Once upon a time there was a donkey, who lived on a farm with his master. One day he got fed up of working on the farm and decided to leave his master. He set off for the nearby town of Bremen.
On his way the donkey met a dog, who had also left his home and master. “Will you come with me to Bremen?” asked the donkey. "Let's become musicians in the town orchestra. You can play the drums and I will play the cello.” The dog agreed and they continued on their way together.
A little bit further on they met a cat and invited him to go with them to Bremen and join the town orchestra as a violinist. The cat meowed in agreement and the three animals hurried on to Bremen.
As they were passing by a castle, the three saw a cockerel, crowing as loudly as he could, so they asked him why he was singing so loudly. “They are going to cook me and eat me tomorrow," he said, “so I am saying goodbye to life.”
But the donkey said, “Don’t be silly! Come with us! You have a lovely voice and you could become a singer in the Bremen orchestra. That is where we are all going.”
The cockerel, who really didn’t want to be cooked, jumped on the donkey’s back and the four continued on their way.
The sun had started to go down and the four friends were looking for shelter for the night. They came across a house which was being burgled. The donkey looked through the window and saw a table, which had been generously laid with food and drinks. Since the four friends were very hungry, they decided to drive the burglars away.
The dog climbed on the donkey’s back, the cat stood on the dog’s head and the rooster perched on the cat’s back. They started their concert on three: “Heee-haw!” brayed the donkey, “Woof-woof!” barked the dog, “Meoooowww!” said the cat and “Cock-a-doodle-doo!” crowed the cockerel. At all the noise the burglars started shouting in fear, “Help! Ghosts are coming to get us!” The men ran out of the door as fast as they could. They wanted to leave the house that very second, thinking that the house was haunted by millions of terrifying ghosts.
The four friends made sure that the burglars had run a long way away and then went into the house. They sat down for dinner, ate, drank and were merry.
Full from the delicious meal, they looked for a place to sleep and turned off the lights. The dog curled up behind the door, the cat snuggled in by the fireplace, the rooster perched on the back of a chair and the donkey settled in one of the kitchen nooks. They soon fell fast asleep.
Meanwhile, the burglars gathered and the ringleader decided to send one of them to check whether the ghosts were still in the house as it was dark. The man who was sent approached the house quietly, shaking with fear. He reached the door and stood to listen. Since there was no noise, he went into the kitchen. He wanted to light a fire. So, thinking the cats glowing eyes were burning coals, he held a candle next to them, hoping it would catch light.
The cat jumped on his face and started scratching him. In panic, he stepped back, stepping on the dog, who bit the man’s leg fiercely. The man couldn’t see anything and began to run around in the dark in a blind panic. He was kicked by the donkey. Then the cockerel crowed and started flying around.
The burglar ran to the ringleader and said “It's not just ghosts! Now there are witches in the house! Some of them scratch, others bite, others kick… It would be better for us if we moved somewhere else."When the rest of the burglars heard him, they left the place as quickly as they could.
So the house was left to the four good friends, who gave up their decision to become musicians and instead lived in the house for the rest of their days.