entered the house, he looked straight into the cat’s eyes. Now you should know that a cat’s eyes light up in the dark. The cat jumped up and scratched the robber in the face. The cat didn’t know what hit it and ran. On the way to the door, the dog bit him in the shin and the donkey kicked him. In the garden, the cockerel cackled so hard that the robber ran off. The leader told the robbers that the house was haunted. They would never return there.
The Bremen Town Musicians really enjoyed living in the house and decided that they did not need to travel to Bremen any more. They loved it here and decided to stay. And they lived there for many happy years to come.