The little raindrops cannot
Means, “We can play on this side,
Why can’t you play on that?”
comb music giants chief
Once upon a time a man had a donkey.
His donkey had worked for him many years.
At last the donkey grew so old that he was no longer of any use for work, and his master wished to get rid of him.
The donkey, fearing he might be killed, ran away.
He took the road to Bremen, where he had often heard the street band playing.
He liked music, so he thought he might join the band.
He had not gone far when he came upon an old dog.
The dog was panting, as if he had been running a long way.
“Why are you panting, my friend?” asked the donkey.
“Ah,” said the dog, “I am too old for the hunt. My master wished to have me killed. So I ran away. But how I am to find bread and meat, I do not know.”
“Well,” said the donkey, “come with me. I am going to play in the band at Bremen. I think you and I can easily earn a living by music. I can play the lute, and you can play the kettledrum.”
The dog was quite willing, and so they be walked on.
They had not gone far when they saw a cat sitting in a yard.
He looked as sad as three days of rainy weather.
“What’s the matter with you, old Tom?” asked the donkey.
“You would be sad, too,” said the cat, “if you were in my place; for now that I am getting old and cannot catch mice, they wish to drown me. I have run away, but how I am going to live, I do not know.”
“Come with us to Bremen,” said the donkey. “We are going to play in the band.
I know you love music, as you sing so well at night. You too can join the band.”
“That is just what I should like to do,” said the cat.
So the donkey, the dog, and the cat all walked on together.
After a time the three came to a farmyard.
There on the gate sat a cock, crying “Cock-a-doodle-doo” with all his might.
“Why are you making so much noise?” asked the donkey.
“Ah,” said the cock, “I find I must have my head cut off so that I may serve as a dinner for Monday. I’m crowing as hard as I can while my head is still on.”
“Come with us, old Red Comb,” said the donkey. “We are going to Bremen to join the band. You have a fine voice. You can join, too.”
“Ah,” said the cock, “that is just what I should like to do.”
And they all went on their way to Bremen.
At evening the four friends came to a wood, where they stopped for the night.