ENGLISH

The Bremen town musicians

DANSK

De bremer stadsmusikanter


There was once an ass whose master had made him carry sacks to the mill for many a long year, but whose strength began at last to fail, so that each day as it came found him less capable of work. Then his master began to think of turning him out, but the ass, guessing that something was in the wind that boded him no good, ran away, taking the road to Bremen; for there he thought he might get an engagement as town musician. When he had gone a little way he found a hound lying by the side of the road panting, as if he had run a long way. "Now, Holdfast, what are you so out of breath about?" said the ass. "Oh dear!" said the dog, "now I am old, I get weaker every day, and can do no good in the hunt, so, as my master was going to have me killed, I have made my escape; but now, how am I to gain a living?" - "I will tell you what," said the ass, "I am going to Bremen to become town musician. You may as well go with me, and take up music too. I can play the lute, and you can beat the drum." And the dog consented, and they walked on together. It was not long before they came to a cat sitting in the road, looking as dismal as three wet days. "Now then, what is the matter with you, old shaver?" said the ass. "I should like to know who would be cheerful when his neck is in danger," answered the cat. "Now that I am old my teeth are getting blunt, and I would rather sit by the oven and purr than run about after mice, and my mistress wanted to drown me; so I took myself off; but good advice is scarce, and I do not know what is to become of me." - "Go with us to Bremen," said the ass, "and become town musician. You understand serenading." The cat thought well of the idea, and went with them accordingly. After that the three travellers passed by a yard, and a cock was perched on the gate crowing with all his might. "Your cries are enough to pierce bone and marrow," said the ass; "what is the matter?" - "I have foretold good weather for Lady-day, so that all the shirts may be washed and dried; and now on Sunday morning company is coming, and the mistress has told the cook that I must be made into soup, and this evening my neck is to be wrung, so that I am crowing with all my might while I can." - "You had much better go with us, Chanticleer," said the ass. "We are going to Bremen. At any rate that will be better than dying. You have a powerful voice, and when we are all performing together it will have a very good effect." So the cock consented, and they went on all four together.
Der var engang en mand, som havde et æsel. Det havde i mange år båret sække til møllen, men nu begyndte dets kræfter at tage af, så det blev mere og mere udueligt til sit arbejde. Manden tænkte da på at skaffe sig af med det, men æslet mærkede nok, fra hvad kant vinden blæste, og begav sig på vej til byen, fordi den tænkte, at kunne den ikke blive andet, kunne den nok blive spillemand der. Da den havde gået en lille tid, traf den en jagthund, som lå og gispede. "Hvad er der i vejen," spurgte æslet. "Jeg bliver svagere for hver dag, der går," svarede hunden, "det kommer jo med alderen. Og nu vil min herre slå mig ihjel, fordi han ikke kan bruge mig på jagt. Så løb jeg min vej." - "Ved du hvad," sagde æslet, "du skulle gå med mig til Bremen og blive spillemand. Jeg spiller på lut og du slår på tromme." Hunden syntes godt om forslaget, og de gik videre sammen. Kort efter kom de forbi en kat, som lå på vejen og skar de ynkeligste ansigter. "Hvad er der gået dig imod, dit gamle flødeskæg," sagde æslet. "Hvem kan være i godt humør, når alting går skævt for en," svarede katten, "fordi jeg nu er blevet gammel og hellere vil ligge bag ovnen og spinde end fange mus, har min frue i sinde at drukne mig. Jeg løb min vej, men nu er gode råd rigtignok dyre." - "Gå med os til Bremen og bliv spillemand," sagde æslet. Katten var villig til det, og de begav sig alle tre på vej. Kort efter kom de tre landstrygere forbi en gård, hvor der sad en hane og galede af alle livsens kræfter. "Du skriger jo, så det går gennem marv og ben," sagde æslet, "hvad er der i vejen." - "Nu har jeg spået godt vejr til vor frue hver dag," sagde hanen, "men alligevel skal der koges suppe på mig i morgen, fordi det er søndag, og der kommer fremmede. I aften skal hovedet hugges af mig, og nu skriger jeg, så længe jeg kan." - "Kom her, rødtop," sagde æslet, "gå med os til Bremen og bliv spillemand. Du lader til at have en god stemme, så når vi fire slår os sammen, må det da kunne blive til noget."


