Puss in Boots

Puss in Boots

once upon a time, there was a Miller who was so poor that, at his death, he had nothing

to leave to his three children but his mill, his ass, and his cat.

The eldest son took the mill, and the second the ass said there was nothing left

for poor Jack but to take puss.

Jack could not help thinking that he had been treated shabbily. “My brothers will be able to earn an honest livelihood,” he sighed, “but as for me though puss may feed himself by catching mice, I shall certainly die of hunger.”

The cat who had overheard his young master jumped upon his shoulder

and, rubbing himself gently against his cheek, began to speak,

“dear master,” said he, “do not grieve. I am not as useless as you think me and will undertake to make a fortune for you if only you will buy me a pair of boots and give me that old bag,”

now Jack had very little money to spare, but knowing post to be a faithful old friend

he made up his mind to trust him and so spent all he possessed upon a smart pair

of boots made of buff-colored leather, they fit perfectly, so Puss put them on, took

the old bag that his master gave him and trotted off to a neighboring Warren

in which he knew there was a great number of rabbits; having put some bran and fresh

parsley into the bag, he laid it upon the ground, hid himself, and waited presently.

Two foolish little rabbits sniffing the food ran straight into the bag when the clever

cat drew the strings and caught them. Then slinging the bag over his shoulder,

he hastened off to the palace, where he asked to speak to the king.

Having been shown into the Royal presence, he bowed and said

“sire, my lord, the Marquis of Carabas has commanded me to present these rabbits – your majesty.”

with his respect, the monarch, having desired his thanks to be given to the Marquess,

who, as you will guess, was really our poor Jack, then ordered his head cook to dress

the rabbits for dinner, and he and his daughter partook of them with great enjoyment.

Day by day, puss brought home stores of good food so that he and his master lived

in plenty, and besides that, he did not fail to keep the king and his courtiers well

supplied with the game; sometimes, he would lay a brace of partridges at the Royals

heat, sometimes a fine large hare, but whatever it was, it always came with the same

message from my lord, the Marquis of Carabas, so that everyone at court was talking

of this strange nobleman whom no one had ever seen but who sent such generous

presents to his majesty.

At length was decided that it was time for his master to be introduced at court,

so one day, he persuaded him to go and bathe in a river near, having heard that the king

would soon pass that way; Jack stood shivering up to his neck in the water,

wondering what was to happen next when suddenly the king’s carriage appeared

in sight, but once Puss began to call out as loudly as he could,

“Help, help, my lord, the Marquis of Carabas is drowning.”

The king put his head out of the carriage window and, recognizing the cat, ordered

his attendants to go to the assistance of the Marquis; while Jack was being taken out

of the water, puss ran to the king and told him that some robbers had run off with his

master’s clothes whilst he was bathing- the truth of the matter being that the cunning

cat had hidden them under a stone- on hearing this story; the king instantly dispatched

one of his grooms to fetch a handsome suit of purple and gold from the Royal

wardrobe and arrayed in this Jack, who was a fine handsome fellow, looked so well

that no one for a moment supposed but that he was some noble foreign Lord.

The king and his daughter were so pleased with his appearance that they invited him

into their carriage; at first, Jack hesitated, for he felt a little shy about sitting next

to a princess, but she smiled at him so sweetly and was so kind and gentle that

he soon forgot his fears and fell in love with her; there and then, as soon as Puss had

seen his master seated in the royal carriage, he whispered directions to the coachman

and then ran on ahead as fast as he could trot until he came to a field of corn where

the Reapers were busy.

“Reapers,” said he fiercely, “the king will shortly pass this way if he should ask you to whom this field belongs. Remember that you say to ‘the Marquis of Carabas,’ ah, if you dare to disobey me, I will have you all chopped up as fine as minced meat.”

the Reapers were so afraid the cat would keep his word that they promised to obey;

puss then ran on and told all the other laborers whom he met to get the same answer

threatening them with terrible punishments if they disobeyed.

