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Puss In Boots

A cer­tain miller had three sons, and when he died the only world­ly goods that he had left to them were his mill, his don­key, and his cat.  This lit­tle lega­cy was very quick­ly divid­ed up.  The eldest son took the mill, and the sec­ond son took the don­key.  All that remained for the youngest son was the cat, and he was very dis­ap­point­ed to receive such a mis­er­able por­tion.

My broth­er,” he said, “will be able to get a decent liv­ing by join­ing forces, but for my part, as soon as I have eat­en my cat and made a fur cap out of his skin, I am bound to die of hunger.”

These remarks were over­heard by Puss, who pre­tend­ed not to have been lis­ten­ing, and who said very sober­ly and seri­ous­ly, “There is not the least need for you to wor­ry, Mas­ter  All you have to do is to give me a pouch and get a pair of boots made for me so that I can walk in the woods.  You will find then that your share is not so bad after all.”

Now this cat had often shown him­self capa­ble of per­form­ing clever tricks.  When catch­ing rats and mice, for exam­ple, he would hide him­self near­by their food and hang down­ward by the feet as though he were dead.

His mas­ter, there­fore — felt some hope of being assist­ed in his mis­er­able plight.

When his mas­ter gave Puss the pair of boots that he had asked for, Puss gai­ly pulled them on.

Then Puss hung the pouch around his neck and, hold­ing the cords that tied it in front of him with his paws, he went into a war­ren where a great num­ber of rab­bits lived.

Plac­ing some bran and let­tuce in the pouch, he stretched him­self out and lay as if he were dead.  His plan was to wait until some young rab­bit, unlearned in world­ly wis­dom, should come and rum­mage in the pouch for the food that Puss had placed there.

Hard­ly had he laid him­self down  when thing began to hap­pen as he wished.  A stu­pid rab­bit went into the pouch, and Puss, pulling the cords tight, caught him in an instant.

Well sat­is­fied with his cap­ture, Puss depart­ed to the king’s palace.  There he demand­ed an audi­ence and was ush­ered upstairs.  He entered the roy­al apart­ment and bowed deep before the king.

I bring you, Sire,” he said, “a rab­bit from the war­ren of the mar­quis of Carabas” (such was the title he invent­ed for his mas­ter), “which he asked me to present to you on is behalf.”

Tel your mas­ter,” replied the king, “that I thank him and am pleased by his atten­tion.”

Anoth­er time, the cat hid him­self in a wheat field, with the mouth of his bag wide open..  Two par­tridges ven­tured in and, by pulling the cords tight, he cap­tured both of them.  Off he went and pre­sent­ed the to the king, just as he had done with the rab­bit from the war­ren.  His Majesty was even more pleased by the pair of par­tridges and hand­ed the cat a present for him­self.

For two and three months, Puss went on in this same way, every now and again pre­sent­ing to the king, as a gift from his mas­ter, some new type of game that he had caught.

There soon came a day when Puss learned that the king intend­ed to take his young daugh­ter, who was the most beau­ti­ful princess in the world, for a car­riage ride along the river­bank.

If you will do as I tell you,” said Puss to his mas­ter, “your for­tune will be made.  You have only to go and bate in the riv­er at the spot that I will point out to you.  Leave the rest to me.”

The mar­quis of Carabas had no idea what the cat was plan­ning, but he did just as Puss direct­ed.

While the mar­quis was bathing, the king drew near, and Puss at once began to cry out at the top of his voice, “Help! Help! The mar­quis of Carabas is drown­ing!”

When he heard these shouts, the king stuck his head out of the car­riage win­dow.  He rec­og­nized the cat who had so often brought him gifts and he asked his guards to go imme­di­ate­ly to help the mar­quis of Carabas.

While the guards were pulling the poor mar­quis out of the riv­er, Puss approached the car­riage and explained to the king that while his mas­ter was bathing, rob­bers had tak­en away his clothes although he had cried “Stop, thief!” at the top of his voice.  But truth­ful­ly, the clever cat ad hid­den the clothes under a big stone.

The king at once com­mand­ed the keep­ers of his wardrobe to select a suite of his finest clothes for the mar­quis of Carabas.

The king greet­ed the mar­quis with many com­pli­ments and, the fine clothes that the mar­quis had just put on made him look like a gen­tle­man and set off his good looks (for he was very hand­some), the king’s daugh­ter found him very much to her lik­ing.

Indeed, the mar­quis of Carabas had not cast more than two or three ten­der glances upon her when the princess fell mad­ly in love with him.  The king then invit­ed the mar­quis to get into the coach and ride with him.  The king then invit­ed the maruis to get into the coach and ride with them.

Delight­ed to see that his plan was begin­ning to work so suc­cess­ful­ly, the clever cat went ahead of the coach.  Soon he came upon a group of peas­ants who were mow­ing a field of wheat.  “Lis­ten, my good fel­lows,” he said, “if you do not tell the king that the field that you are mow­ing belongs to the mar­quis of Carabas, you will all be chopped up into lit­tle pieces like mince­meat!”

