The donkey and the dog lay down under a large tree.
The cat climbed up on one of the branches.
The cock flew to the very top of the tree, where he felt quite safe.
From his perch on the top of the tree the cock saw a light.
Calling to his friends, he said, “We are not far from a house. I can see a light.”
“Let us go on,” said the donkey, “for it may be just the house for us.”
As they drew near, the light grew larger and brighter.
At last they could see that it came from the window of a robber’s house.
The donkey, who was the tallest, went up and looked in.
“What do you see, old Long Ears?” asked the cock.
“What do I see?” answered the donkey. “Why, a table spread with plenty to eat and drink, and the robbers having their supper.”
“We should be there, too, if we had our rights,” said the cock.
“Ah, yes,” said the donkey; “if we could only get inside.”
Then the four friends talked over what they had better do in order to drive the robbers out of the house.
At last they hit upon a plan.
The donkey stood upon his hind legs and placed his front feet on the window sill.
The dog then stood on the donkey’s back
The cat climbed upon the dog, while the cock perched upon the cat’s head.
The donkey gave a signal, and they began all at the same time, to make their loudest music.
The donkey brayed, the dog barked, the cat mewed, and the cock crowed, all with such force that the windowpane shook and was almost broken.
The robbers had never heard such a noise.
They thought it must come from witches, or giants, or goblins, and they all ran as fast as they could to the wood behind the house.
Then our four friends rushed in and ate what the robbers had left upon the table.
It did not take long, for they acted as if they had been hungry for a month.
When the four had eaten, they put out the light, and each went to sleep in the spot which he liked the best.
The donkey lay down in the yard.
The dog lay behind the door.
The cat curled himself in front of the fire, while the cock flew up on a high beam.
They soon fell fast asleep.
THE FOUR FRIENDS—III
When all was still and the light was out, the robber chief sent one of his bravest men back to the house.
The man found the house quiet, so he went into the kitchen to strike a light.
Seeing the great fiery eyes of the cat, he thought they were live coals and held a match to them.
Puss was so angry that he flew up and scratched the man’s face. This gave the robber a great fright, and he ran for the door.
As he went by, the dog sprang up and bit him in the leg.