The musicians of Bremen
by Tracey Hammett
Once there were four old friends: a cow, a dog, a cat and a cockerel.
They all worked very hard on Farmer Boget’s farm. The cow gave her milk to the farmer, the dog went hunting with the farmer, the cat caught mice for the farmer, and the cockerel...well, the cockerel...was a feathered alarm clock!
It was hard work. But, at night, when the farmer was asleep the four friends met up in the barn and had fun.
The dog played her drum...
The cow played bass...
The cat played guitar...
And the cockerel played saxophone...
And all the animals on the farm gathered to dance.
Then one night the dog had some bad news. 'The farmer thinks we’re getting too old. He’s going to stop feeding us!' she howled.
'What shall we cock-a-doodle-doo?' cried the cockerel.
'Let’s escape!' mewed the cat. 'We could go to Bremen and play our music for everyone.'
'Good plan!' yapped the dog.
So that night, while the farmer was still snoring, they set off for the town of Bremen, by the light of the moon.
At first they were very cheerful. But after a while they felt cold and tired and hungry. Just then, the cockerel saw a hopeful light in the distance.
'Look, a house! Maybe we can rest there until the morning!'
So the four friends made their way to the house.
'We should look through the window first,' mewed the cat. 'To make sure the people inside are friendly.'
When they peered through the window they saw a table covered with delicious food - a big meaty bone, bread, cheese and cakes.
'Awooo!' cried the dog. 'I’m hungry!'
But sitting around the table were three nasty robbers.
'They look scary, I don’t think they’ll share their supper with us,' crowed the cockerel.
Luckily, the dog had a plan to scare the robbers away. She told her friends exactly what to do...
The cow put her front hooves up on the window ledge and the dog jumped onto her back. Then, the cat clambered up and stood on the dog. Then finally, the cockerel fluttered up and perched himself on top of the cat.
'Three, two, one!' woofed the dog.
The creatures burst straight through the window mooing, woofing, mewing and cock-a-doodle-doing!
'Help! A four-headed monster!' cried one of the robbers. And they all ran away!
The four friends feasted on the delicious food the robbers left behind.
'Bed time!' woofed the dog when her belly was full. So the cat got comfy by the fireplace, the cockerel perched on top of a cupboard, the dog lay down in the doorway and the cow slept just outside on some straw.
'Night, night!' mewed the cat.
Out in the forest the robbers saw the light go out in the house. 'Maybe the monster's gone,' said one. 'I’m going to find out.'
So back he crept, into the dark house. But he tripped over the dog, who snapped at his leg angrily, and the cat leapt out at him, hissing and scratching.
Out ran the robber, into the yard, where the cow gave him a hoofer of a kick.
'Cock-a-doodle-do!' crowed the cockerel, angrily as the robber ran away.
'Stay away from that house!' the robber told his robber friends. 'A horrible monster lives there, that kicks and crows and scratches and bites!'
The robbers never went back to the house again. And the animals turned it into a warm, cosy home. Then, every weekend, they went to Bremen and played their music in the town square, while the people danced.