But Bremen was too far off to be reached in one day, and towards evening they came to a wood, where they determined to pass the night. The ass and the dog lay down under a large tree; the cat got up among the branches, and the cock flew up to the top, as that was the safest place for him. Before he went to sleep he looked all round him to the four points of the compass, and perceived in the distance a little light shining, and he called out to his companions that there must be a house not far off, as he could see a light, so the ass said, "We had better get up and go there, for these are uncomfortable quarters." The dog began to fancy a few bones, not quite bare, would do him good. And they all set off in the direction of the light, and it grew larger and brighter, until at last it led them to a robber's house, all lighted up. The ass. being the biggest, went up to the window, and looked in. "Well, what do you see?" asked the dog. "What do I see?" answered the ass; "here is a table set out with splendid eatables and drinkables, and robbers sitting at it and making themselves very comfortable." - "That would just suit us," said the cock. "Yes, indeed, I wish we were there," said the ass. Then they consulted together how it should be managed so as to get the robbers out of the house, and at last they hit on a plan. The ass was to place his forefeet on the window-sill, the dog was to get on the ass's back, the cat on the top of the dog, and lastly the cock was to fly up and perch on the cat's head. When that was done, at a given signal they all began to perform their music. The ass brayed, the dog barked, the cat mewed, and the cock crowed; then they burst through into the room, breaking all the panes of glass. The robbers fled at the dreadful sound; they thought it was some goblin, and fled to the wood in the utmost terror. Then the four companions sat down to table, made free with the remains of the meal, and feasted as if they had been hungry for a month.
De kunne imidlertid ikke nå Bremen på en dag, og om aftenen kom de til en skov, hvor de besluttede at blive om natten. Æslet og hunden lagde sig under et stort træ, katten og hanen sad oppe mellem grenene, hanen helt oppe i toppen, fordi den troede, der var sikrest. Før den satte sig til at sove, så den sig om til alle sider, og da den syntes, at den så lys skinne i det fjerne, kaldte den på sine kammerater og sagde, at der måtte vist være et hus i nærheden. "Så går vi derhen, for her er ikke rart," sagde æslet. Hunden syntes også, at det kunne gøre godt at få et par ben at gnave. De begav sig så på vej, lyset blev stadig større og til sidst stod de udenfor et klart oplyst røverhus. Æslet, der var den største, gik hen og kiggede ind ad vinduet. "Hvad kan du se," spurgte hanen. "Et dejligt dækket bord," svarede æslet, "og røverne sidder og gør sig til gode." - "Det var noget for os," sagde hanen. "Ja bare vi var derinde," sukkede æslet. Dyrene lagde nu råd op om, hvordan de skulle få røverne jaget ud, og til sidst fandt de ud af det. Æslet stillede sig med forpoterne i vinduet, hunden sprang op på dens ryg, katten klatrede op på hunden og hanen fløj op og satte sig på kattens hovede. I samme øjeblik begyndte de med deres musik, æslet skreg, hunden gøede, katten mjavede og hanen galede, og så styrtede de allesammen ind gennem vinduet, så glasskårene klirrende fløj til alle sider. Røverne for rædselsslagne op, og da de troede det var et spøgelse, flygtede de så hurtigt de kunne ud i skoven. De fire kammerater satte sig så til bords og tog for sig af retterne, som om de ikke havde fået mad i en hel måned.


And when they had finished they put out the lights, and each sought out a sleeping-place to suit his nature and habits. The ass laid himself down outside on the dunghill, the dog behind the door, the cat on the hearth by the warm ashes, and the cock settled himself in the cockloft, and as they were all tired with their long journey they soon fell fast asleep. When midnight drew near, and the robbers from afar saw that no light was burning, and that everything appeared quiet, their captain said to them that he thought that they had run away without reason, telling one of them to go and reconnoitre. So one of them went, and found everything quite quiet; he went into the kitchen to strike a light, and taking the glowing fiery eyes of the cat for burning coals, he held a match to them in order to kindle it. But the cat, not seeing the joke, flew into his face, spitting and scratching. Then he cried out in terror, and ran to get out at the back door, but the dog, who was lying there, ran at him and bit his leg; and as he was rushing through the yard by the dunghill the ass struck out and gave him a great kick with his hind foot; and the cock, who had been wakened with the noise, and felt quite brisk, cried out, "Cock-a-doodle-doo!" Then the robber got back as well as he could to his captain, and said, "Oh dear! in that house there is a gruesome witch, and I felt her breath and her long nails in my face; and by the door there stands a man who stabbed me in the leg with a knife; and in the yard there lies a black spectre, who beat me with his wooden club; and above, upon the roof, there sits the justice, who cried, 'Bring that rogue here!' And so I ran away from the place as fast as I could." From that time forward the robbers never ventured to that house, and the four Bremen town musicians found themselves so well off where they were, that there they stayed. And the person who last related this tale is still living, as you see.
Da de fire spillemænd var trætte, slukkede de lyset og gik til ro. Æslet lagde sig på møddingen, hunden bagved døren, katten i kakkelovnskrogen og hanen fløj op på hanebjælken. De var trætte af den lange vej, og det varede ikke ret længe, før de faldt i søvn. Ved midnatstid da røverne så, at lyset var slukket og alting lod til at være roligt, sagde anføreren: "Vi skulle dog ikke have ladet os skræmme så let," og han bød nu en af sine mænd gå hen og undersøge huset. Manden gik ud i køkkenet og ville tænde lys, og da han troede, at kattens gloende øjne var gnister, stak han en tændstik ind i dem for at få ild. Men katten forstod ikke spøg; den sprang lige i ansigtet på ham og kradsede ham. Han blev ude af sig selv af angst og ville løbe ud ad døren, men hunden bed ham i benet, og da han kom forbi møddingen, gav æslet ham et ordentlig spark. Hanen var imidlertid også vågnet og gav sig til at gale af alle kræfter. Men røveren løb, så stærkt han kunne, tilbage til anføreren og sagde: "Der sidder en forfærdelig heks inde i huset. Hun har kradset mig i ansigtet, og udenfor døren står der en mand, som stak mig i benet med en kniv. I gården ligger der et stort uhyre, som slog løs på mig med en trækølle, og oppe på taget sidder dommeren og råber: "Skaf mig fat på den tyveknægt." Så løb jeg så hurtigt jeg kunne." Røverne turde nu ikke vende tilbage til huset, men spillemændene syntes så godt om at være der, at de blev der resten af deres liv. Og den der sidst fortalte det, hans mund er varm endnu.





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