P.L is one of my friends in high school. He’s half German so he knows many cultures and folklore from there. He hasn’t been to German for that long, but his parents made it so he would be culturally involved. He’s also lived in the States and Taiwan so he’s multi-culturally diverse.
A folklore he shared with me is a children’s fairy tale. The fairy tale is called Bremer Stadtmusikanten. Bremer Stadtmusikanten is originated from Germany. This children fairy tale revolves around four animals that were badly treated by its owner. The four animals are a dog, a cat, a donkey and a rooster. They decided to run away from their owners and decided to become musicians in Bremen since it was their dream to become one. While they were traveling to Bremen, they found a cottage and saw thieves inside. To scare the thieves away, the animals stood on top of each other to scare away the thieves. The rooster stood on top of the donkey which stood on top of the cat which stood on top of the dog. The pose the animals made becomes famous in Germany as many children imitate that pose.
P.L first heard of this story from his mother. This fairytale interested P.L because he like the story, and it was entertaining that the main characters of the fairytales were animals. He also thought that the story inspired him to follow your dream and to don’t stay in an abusive relationship, because of how badly the animals were treated by their owners.
In this fairytale, there were animals as the main characters to show more of an entertainment. It also has two sets of bad people, the owners and the thieves. The abusive owners were included to show that the primary struggles of the main characters and that they can overcome it. The thieves were included because of oh a block that prevented the animals from reaching the goals, but again, it allowed them to overcome the obstacles put before them.
I think this is a good, standard fairy tale as it has many of the ingredients of a fairytale. Obviously, this fairytale isn’t real, there weren’t ever talking animals would could play music. But this did have a moral behind it, in which it could be interpreted in many ways. I also think, along with P.L, that one of the morals is to never give up on your dream. This also has an entertainment valued as the posed that the animals made to scare away the thieves were played and imitated a lot by the children in Germany who heard the story.
For another version of this children’s fairytale, see The Bremen Town Musicians. Dir. Inessa Kovalevskaya. 1969.