Еxcerpt from: Puss in boots / Publication date [between 1836 and 1844] / Publisher London: Orlando Hodgson, 111, Fleet Street
Puss in boots story – Part 1
Each of the brothers now took his own share, without the help of an attorney, who would soon have brought their little fortune to nothing in law expences.
The poor fellow who had nothing but the cat complained that he was very ill-used:
” My brothers,”
” may join their stocks together, and do very well in the world; as for me, when I have eaten my cat and made a fur cap of his skin, I may soon die of hunger !”
The cat, who was all this time listening just inside the door of a cupboard, now ventured to come out and spoke to him in these words :
” Do not be so much grieved, my good master; only give me a bag, and get a pair of boots made for me, so that I may scamper through the dirt and the hedges, and you shall see that you are not so badly off as you think.”
Though the cat’s master did not depend much upon these promises, yet he had often seen the cunning tricks of Puss in catching rats and mice, such as hanging by the hind legs, as if he was dead, and hiding in the meal; so he thought it very likely he might be of some use to him now in his forlorn case.
When the cat had got the things he asked for, he began to dress himself. He first drew on the boots; and next put the bag about his neck, taking hold of the strings with his fore-paws. He then told his master to keep up his spirits and walked boldly out to seek for adventures.
The first attempt Puss made was to go into a warren that had a great number of rabbits in it. He put some bran and some parsley into his bag, and then stretched himself out at full length as if he was dead. In this manner he waited for some young rabbits, who as yet did not know anything about his cunning tricks, to come and get into the bag for the sake of the nice things in it.
Soon after he had lain down, everything happened just as he could have wished. A giddy young rabbit crept into the bag; and the cat drew the strings of it directly, so that he was caught, and then killed him without mercy.
Puss was proud of this good luck; and went straight to the palace, where he asked to speak to the king. When he was shown into his majesty’s presence chamber he made a low bow and said :
” I have brought you, Sire, this rabbit, from the warren of my Lord the Marquis of Carrabas: who ordered me to present it to your majesty with his most humble respects”
Now the Marquis of Carrabas was only a sham name that the cat thought proper to give his master.
“Tell my Lord Marquis of Carrabas,”
answered the king,
” that I accept of his present with pleasure, and that I am very much obliged to him.”
Puss in boots story – Part 2
Soon after, the cat laid himself down in the same manner in a field of corn, and had the same good fortune as before; for two fine partridges got into his bag. He killed these also and carried them to the palace. The king received them as he had done the rabbit, and ordered his servants to give the cat something to drink. In this manner he carried a great many presents of the game to the king, saying that they came from my Lord Marquis of Carrabas (as he called his master) at least once every week.
One day the cat heard that the king was going to take a ride that morning by the river’s side with his daughter, who was the most beautiful princess in the world.
On this he said to his master:
“If you will but follow my advice, your fortune is made. Take off your clothes, and bathe yourself in the river just in the place I shall show you, and leave the rest to me.’*
His master knew what a good and faithful servant Puss was to him, and therefore did just as he desired, though he could not guess what the cat intended. While he was bathing the king passed by, and Puss directly cried out as loud as he could :
” Help! help ! or else my Lord Marquis of Carrabas will be drowned!’*
The king heard the cries and put his head out at the window of his coach to ask what was the matter; when he saw the very cat who had brought him so many presents. He then ordered his servants to run and do all they could for my Lord Marquis of Carrabas.
While they were busy in taking the cat’s master out of the river, Puss ran to the king’s coach and told his majesty that while his master was bathing some thieves had run away with his clothes as they lay by the river’s side. But the truth was, that the cunning cat had hid them herself under a large stone.
When the king heard this, he sent the officers of his wardrobe to fetch one of the handsomest suits in it, and give it to my Lord Marquis of Carrabas; and at the same time paid him a thousand compliments. The fine clothes that were brought made the cat’s master look like a gentleman ; and as he was very comely, they set him off to the best advantage: so that the kind’s daughter was very much pleased with him, and as soon as he had cast two or three tender glances upon her, she became quite in love with him.
The king made him get into the carriage, and take a ride with them. The cat was charmed to see how well all this was likely to end; so Puss ran before to a field where the corn was being reaped and said to the men that were at work:
” Good people if you do not tell the king when he passes this way, that this field belongs to my Lord Marquis of Carrabas, you shall all of you be chopped as small as minced meat.
