There was once a wonderful musician, who went quite alone through a forest and thought of all manner of things, and when nothing was left for him to think about, he said to himself, "Time is beginning to pass heavily with me here in the forest, I will fetch hither a good companion for myself." Then he took his fiddle from his back, and played so that it echoed through the trees. It was not long before a wolf came trotting through the thicket towards him. "Ah, here is a wolf coming! I have no desire for him!" said the musician; but the wolf came nearer and said to him, "Ah, dear musician, how beautifully thou dost play. I should like to learn that, too." - "It is soon learnt," the musician replied, "thou hast only to do all that I bid thee." - "Oh, musician," said the wolf, "I will obey thee as a scholar obeys his master." The musician bade him follow, and when they had gone part of the way together, they came to an old oak-tree which was hollow inside, and cleft in the middle. "Look," said the musician, "if thou wilt learn to fiddle, put thy fore paws into this crevice." The wolf obeyed, but the musician quickly picked up a stone and with one blow wedged his two paws so fast that he was forced to stay there like a prisoner. "Stay there until I come back again," said the musician, and went his way.
After a while he again said to himself, "Time is beginning to pass heavily with me here in the forest, I will fetch hither another companion," and took his fiddle and again played in the forest. It was not long before a fox came creeping through the trees towards him. "Ah, there's a fox coming!" said the musician. "I have no desire for him." The fox came up to him and said, "Oh, dear musician, how beautifully thou dost play! I should like to learn that too." - "That is soon learnt," said the musician. "Thou hast only to do everything that I bid thee." - "Oh, musician," then said the fox, "I will obey thee as a scholar obeys his master." - "Follow me," said the musician; and when they had walked a part of the way, they came to a footpath, with high bushes on both sides of it. There the musician stood still, and from one side bent a young hazel-bush down to the ground, and put his foot on the top of it, then he bent down a young tree from the other side as well, and said, "Now little fox, if thou wilt learn something, give me thy left front paw." The fox obeyed, and the musician fastened his paw to the left bough. "Little fox," said he, "now reach me thy right paw" and he tied it to the right bough. When he had examined whether they were firm enough, he let go, and the bushes sprang up again, and jerked up the little fox, so that it hung struggling in the air. "Wait there till I come back again," said the musician, and went his way.
Again he said to himself, "Time is beginning to pass heavily with me here in the forest, I will fetch hither another companion," so he took his fiddle, and the sound echoed through the forest. Then a little hare came springing towards him. "Why, a hare is coming," said the musician, "I do not want him." - "Ah, dear musician," said the hare, "how beautifully thou dost fiddle; I too, should like to learn that." - "That is soon learnt," said the musician, "thou hast only to do everything that I bid thee." - "Oh, musician," replied the little hare, "I will obey thee as a scholar obeys his master." They went a part of the way together until they came to an open space in the forest, where stood an aspen tree. The musician tied a long string round the little hare's neck, the other end of which he fastened to the tree. "Now briskly, little hare, run twenty times round the tree!" cried the musician, and the little hare obeyed, and when it had run round twenty times, it had twisted the string twenty times round the trunk of the tree, and the little hare was caught, and let it pull and tug as it liked, it only made the string cut into its tender neck. "Wait there till I come back," said the musician, and went onwards.
The wolf, in the meantime, had pushed and pulled and bitten at the stone, and had worked so long that he had set his feet at liberty and had drawn them once more out of the cleft. Full of anger and rage he hurried after the musician and wanted to tear him to pieces. When the fox saw him running, he began to lament, and cried with all his might, "Brother wolf, come to my help, the musician has betrayed me!" The wolf drew down the little tree, bit the cord in two, and freed the fox, who went with him to take revenge on the musician. They found the tied-up hare, whom likewise they delivered, and then they all sought the enemy together.
The musician had once more played his fiddle as he went on his way, and this time he had been more fortunate. The sound reached the ears of a poor wood-cutter, who instantly, whether he would or no, gave up his work and came with his hatchet under his arm to listen to the music. "At last comes the right companion," said the musician, "for I was seeking a human being, and no wild beast." And he began and played so beautifully and delightfully that the poor man stood there as if bewitched, and his heart leaped with gladness. And as he thus stood, the wolf, the fox, and the hare came up, and he saw well that they had some evil design. So he raised his glittering axe and placed himself before the musician, as if to say, "Whoso wishes to touch him let him beware, for he will have to do with me!" Then the beasts were terrified and ran back into the forest. The musician, however, played once more to the man out of gratitude, and then went onwards.
