Once upon a time, a duck was flying over a forest when he was shot by a hunter. The duck managed to fly to a castle where the princess nursed him back to health.
"I wish there was something I could do to help you," said the duck.
"There is," said the princess, "A magic spell prevents me from leaving the castle. The only way to break the spell is for someone to plant the magic flower outside the castle gate."
"I'll do it," said the duck.
"It will be very dangerous and you cannot yet fly."
"I can walk and swim," said the duck.
"Then take this map, it will show you the way to the magic flower. You will know it because it smells like lemons."
The next morning, the duck swam across the moat with the map tucked under his wing and some rope around his neck. He followed the map and soon found himself following a path in a dark, enchanted wood. After he had gone a few miles, he heard a strange sound, "Awooo, Awoo" and the sound was coming closer. At first, the duck wanted to run away, but then stopped himself. "Help comes from unlikely places," he said to himself, "I'll wait and see what is making that noise." The duck quickly climbed up a tree and waited. He looked down and saw a large dog howling in the most pitiful manner. "The princess has always been so good to me. I'll never find the magic flower to save her. What ever can I do?" The duck, thinking quickly, jumped down from his branch.
"Ahh!" shrieked the dog, "Who are you?"
"I, too, am seeking the magic flower. But I have a map to show the way. Would you like to join me?"
The dog agreed and two continued down the path.
After they had gone a few miles, they heard a strange sound, "Meow, Meow" and the sound was coming closer. "It's a monster," said the dog. "Perhaps," said the duck, "but let us wait and see what it is. Help comes from unlikely sources." The duck and dog quickly climbed up a tree to see what it was. They looked down and saw a cat howling in the most pitiful manner. "I want rescue the princess and now I am lost. I'll never find the magic flower. What ever can I do?" The duck, thinking quickly, jumped down from his branch.
"Ahh!" shrieked the cat, "Who are you?"
"I, too, am seeking the magic flower. But I have a map to show the way. Would you like to join us?" The cat agreed and three set off.
In the same way the duck was joined by a sheep, an ox, and a pig.
The duck looked at his map. "The map says to be careful because a band of thieves roams in this area."
"Ah," said the dog, "Thieves are nothing. Leave them to me."
They traveled on. Suddenly, the dog began to bark and growl ferociously. The animals heard sounds of running as the robbers ran away. "That takes care of that," said the dog.
It grew dark, and the animals were tired and hungry. The duck looked at his map. "Ahead there is a barn full of food for any traveler who needs it." They entered the barn ready to eat, but it was full of rats and mice selfishly feasting on all the food that hissed at them as they approached. "Ah", said the cat,"Leave them to me." With a loud meow, the cat jumped among the rats. The rodents fled, leaving plenty of food for the other animals.
Well fed, they laid down to sleep. As the night drew on, it became colder and colder. The animals began to shiver. "There are no blankets here," said the duck. "Ah, " said the sheep, "Leave this to me. I am made of wool. If you will all cuddle close to me, I can keep you warm." Warm and content, the animals slept.
The next morning they continued their journey. The path ended at a swift river. Duck knew he could swim across, but the water was too swift for the other animals. "Ah," said the duck, "Leave this to me." He swam across the river and tied his rope around a tall tree. Then he swam back. "Now hold onto the rope and we can cross." But even with the rope, the river was still too swift.
"Ah," said the ox, "Leave this to me." He began to pull and strain on the rope. With a loud crack, the tree fell over making a fine bridge. The animals all crossed and found themselves in a field full of magic flowers.
There were thousands of flowers and they all looked the same. "Ah," said the pig, "leave this to me." She began to sniff the air. "This way," she called as she ran. The other animals followed her lead. Suddenly, she stopped. "Here is the flower." They all smelled it and agreed it was the one. The dog carefully dug it up, and they began their trip home.
Soon they were at the castle. They planted the flower and the spell was broken. The grateful princess came out of the castle. "In return for you bravery," she said, "I dub all of you knights and grant you one wish."
"We wish to have a farm where we can all live together and help each other."
So the princess put them in charge of the royal farm and everyone lived happily ever after.