The Boy and the Violin
Soon a company of monkeys passed that way and heard the sound of the music. They began dancing immediately. They made such a chattering that they almost drowned the music. The boy threatened to stop playing if they could not be happy without being so noisy. After that the monkeys chattered less.
After a while a tapir heard the jolly sound. Immediately his threetoed hind feet and fourtoed front feet began to dance. He just couldn’t keep them from dancing; so he, too, joined the procession of boy, cat, sheep, and monkeys.
Next the armadillo heard the music. In spite of his heavy armour he had to dance too. Then a herd of small deer joined the company. Then the anteater danced along with them. The wild cat and the tiger came, too. The sheep and the deer were terribly frightened, but they kept dancing on just the same. The tiger and wild cat were so happy dancing that they never noticed them at all. The big snakes curled their huge bodies about the tree trunks and wished that they, too, had feet with which to dance. The birds tried to dance, but they could not use their feet well enough and had to give it up and keep flying. Every beast of the forests and jungles which had feet with which to dance came and joined the gay procession.
The jolly company wandered on and on until finally they came to the high wall which surrounds the land of the giants. The enormous giant who stood on the wall as guard laughed so hard that he almost fell off the wall. He took them to the king at once. The king laughed so hard that he almost fell off his throne. His laugh shook the earth. The earth had never before been shaken at the laugh of the king of the giants, though it had often heard his angry voice in the thunder. The people did not know what to make of it.
Now it happened that the king of the land of giants had a beautiful giantess daughter who never laughed. She remained sad all the time. The king had offered half his kingdom to the one who could make her laugh, and all the giants had done their very funniest tricks for her.