Soon, the king arrived and he asked the mow­ers who owned the field on which they were work­ing.

It is the prop­er­ty of the mar­quis of Carabas,” they all cried in one voice, for the threat from Puss had fright­ened them ter­ri­bly.

you have inher­it­ed a fine estate,” the king said to the mar­quis.

As you can see for your­self, Sire,” he replied, “the is a mead­ow that nev­er fails to yield an abun­dant crop each year.”

Still trav­el­ing ahead of the oth­ers, Puss came upon some har­vesters.

Lis­ten, my good fel­lows,” he said, “if you do not declare that every one of these fields belongs to the mar­quis of Carabas, you will all be chopped up into lit­tle bits like mince­meat!”

The king came by a moment lat­er and wished to know who owned the fields he saw before him.

It is the mar­quis of Carabas,” cried the har­vesters.

At this the king was more pleased than ever with the mar­quis and he com­pli­ment­ed him on his many noble pos­ses­sions.

Trav­el­ing ahead of the coach, Puss made the same threat to all the peo­ple he met, and the king was aston­ished at the great wealth of the mar­quis.

Final­ly, Puss reached a splen­did cas­tle which belonged to a giant ogre.   He was the rich­est ogre that had ever been known, for all the lands through which the coach has passed, and which the king admired, were part of the castle’s domain.

The cat had tak­en care to learn every­thing he could about the ogre and what pow­ers he pos­sessed.

Puss now asked to speak with the ogre, say­ing that he did not wish to pass so close to the cas­tle with­out hav­ing the hon­or of pay­ing his respects to the own­er.  Puss entered a large room where the ogre received him as polite­ly as an agre could and invit­ed Puss to sit down.

I’ve been told,” said Puss, “that you have the pow­er to change your­self into any kind of ani­mal that you would like to — for exam­ple, I have heard that you can trans­form your­self into a lion or an ele­phant.”

that is per­fect­ly true,” said the ogre stern­ly, “and just to prove it to you, I will imme­di­ate­ly turn into a lion.”

Puss was so fright­ened to sud­den­ly find him­self so close to a lion that he sprang away and climbed onto the roof of the cas­tle, but not with­out much dif­fi­cul­ty and dan­ger, for his bots were not well suit­ed for walk­ing on roof tiles.

Some time lat­er, when the cat saw that the ogre had changed him­self back from a lion, Puss climbed down from the roof, admit­ting that he had indeed been very fright­ened.

I have also been told,” PUss said to the ogre, “but I can scarce­ly believe it, that you have the pow­er to take the shape of even the small­est ani­mals — that you can change your­self into a rat or a mouse, for exam­ple.  I must con­fess that to me that seems quite impos­si­ble.”

Impos­si­ble? cried the ogre, “well, you shall see right away!” And at that very instant, the ogre changed him­self into a small mouse, and began to run about on the floor to every cor­ner of the room.  No soon­er did Puss see the tiny mouse, than he pounced on it and ate it.

In the mean­time, the king came along and, admir­ing the ogre’s beau­ti­ful estate, ordered his coach­man to dri­ve up to the gate as he wished to vis­it the cas­tle.

The cat heard the rum­ble of the coach  as it crossed the cas­tle draw­bridge and run­ning out to the court­yard, he cried out to the king, “Wel­come, your Majesty, to the cas­tle of the mar­quis of Carabas!”

What’s that?” cried the king.  “is this splend­ed cas­tle also yours, mar­quis?  I have nev­er seen any­thing more grand than this build­ing and court­yard and grounds around it.  No doubt the cas­tle itself is just as mag­nif­i­cent on the inside.  With your per­mis­sion mar­quis, may we go inside and look around?” The mar­quis gave his hand to the young princess as she stepped out of the coach, and fol­lowed by the king, they they led the way up the great stair­case.  As they entered the large hall, they found there a mag­nif­i­cent feast that had been pre­pared by the ogre for some friends who were to pay him a vis­it that very day.  When these guests heard that the king, the princess, and a great mar­quis were already inside the cas­tle, they did not dare to enter and instead they turned away and left.

The king was now quite charmed with the excel­lent qual­i­ties and the great wealth of the mar­quis of Carabas, and the young princess was also com­plete­ly cap­ti­vat­ed by him.  In fact, she had fall­en deeply in love with him.

When they had fin­ished eat­ing the great feast, and the king and princess were quite sat­is­fied with the ban­quet, the king turned to the mar­quis and said “IT will be your own fault, mar­quis of Carabas, if you do not soon become my son-in-law.”

The mar­quis, bow­ing very low, and with a thou­sand expres­sions of grat­i­tude and respect, accept­ed the great hon­or that the king bestowed upon him.  That very same day, the mar­quis mar­ried the princess, and every­one cel­e­brat­ed with anoth­er grand feast.  The princess and the mar­quis made much of Puss, who was treat­ed as a guest of hon­or at the wed­ding table.

The mar­quis promised Puss a com­fort­able life at the cas­tle for the rest of his life.  Puss became a per­son­age of great impor­tance and gave up hunt­ing mice, except for his own amuse­ment.

The End