一只狼出现了，乐师看到后说道："哎呀！是一只狼来看我了。"狼走到他面前说："您的琴拉得太动听了！但愿您能教教我。"乐师说："这很容易，只要你按我的吩咐做就行了。"狼回答说："好的，我将是一个非常善于用功的学生。"这样，他们一起走上了小路，最后来到了一棵大树前。 这是一棵里面空了的老栎树，树干中间裂了一条大缝。 乐师对狼说："看这儿，如果你想学拉小提琴，就把你的前脚伸进这条裂缝去。"狼按照他说的做了，乐师拾起一块大石头把它的两只前脚牢牢地卡在了裂缝里，就像一个被铐着的囚犯。 "现在，你给我乖乖地在这儿等着我回来。"乐师说完，迈着悠闲的步子扬长而去。
过了一会儿，他又自言自语地说："一个人太沉闷了，我得再找一个伙伴来。"于是，他又拉起了小提琴，悠扬的提琴声再次在森林里传了开去。 接着一只狐狸慢慢地来到了他身边 ，他说道："哎呀！来了一只狐狸。"狐狸上前说道："您真是一个一流的乐师，提琴拉的多棒啊！我一定要向您学习拉提琴。"乐师说："你很快就可以学会，只要你按照我教你的去做就成。"狐狸马上应声道："好的，我会按您的吩咐去做的。"他们一起上路了。 当他们来到一条窄窄的小路时，乐师望了望小路两旁高高的树丛，然后将小路一边的一棵矮壮的榛树干弯下靠近路面，用脚踩住树尖，又弯下小路另一边的一棵榛树对狐狸说："机灵的狐狸，如果你想学拉小提琴，就把你的左前爪让我握住。"狐狸马上伸出了左前爪，乐师将狐狸爪子绑到一棵榛树的树梢。 "现在把你的右前爪伸过来给我。"狐狸又按乐师的吩咐做了，他将这只爪子绑在了另一棵榛树的树梢，随后放开自己的脚，两边的榛树"哗啦"向上弹了起来，狐狸也跟着被弹起，四脚张开被挂了起来，来回在空中不停地摇晃着。 乐师说道："现在你好好地呆在这儿，等着我回来。"说完，又迈着悠闲的步子扬长而去。
可是，不久他又自言自语地说："又沉闷起来了，我得找一个伙伴。"于是，他拉起了小提琴，琴声飘扬，跑来了一只野兔。 乐师说道："哎呀，是只野兔。"野兔对他说："您不愧是一个优秀的琴师。您的琴真是拉绝了。您教我好吗？"乐师回答说："好吧，如果你按我的指挥来做，我就教你。"野兔马上说道："好的，我会是一个好学生。"然后他们一起走了很长一段时间。 当来到森林里一片开阔地带时，乐师用一根绳子在野兔的脖子上系好，将绳子的另一头拴在一棵树上，说道："好了，灵巧的野兔，跳起来，迅速地绕树跑二十圈。"愚蠢的野兔按乐师的吩咐跑了起来。 当兔子围着树跑完二十圈后，它也将系着它的绳子在树干上绕了二十圈，像一个被套在树上的囚犯。 跑完后，野兔兴致勃勃地又拉又扯，但只要一拉，绳子将它的脖子勒得更紧。 这时乐师说道："现在等在这儿，直到我回来。"说完就走了。
再说狼被卡住后，又是拉自己的脚，又是咬树干，还跳起来用后脚抓石头。 花了好些时间，费了好大的劲，最后才将脚抽出来。 它愤恨到了极点，说道："我一定要赶上那卑鄙的乐师，把他撕成碎片。"说完追了上去。 狐狸看见狼从身边跑过，叫道："哎！狼兄，请把我放下来，那乐师用诡计把我弄成了这个样子。"于是狼在榛树下面忙乎起来，咬断了两棵树后，它俩又一起去找那位乐师。 当它们来到野兔旁边时，野兔也叫喊要它们帮忙。 它们把它解脱后，一起向它们的仇人追去。
此时，乐师为了再找一个伙伴，他又拉起了小提琴，一个贫穷的樵夫听到他这欢快的琴声，兴奋不已 ，禁不住将斧头夹在胳膊下寻声而来。 这回，乐师看见是一个人来了，非常高兴，对这位樵夫非常有礼貌，没有用诡计作弄他，而且拉起了他最善长的曲调，直听得那樵夫如醉如痴，心中洋溢着欢喜。 就在樵夫站在旁边凝神静听时，他看到狼、狐狸和野兔走上前来。 从它们面部狂怒的表情，樵夫知道它们来这儿是不怀好意的，所以他站在乐师的前面，端起斧子，就像是在说："有我这把斧子在，谁也别想伤害乐师！"这些野兽看到这情形，吓得急忙跑回了森林。 乐师此刻又为樵夫拉起他最拿手的曲子，以答谢他为自己鼎力相助，赶走了野兽。 拉完后他与樵夫话别，继续他的漫游。