The Town Musicians of Bremen

bremen musiciansThe Town Musicians of Bremen is a folktale recorded by the Brothers Grimm. It is about four animals who have worked hard all their lives. They are now too old to work and face either being badly treated or killed by their owners. One by one they leave their homes and set out together to become musicians in the town of Bremen. However, they never reach Bremen because of something that happens on the way.

English Learner Vocabulary Help

Many of the words in our Simplified English version of the story which are not in our Pre-Intermediate level 1200 word list have to do with the animals and their sounds and actions. The words not in our list are: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , and . There is also one -word in the story, which is meant to sound like the morning cry of a rooster: “cock-a-doodle-doo”.

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(n: bark pl barks) 1. The outer covering of a tree. 2. The loud sound made by a dog when it is angry or excited.
(v: bark, barks, barked, barking) 1. To make a loud sound like that made by a dog when it is angry or excited. The dog barked at the stranger. 2. To shout or say (something) in a loud and angry way. The captain barked orders to his men. 5000

tree bark barking dog

bone(n: bone pl bones) The hard substance forming the skeleton of man, animals etc. 2000

bray(n: bray pl brays) The loud sound that a donkey makes; hee-haw. 8000

breath(n: breath pl breaths) The air that you take into your lungs and send out from your lungs. His breath smells like garlic. 3000
(idiom: hold your breath) To stop breathing for a short time, such as when you dive into water.
(idiom: take a deep breath) To take a lot of air into your lungs.

candle(n: candle pl candles) Wax that has been formed into a stick or another shape and has a string in the middle that can be burned to give light. 3000

club(n: club pl clubs) 1. A heavy wooden stick used as a weapon. 2. A group of people who meet to participate in an activity or a place where such people meet. 1000

crow(n: crow pl crows) 1. A kind of large (usually black) bird. 2. The cry of a rooster. 5000

donkey(n: donkey pl donkeys) An animal that is like a small horse with large ears, commonly used for carrying things. 5000

fingernail(n: fingernail pl fingernails) The thin, hard covering that grows on the top end of each finger. 9000

lute(n: lute pl lutes) A musical instrument with strings that looks like a guitar but has a pear-shaped body and (usually) a bent neck.
Played especially in past centuries.

match(n: match pl matches) 1. A short thin piece of wood with a special tip that produces fire when it is rubbed against something else. He lit a match. 2. Someone or something that is equal to or as good as another person or thing. She has finally met her match at arguing. 3. A contest between two or more players or teams. A soccer match. 1000

(n: meow pl meows) The sound made by a cat or any sound like this.

rooster(n: rooster pl roosters) An adult male chicken; a cock.

scratch(n: scratch pl scratches) A shallow and narrow cut in the skin or a surface caused by something sharp.
(v: scratch, scratches, scratched, scratching) 1. To make a line in a surface or object by rubbing or cutting it with a sharp point. 2. To rub your skin with something sharp to stop an itch. 3000

spit(v: spit, spits, spat, spitting) To force something [such as food or liquid] from your mouth. (ถ่มน้ำลาย) 3000

stable(n: stable pl stables) A building in which large animals are kept. (คอก สัตว์) 5000

witch(n: witch pl witches) 1. A woman who is thought to have magic powers. (แม่มด) 2. [informal] A very unpleasant woman. His mother-in-law is a bitter old witch. 4000
(n: witchcraft) Magic practised by a witch etc. (การใช้เวทมนตร์คาถา) 12000
(n: witch-doctor) A person who is believed in some cultures to be able to communicate with spirit worlds and use magic spells to cure people who are sick, to tell or control future, etc. (หมอผี)

(prefix: non) Not 1000

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