Once upon a time, a young lad named Jack decided to go and seek his fortune. He packed his favorite food, pickles and sardines and turnips. He wrapped them up and put them in his knapsack with a chunk of hard rye bread. He then headed out into the great wide world.
He hadn’t been walking down the road very long when he came across the calico cat from his village.
“Where are you going, Jack?” the cat asked.
“I’m going to seek my fortune!” Jack said. “Do you want to come with me? The more the merrier and I’d like some extra company.” The cat sat for a moment, grooming itself and agreed with a swish of its tail. Now there were two of them.
Before long, they bumped into a huge and fluffy white dog. The cat hid behind Jack. The dog raised his paws to show he was a friend and the calico cat relaxed.
“Where are you two going?” he asked. “I’m a little bored and I have nothing to do.”
“We’re going to seek our fortune!” Jack and the cat said at the same time.
“Would you like to come with us? The more the merrier,” said Jack. “We’d like the extra company,” added the cat.
The dog nodded yes with his tongue out and now there were three of them.
They walked on for some time, but stopped when they met a billy goat. He was chewing on an old bicycle tire, burping often.
“Where are you three going?” asked the goat.
“We’re going to seek our fortune! Will you join us? The more the merrier,” said Jack, the cat and the dog in unison.
“Will there be delicious food to eat? This tire tastes terrible!”
The three looked at each other, shrugged and Jack said “Of course!”
The goat jumped on the road to join them and now they were four.
A bit further along the way they saw a big Brahman bull. The bull was rolling in a grassy field, sighing. “I want to go on an adventure!” he said. They asked him to seek his fortune and he agreed - now there were five of them!
Soon enough they reached a small, colorful village, where they ran into a Rhode Island Red rooster.
“Where are you all going?” asked the rooster.
“We’re going to seek our fortune,” they replied, and asked if he’d like to come with them. The rooster, having finished his morning work of waking everyone up, crowed a happy yes. Seeking one’s fortune sounded like an exciting and thrilling thing to do!
And so Jack and the six animals set out on their journey. After a while, the sun began to sink over the horizon and the sky got dusky and dark. They started looking for a place where they could spend the night. They stood on the top of a hill, spotting a house below with lights on in one room.
“Everyone stay here! I’ll go and take a look inside,” said Jack to the animals. They nodded and froze in place, quieter than mice and as still as trees. Jack tiptoed up the porch steps, snuck to a window and peeked inside.
There was a group of enormous, ugly, toothless bandits sitting in a circle. In the middle of the circle on the floor was a huge pile of loot! He saw a lot of gold bars and tons of diamonds. When he returned to his friends, Jack told them what he had seen.
They talked about what they should do for a while, then Jack said: “Let’s be silent when we go to the door. I’ll count to three and open it, you’ll run inside as fast as you can. Don’t forget to make as much noise as you can!”
It was a good plan, and they did exactly what he said. Jack smashed down the door. What happened next shocked the bandits. The cat meowed, yowled and hissed with all her might. The dog barked and howled. The goat bleated and chewed on the nearest bandit’s shirt. The bull stamped the wooden floor with his hooves while he bellowed. The rooster crowed at the top of his lungs, flapping his wings. It was such a frightening noise that the bandits took to their heels at once and fled.
The friends laughed in excitement to have found their fortunes. Jack worried, though, that the bandits might return. Maybe in the middle of the night to take it back. He thought for a minute then directed them.
The calico cat climbed up an armchair next to the door and lay on the seat. The dog jumped on a small table, nearly breaking it with his weight. The goat jumped up the stairs to hide in a closet. The bull went downstairs to the cellar, but because the steps were small, it took time. The rooster ran up the side of the house and then flew onto the roof.
And Jack? Well, Jack turned off the lights and went to bed. It had been a long day and he was very tired!
The bandits weren’t just enormous, ugly and toothless. They were also not very smart. Even so, they soon realized that they had left all their treasures behind. They turned around and ran back to the house. When they got there, it was pitch black and without a sound. They sent the youngest of their crew ahead to look inside. Secretly, they were all too scared to go and look for themselves.
When the young robber entered the house, he walked carefully along the wall. He held his hands out in front of him until he felt the armchair in the dark. He sat down in it, right on top of the cat, squishing it! The calico went crazy and scratched him all over.
The young thief jumped off the armchair and ran straight into the table, where the dog bit his hand and wouldn’t let go. The young bandit pulled and pulled and finally got free.
Trying to find a place to hide, the poor young thief ran up the stairs. Unfortunately, when he got to the top, the goat jumped from the closet. He gave him a butt with his horns, then turned around and kicked with his back hooves. It knocked the bandit right back down the stairs and all the way to the cellar.
The same cellar where the bull was waiting to charge at him. Up on the roof, the rooster crowed: “Bring him to me, I’ll sort him out! Cock-a-doodle-do!”
But the young, bruised bandit had had enough. He turned around and ran away as fast as he could go. He looked over his shoulder once to make sure nothing followed.
A terrible racket was coming from the house. As soon as he reached the other bandits they saw what had happened to him. He was a mess. He told them about the horrible monsters and his story frightened them all. They turned tail and fled, never stopping for a second. And never looking back.
Jack and his friends had found their fortunes and they all lived happily ever after.