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PUSS IN BOOTS.
THERE was once an old miller who had three sons, and
after his death his property was divided among them.
The eldest son had the mill, and he soon set the sails
going round and round, and the farmers and neighbors
brought their corn and wheat to be ground, and money
came in very fast. So he was all right, and had no cause to
The second son did not fare so well, however, for he had
nothing left him but a donkey, and he was quite down-in-
the mouth about it for a while. Then the thought struck
him that he might join in with his elder brother, and by
taking the grain to and from the mill might earn enough to
keep himself from starving. This turned out to be a good
plan, and he thought himself lucky in having such a good
and faithful servant as the little donkey. So he was all
right and had no cause to complain.
But the third son fared the worst of all, for all that fell to
his share was a cat, and that was about as good, he thought,
as nothing at all.
He sat down to think in what way he could earn a living,
and bemoaned his fate with bitter sighs and tears.
"What shall I do?" he cried aloud. "If I kill the cat
and sell her skin, that won't go far toward keeping me out of
the poor-house 1 Oh, how much worse I am off than my
The cat sat near his master and heard every word he said;
and when he paused for a moment, Puss came forward, and
The Baldwin Library
PUSS IN BOOTS.
in a clear voice said: Dear master, do not be so cast dovvi.
If you'll give me a pair of boots and a game-bag you shall
have no cause for complaint." The young man did not
understand how the cat could be of any service to him, but
as he had always been a clever puss he thought it best to
So Puss was measured for a pair of well-fitting boots, and
as soon as they came home he put them on, hung the game-
bag round his neck, and set off on his adventures.
Through the woods and over the fields he ran till he came
near a rabbit warren, when he crept more cautiously for fear
some of the bunnies might hear him; for they have very
sharp ears. He opened the game-bag, into which he had
put some bits of cabbage and fresh parsley, and arranging the
strings of the bag in a clever way, waited patiently for a
visit from the rabbits.
Presently two or three young ones came hopping up and
twitching their long ears. They sniffed around for awhile
at the entrance of the bag, and then hopped in and began
munching and nibbling at the parsley and cabbage, little
thinking of the fate that awaited them. All at once the cat
gave the string a jerk, and the bunnies were caught in a trap,
and though they kicked ever so hard they couldn't get out.
Puss lost no time in killing them, and slinging the game-
bag over his shoulder, he set out for the king's palace. He
went up to the guard at the gate, as grand as you please, and
said he desired to speak with the king. His manner was so
determined that the sentinels dared not refuse him, and Puss
made his way straight to the king's private room.
Here he took off his cap, threw down his bag, and with a
flourish of his tail presented the gifts he had brought with
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PUSS IN BOOTS.
the compliments of his master, the Lord Marquis of Carabas.
Puss made quite a grand speech, to which the king replied,
Tell my lord marquis that I accept his present with great
pleasure, and am much obliged to him." And he could not
help wondering who the Marquis of Carabas was, and why
he had never heard of him before. But Puss was so aristo-
cratic in his appearance there could be no doubt that he
belonged to a master of high rank.
Satisfied with the success of his interview with the king,
the cat bowed himself out with all the grace of a well-bred
A day or two afterwards he went out with his boots and
bag in search of more game, and succeeded in trapping a
couple of young partridges, which he speedily killed and
presented to the king, with a suitable speech.
For three or four weeks he managed to send a present to
the king every day or two; and hearing one day that the
king was to take his lovely daughter for a drive by the river
side, Puss devised a cunning scheme which he proceeded to
carry out in the following manner;
"Go and bathe in the river, dear master," said Puss, and
leave the rest to me." The master consented to do as Puss
told him, although he failed to see the necessity of bathing in
that place at that hour.
Presently the king's carriage drove in sight, and Puss
began to run to and fro, and wring his paws, and toss
them over his head as if almost distracted. Then he cried
out at the top of his voice: "Help! help! help I my master
is being drowned Help for the Lord Marquis of Carabas I"
The king looked out of the carriage-window, and recog-
nizing the cat who brought the presents of game and fruit,
PUSS IN BOOTS.
he ordered several of his guard to go to the assistance of the
But the rogue of a cat was not satisfied with this, he knew
that his master's shabby clothes would never do for a
marquis, so he ran to the carriage and told the king that a
wicked thief had stolen his master's fine clothes while he was
in bathing. Puss said that as soon as he knew of the loss
he gave chase to the thief, but, though he ran miles and
miles, could find no trace of him.
The king at once ordered a suit from his own wardrobe to
be brought for the Marquis of Carabas; and the young man,
who was a handsome fellow, looked very fine indeed in his
new garments, as he came up to the carriage to thank the
king for his kindness. His majesty was so pleased with him
that he insisted that my lord marquis should enter the carriage
and take a drive with him; and the daughter looked as if she
were not at all displeased at the proposal. In fact, she was
rather struck with the appearance of the Marquis of Carabas.
As soon as Puss saw his master safely in the carriage, he
ran on until he came to a field where a party of reapers were
gathering in the harvest. The cat went up to the men and
said: If you don't say, when the king asks you, that this
field belongs to the Marquis of Carabas, you shall all be
chopped as fine as mince meat."
The reapers were startled at first, and then amused at the
little creature in boots, but they promised to do as they were
told, and Puss took his departure.
When the royal carriage passed the field soon afterward
the king stopped, and, calling one of the reapers to him, asked
to whom all that fine wheat belonged. To the Marquis of
Carabas, your majesty," answered all the reapers.