Now the king was in very good humor, for the day was fine, and he found the Marquis a very pleasant companion, so he told the coachman to drive slowly in order that

he might admire the beautiful country water and fine field of wheat, he said presently

to whom does it belong? Then the men answered as they had been told to our Lord

‘The Marquis of Carabas.’ Next, they met a herd of cattle, and again to the King’s

question to whom they belong, they were told to the Marquis of Carabas, and it was

the same with everything they passed.

The Marquis listened with the greatest astonishment and thought, what a very

wonderful cat, his dear paws walls, and the king was delighted to find that his new

friend was as wealthy as he was charming; meanwhile, puss, who was well in advance

of the royal party had arrived at a stately castle that belonged to a cruel ogre,

the richest ever known for all the lands the king had admired so much belonged to him.

puss knocked at the door and asked to see the ogre who received him quite 7li

for he had never seen a cat in Boots before, and the sights amused him, so he

and puss was soon shutting away together.

The ogre, who was very conceited, began to boast of what clever tricks he could play,

and Puss sat and listened with a smile on his face,

“I once heard great ogre,” he said, “not that you possessed the power of changing yourself into any kind of animal; you chose a lion or an elephant, for instance,”

“well, so I can,” reply to the ogre.

“yeah, me how much I should like to see you do it and how,” said Puss sweetly,

the ogre was only too pleased to find a chance to show how very clever he was

so he promised to transform himself into any animal Puss might mention

“oh, I will leave the choice to you,” said the cat politely,

immediately there appeared where the ogre had been seated an enormous lion roaring

and lashing with its tail and looking as though it meant to gobble the cat up in a trice;

puss was really very much frightened and, jumping out of the window, managed

to scramble onto the roof though he could scarcely hold onto the tiles on account

of his high-heeled boots, there he sat, refusing to come down until the ogre changed

himself into his natural form, and laughingly, the ogre called to him that he would not

hurt him; then Puss ventured back into the room and began to compliment the ogre

on his cleverness.

“Of course, it was all very wonderful,” he said, “but it would be more wonderful still if you who are so great and here who transform yourself into a little creature such as a mouse that, I suppose, would be quite impossible,”

“not at all,” said the ogre. “It is quite as easy to me as the other as I will show,

and in a moment, a little brown mouse was frisking about all over the floor

“Whilst the ogre had vanished now or never,” said Puss, and with a spring, he seized

the mouse and gobbled it up as fast as he could; at the same moment, all

the gentlemen and ladies whom the wicked ogre had held in his castle under a spell

became disenchanted, they were so grateful to their deliverer that they would have

done anything to please him and readily agreed to enter into the service of the Marquis

of Carabas when Puss asked them to do so.

So now the cat had a splendid castle which he knew to be full of heaped-up treasures

at his command, and ordering a magnificent feast to be prepared, he took up

his station at the castle gates to welcome his master and the royal party.

As soon as the castle appeared in sight, the King inquired whose it was for and said, “I had never seen a finer,” then puss bowing low, threw open the castle gates and cried

“may it please Your Majesty to alight and enter the home of the noblest ‘the Marquis of Carabas’ full of surprise,”

the King turned to the Marquess. “Is this splendid castle indeed yours?” he asked. “Not even our own Palace is more beautiful, and doubtless, it is as splendid within as without puss,”

then helped his majesty to alight and conducted him into the castle, where a group

of noble gentlemen and fair ladies were waiting to receive them, Jack, or the Marquis

as he was now called, gave his hands to the young princess and led her to the banquet

long and merrily they feasted, and when at length the guests rose to depart, the king

embraced the Marquis and called him his dear son, and the princess blushed

so charmingly and looked so shy and sweet that Jack ventured to lay his heart

and fortune at her feet, and so the Millers’ son married the king’s daughter

and there was great rejoicing throughout the land.

On the evening of the wedding day, a great ball was given to which princes

and noblemen from far and near were invited; puss opened the ball wearing

for the occasion, a pair of boots made of the finest leather with gold tassels

and scarlet heels. I only wish you could have seen him when the old King died,

the princess and her  husband reigned in his stead, and their most honored and faithful

friend at court, Puss, who put himself for his master, never forgot to whom he owed all

his good fortune lived upon the daintiest meat and most delicious cream

and was petted and made  much of all the days of his life and never again ran after

mice and rats except for exercise and amusement.

The End