Peter & the Wolf – Narrated by David Bowie (1978)

This is the story of Peter and the wolf.

Each character in the tale is going to be represented by a different instrument of the orchestra. For instance, the bird will be played by the flute. Like this. Here’s the duck, played by the oboe. The cat by the clarinet. The bassoon will represent grandfather. The wolf by the French horns. And Peter by the strings. The blast of the hunters’ shotguns played by the kettledrums.

Are you sitting comfortably? Then I shall begin.

Early one morning, Peter opened the gate and went out into the big green meadow.

On a branch of a big tree sat a little bird, Peter’s friend. “All is quiet, All is quiet” chirped the bird gaily.

Just then a duck came waddling round. She was glad that Peter hadn’t closed the gate and decided to take a nice swim in the deep pond in the meadow.

Seeing the duck, the little bird flew down upon on the grass, settled next to her and shrugged his shoulders. “What kind of bird are you if you can’t fly?” said he. To this the duck replied “What kind of bird are you if you can’t swim?” and dived into the pond.

They argued and argued, the duck swimming in the pond and the little bird hopping along the shore.

Suddenly, something caught Peter’s attention. It was a cat crawling through the grass.

The cat thought; “The bird is busy arguing, I’ll just grab him.
Stealthily she crept towards him on his velvet paws.

“Look out!” shouted Peter and the bird immediately flew up into the tree, while the duck quacked at the cat, from the middle of the pond. The cat walked around the tree and thought, “Is it worth climbing up so high? By the time I get there the bird will have flown away.”

Just then grandfather came out. He was angry because Peter had gone into the meadow. “Its a dangerous place. If a wolf should come out of the forest, then what would you do?”

But Peter paid no attention to his grandfather’s words. Boys like Peter aren’t afraid of wolves.

But grandfather took Peter by the hand, locked the gate and led him home.

No sooner had Peter gone, than a big gray wolf came out of the forest.

In a twinkling the cat climbed up into the tree. The duck quacked, and in her excitement jumped out of the pond. But no matter how hard the duck tried to run, she couldn’t escape the wolf.

He was getting nearer, nearer, catching up with her.