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PUSS IN BOOTS.
"You have a fine crop of wheat, my lord marquis," said
"Yes, your majesty," replied the marquis; and the king
thought he had never met such a nice and modest young
As the king passed through-the different fields he did not
fail to ask to whom they belonged, and was surprised at
being told they were the property of the Marquis of Carabas.
Really, my lord marquis," said the king, your posses-
sions are very extensive 1 "
Yes, your majesty ;" and the princess thought he was the
handsomest young man she had ever laid eyes on.
Now there was in those parts a very fine castle in which
dwelt an ogre, who was a great giant and a magician. The
cat had a slight acquaintance with him, so he posted off to
the castle, rang the bell loudly, and told the ogre he had come
to make him a visit and inquire after his health. The ogre
was much obliged to the cat, and invited him in, which was
just what Puss wanted. He at once accepted the invitation,
and sitting down at a table, with his paws tucked cosily
together, entered at once into conversation.
"Sir," said Puss, "I am told that you are a mighty
magician." "That is true," said the ogre.
And I have heard," said Puss, that you can transform
yourself into the shape of various animals."
That is very true," said the ogre.
"But I mean large animals; an elephant for instance."
"That is quite true," said the ogre, "as you can see for
yourself;" and saying some magical words, he stood before
the cat in the shape of an elephant, with long trunk, great
flapping ears, and sharp tusks-all complete.
PUSS IN BOOTS.
Puss was rather startled at the sudden change, but he
soon mustered courage and went on: "Well, that is really
marvelous, indeed I But can you change your shape to any
animal you choose?"
Certainly," said the ogre, and he waved his trunk in the
air, flapped his ears, and presently stood before the astonished
cat in the shape of a huge African lion, with bristling mane,
glaring eyes, and a most ferocious display of white teeth.
The cat gazed at him for awhile in astonishment and fear,
but when the lion opened his mouth and gave a great roar,
Puss flew down the stairs and escaped through an open
The ogre was delighted with the success of his perform-
ance, and laughed heartily at the way in which he had
frightened his guest.
Pucs kept up his growling and spitting for some time, but
after he had recovered from his fright he entered the room
again, excusing himself to the ogre for leaving in such haste,
and saying itwas due to the intense heat. Resuming his
seat at the table he began:
Sir, I should never have believed these wonders possible
if I had not seen them with my own eyes. You are, indeed,
a great magician, but I have heard of a conjuror who could
assume the shape of small animals as well as large ones.
That must be exceedingly difficult, and require long
"One is as easy as the other," said the ogre, who was vain
of his powers, and did not like to think there was any one
greater than he.
"But I mean," said Puss, small animals, like a cat or
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PUSS IN BOOTS.
"Judge for yourself," said the ogre, and in a moment he
was capering about the room in the shape of a mouse. In
less than a second the cunning cat had sprung upon him,
and with his sharp teeth he soon put an end to the ogre.
He had only just time to run up stairs and dress himself
in a page's suit he found in a closet, and to give his face a
hasty wash, when the king's coach appeared in front of the
There, to the great astonishment of the Marquis of Carabas,
stood the cat gallantly attired and ready to do the honors of
Welcome !" he said, with a courtly bow; "welcome your
majesty, and your royal highness, to the castle of my master,
the Marquis of Carabas! As the honor is an unexpected one,,
pray pardon the hasty arrangements made for your reception.
To tell the truth, my master has not long been in possession
of this castle, but if you will be pleased to alight and take
some refreshment, this will be the proudest day of my life,
and of my master's, the Lord Marquis of Carabas."
Upon my word, my lord marquis," said the king, "you
have a splendid castle here, and I should greatly enjoy
giving it a closer inspection. I am tired of being cramped
up so in this coach, and the long drive has given me quite
an appetite. Will you join us, my daughter ?"
The princess was only too glad to gratify her curiosity,
and the king graciously commanded the marquis to take her
by the hand and lead her into the dwelling.
While they were walking through the upper rooms, tne cat
lipped away and had a fine banquet prepared, and on their
return they sat down to a feast that was, indeed, fit for a
PUSS IN BOOTS.
With each glass of wine he drank the king became more
and more jovial, and seemed to grow very fond of the
marquis, to whom he said: It will be your own fault, my
Lord Marquis of Carabas, if you do not become our son-in-
law, provided our daughter has no objection."
At this plain speech the princess blushed and hung her
head, but did not look at all displeased, while the marquis
rose at once from his seat, thanked the king for the honor he
desired to bestow upon him, and accepted the honor very
The cat's joy was so great that he had to go out of doors
and stand on his head for awhile, and kick up his hind legs
in the air.
There is little more to tell. The marquis returned with
the king and princess to their palace, where the wedding took
place with much pomp and ceremony. The king, of course,
gave away his daughter, and the cat was present in a lovely
court suit. The Marquis of Carabas made a good husband,
and he and the princess lived most happily together. As for
the cat, he became a great lord, and never had to hunt rats
and mice except for his own amusement. He lived to a good
old age, and when he died, his grateful master and the king
vied with each other in doing honor to his memory. A
handsome monument was erected containing a life-size statue
of Puss in Boots, and on the base of it were these words:
A FAITHFUL FRIEND IS A MAN'S BEST FORTUNE.
And all the cats in the kingdom were provided with shoes,
and tried their best, but without success, to rival the famous
PUSS IN BOOTS.