The king did not fail to ask the reapers, who was the owner of the field?
” My Lord Marquis of Carrabas,”
said they all at once; for the words of the cat had frightened them terribly.
” You have got a find piece of land here, my Lord Marquis,”
said the king.
” Yes, Sire,” answered he: ” and it brings me a very good harvest every year.”
The cat still went on before, and next came to a field where some more men were making the com they had reaped into sheaves. He said to these people the same as to the others :
” Good folk, if you do not tell the king, when he passes this way, that the corn you have reaped in this field belongs to my Lord Marquis of Carrabas, you shall all of you be chopped as small as minced meat.”
Puss in boots story – Part 3
The king came by a minute or two after, and asked who was the owner of this corn ?
” My Lord Marquis of Carrabas,”
answered they all, and then the king turned to the cat’s master, and told him he saw he had got a very large estate.
The cat again went on before and gave the same orders to all the ‘people he met with: so that the king very much admired the great fortune of my Lord Marquis of Carrabas.
At last, Puss came to a large stone castle that belonged to an ogre, who was the richest that ever was known; for all the lands that the king had passed through and asked about were really his.
The cat took care to learn everything about the ogre, and what he could do. He then asked to speak with him; and said, as he came into the room where the ogre was sitting, that he could not pass so near his castle without doing himself the honor to ask after his health.
The ogre received him as civilly as an ogre could do, and told him to sit down.
“I have heard,”
said the cat,
” that you are able to change yourself into all sorts of creatures, such as a lion, or an elephant.”
” It is very true,”
answered the ogre rather gruffly,
” and to show you that it is so, I will now take the form of a lion.”
The cat was so much frightened when he found himself so close to a lion, that he jumped away, and climbed to the top of the house; but he could not do this without a great deal of trouble, as his boots were not fit to walk upon the tiles with.
After two or three minutes the cat saw that the ogre had taken his own shape again; so Puss came down from the tiles and owned that he had been very much afraid.
” I have been told, too,”
said the cat,
” but I can hardly believe it, that you are able to turn yourself into very small creatures also, as often as you like; such as a rat or a mouse; but indeed I have always thought this cannot be true.”
” Well, then,”
said the ogre,
” You shall soon see;”
and in a moment he changed himself into a mouse and began to run about the room. As soon as ever Puss cast his eyes upon the ogre in this form, he sprung upon him and ate him up at a mouthful.
In the meantime, the king came near the fine castle of the ogre; and ordered his coachman to drive up to the gates, that he might take a nearer view of it. When Puss heard the noise of the coach near the walls he came out at the gates and said,
” Your Majesty is welcome to the castle of my Lord Marquis of Carrabas.”
“What, said the king, turning to the cat’s master, ”
and is this castle yours too, my
‘ Lord Marquis of Carrabas? I never saw anything finer than the building, nor more beautiful than the park and pleasure-grounds round it; I dare say the castle is quite as noble inside as outside. Pray, my Lord Marquis, allow me to have a sight of it.
The cat’s master gave his hand to the young princess as she got out of the coach, and walked after the king. They came into a large hall, where they found on the table a noble dinner that the ogre had got ready for some friends.
Puss in boots story – Part 4
The king was very much pleased with the manners, and the noble fortune, of the Marquis of Carrabas,
(as he called him) and the young princess too had fallen deeply in love with him; so that when the king had eaten a little of the ogre’s treat and drank a few glasses of wine, he said to him :
“My Lord Marquis of Carrabas, it will be your own fault, if you do not soon become my son-in-law.
” When the cat’s master heard this he bowed, and gave his Majesty a thousand humble thanks: and said he was afraid he was not worthy of so high an honor; but as the king would have it so, he gladly took the hand of the princess, and they were married that very day.
In his good fortune, he did not forget his kind cat, who had brought him to it all. Puss was made a great lord of his court, and never more ran after rats and mice, but when he chose to have some sport.
This curious little tale was written to show that many things which we despise as valueless and beneath our notice, often prove the very means of our elevation in the scale of society. Let us, therefore, learn never to destroy anything, however trivial it may at first sight appear. Let us not be discontented with our portion in life; and because we have not all we wish, uproot the little good in our possession, but rather let us cherish that little, and by so doing, keep in a gradual state of improvement, by which we will most likely arrive at our desired aim ; but if not so, we shall have a calm and peaceful mind in a thorough conviction that we deserved otherwise.
END OF PUSS IN BOOTS.