A bronze statue of the Town Musicians of Bremen was erected in 1953 in front of the City Hall in Bremen. German veterinary schools also have statues of the animal musicians. Another replica of the statue can be found in the Lynden Sculpture Garden, located in Milwaukee.
Bremen is a city in the North of Germany on the River Weser, 37 miles from the North Sea.
Town Musicians of Bremen – Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm
Once upon a time, there lived a donkey in a farmhouse.As time passed by, the donkey became older.so it did not have the strength to work for the farmer any more.
One day the donkey heard his owner talking to his wife. “this donkey can not work for us any more. So it is useless to feed him any more. We have to do something about this.”
The donkey heard this. It sensed that something terrible was about to happen. So one day it ran away from its owner’s house, setting forth on the road to Bremen, where he thought he could become a town musician. As the nightfall, donkey came to a jungle.
It was so hungry. But there was nothing to eat.it felt sleepy. So it leaned to a tree and began to sleep. In the morning, it began its journey again. On the way,it met a dog sleeping under a tree.The dog was so old sand; it looked unfortunate.Donkey asked the dog why he looks so sad. The dog’s story was as sad as the donkey’s story.
“I am so disappointed in my life. I spent my whole life protecting my owner’s property.but as I am so old now, he stopped taking care of me.”
“The same thing has happened to both of us. People only take care of us until we are useful for them.” the donkey said.”Do you know what,” said the donkey, “I am going to Bremen and am going to become a town musician there. Come along and take up music too. I’ll play the lute, and you can beat the drums.”Both of them began to walk together.
As they walk, they met an old cat. Its story was the same. Its owner had stopped feeding him because he is old and he can’t catch mice any more.
They worried about the cat. Then donkey asked from the cat “Come with us to Bremen. After all, you understand night music. You can become a town musician there.” The cat agreed and went along.
As the three friends marched ahead, they met another stranger. That was an old rooster. It was yelling in a weird tone. Three friends stopped and asked why it was yelling in that weird tone.”My master is going to kill me and cook me for his friends tomorrow.” It answered.
“All of us have faced to a terrible fate,” said the donkey, “instead come away with us. We’re going to Bremen. You can always find something better than death. You have a good voice, and when we make music together, it will be very pleasing.” The donkey suggested. Rooster agreed to him with very happy and joined to them.
So the donkey,dog, cat and the rooster marched ahead to the village. As the sun sets, darkness began to grow heavier. The rooster flew on to a tree and looked around. There was a little light coming from a little house.
“Maybe we will able to find some food there”The dog suggested. So four friends walked ahead to the house the rooster saw the light.they all agreed it was not good to knock the door at first. So the donkey peeked through the
window. The light was coming from a fireplace.From the light, the seen donkey saw was horrible.
“Some evil-looking robbers are having their dinner around a table. The food made my mouth wet by looking at it”donkey described to his other friends after he came back from the window to his friends. “We will able to have a nice
meal if we manage to scare away those robbers”The dog said.
“It is an amazing idea. But how can we scare these robbers?”Cat asked. All four of them began to discuss, and they made a fantastic plan.
They began there plan. First, the donkey stood nearby the windowsill. The dog climbed on the donkey’s back. The cat jumped to the dog’s back, and The rooster flew onto the head of the cat.
When they had done that, at a signal, they began to make their music altogether.When four different sounds together, that was a horrible sound. The robbers got scared, and they ran out of the house, leaving behind there all Goods.
Four friends sneaked into the house and began to eat until their bellies are full. After dinner, they felt so sleepy as they were exhausted.
So they went to there preferable places to have some sleep. Donkey lied on a pile of hay beside the house. The dog slept on the doorstep. Cat went near the hearth where he prefers. The rooster flew on to the roof.
The robbers who ran away were hiding in the wood looking at the house. They could only see the light fade. That night was very dark, so the robbers could not see anything.
The leader of the gang took out a candle.”Does anybody has got a match?” he asked. But no one there had a match. So the chief robber slowly entered the house to light his candle. He went near to the hearth to find some fire.
In the dark he saw the eyes of the cat who was lying by the hearth. He thought”Oh!the fire is not dead yet” and he blows to the eyes of the cat. The cat was so surprised, and he scratched the robber’s face with its claws.
The robber got very afraid, and his heart rate increased. His face was stinging.he turned back and ran to find the door. Unfortunately, his leg hit the dog who was sleeping on the doorstep.The dog bit his leg with his full strength. He fell. But somehow he managed to stand up and jumped to the outside.
The donkey was there. It knew that was a robber and it hit the robber’s back with its hindquarters.”God, please help me. These demons are going to kill me.” robber yelled. The rooster on the roof got up and began to yell in a strange tone.
The robber was pretty much sure the house is haunted. He ran to the wood where his gang was hiding. It took him a few minutes before he could talk.
“Demons overrun the house. I was about to light the candle. Then a demon scratched my face with its claws. When I turned back,another one bit me with its fangs. Then I got out of the house, and another one hit me in my back. And……. and another demon on the roof began to yell and said something.I’m sure it asked ‘where are you hiding?'”
Other two robbers were so afraid too.”Come on. We have no time to lose.Run for your life.”The chief said. Let’s go somewhere and find another job rather than robbing and be good people” So the robbers ran away even without stopping to take their belongings.
After that day, the robbers never came to that house ever again. So the donkey,the dog, the cat and the rooster had no trouble anymore. Robbers had left a treasure enough for there whole life.
So the wise friends lived in that house very peacefully and happily.
Moral: respect for our elders. The animals in the story The Town Musicians of Bremen are old and have put in long years of hard work, but now their owners think they are no use anymore and want to get rid of them – is that fair? Think about yourself…..
Read more short stories for kids in universal stories.
Edited the story by Kasun Sankalpa
Sasindu Jayasri is an Engineering student at Faculty of Engineering, University of Moratuwa, Sri Lanka.