A donkey had served his master faithfully by carrying heavy loads for his master. As the donkey grew old, he was unable to carry heavy loads. The master began to think of him as a burden and stopped taking care of the donkey. The donkey was fed up with his master’s behavior and so one day he left home to become a musician in the town of Bremen.
He saw that the dog was lying in the middle of the road and looked tired. The donkey asked, Why are you lying here?’ The dog replied, ‘My master no longer requires me as I’ve grown old and weak. Instead, he wanted to kill me. So, I left his home.’The donkey had an idea, ‘I’m going to Bremen to become a town-musician. Why don’t you join me?’ The dog liked the idea and went along with the donkey.
As they went forward, they met a cat on their way. The cat was sad because her master wanted to drown her. She was old and could not catch rats and did nothing except sitting by the fireplace. The donkey and the dog invited the cat to come along with them to Bremen. The cat agreed. The three animals reached a farm-yard. They saw a rooster sitting on the farm’s gate, crowing with all his might. The donkey enquired, “Why are you so sad?
The rooster replied, ‘I used to foretell fine weather for my master. But their guests are coming over tonight, and the housewife wants to cook me for dinner! The three friends offered. The rooster agreed with delight and went with them.
After a long walk, the four friends reached a forest. They decided to spend the night in the forest. The donkey and the dog settled themselves under a large tree. The cat climbed on a branch of the tree while the rooster flew to the tallest branch of the tree. Suddenly, the rooster saw a light at some distance. The rooster informed his three friends, “I see a small house some distance away. We should go over there and check if we can find some food and shelter for the night.”Everyone agreed”.
The four friends followed the light and reached a house that some robbers used as a hideout. The donkey went to the window and peeked inside the house. The rooster asked in a hush-voice, ‘What do you see? The donkey whispered back, ‘I see a table covered with lavish food and drinks. The robbers are seated around it and enjoying the feast. The rooster thought for a while and said, ‘I have a plan to scare the robbers away! We can enjoy that lavish meal.’
The rooster explained the plan to his friends. The other animals liked the plan. The animals approached the house. The donkey placed his fore-feet upon the window-ledge while the dog jumped on the donkey’s back. The cat climbed up on the dog’s back. Finally, the rooster flew in the air and perched himself on the cat’s head. Now they all stood one above the other in a straight line.
The robbers were terrified when they heard the strange noise. They thought that there was a ghost in the house. They peeped outside the window, but it was too dark.
Once again the animals sang loudly. The terrified robbers left the house in a hurry. Finally, the animals went inside the empty house. They ate the food that was set on the table and fell into a comfortable sleep near the fireplace.
When it was past midnight, the robbers returned to the house. As they entered the kitchen, they saw the fiery eyes of the cat. They got scared and tried to escape from the back-door, but the dog pounced on them and bit their legs. As the terrified robbers ran across the yard, the donkey kicked them with all his might. Finally, the rooster perched on a high beam and crowed, ‘Cock-a-doodle-doo!’
By now the robbers were sure that there were ghosts in the house. The robbers ran away and never return to the haunted house. Once the robbers had left, the four animals came back inside the house. They seated themselves at the table and enjoyed the rest of their meal. The four friends, who were going to Bremen to become musicians, now lived in that house happily ever after.