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HOME > Inspiring Novel > Tales of Passed Times > MASTER CAT;OR,PUSS IN BOOTS
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 A bequeathed to his three sons all he of worldly goods, which consisted only of his Mill, his , and his Cat. It did not take long to divide the property, and neither nor attorney was called in; they would soon have eaten up the poor little . The son had the Mill; the second son, the Ass; and the youngest had nothing but the Cat.  
The latter was very at having such a poor share of the inheritance. "My brothers," said he, "may be able to earn an honest by entering into ; but, as for me, when I have eaten my Cat and made a muff of his skin, I must die of hunger." The Cat, who had heard this speech, although he had not appeared to do so, said to him with a and serious air, "Do not be troubled, master; you have only to give me a bag, and get a pair of boots made for me in which I can go among the bushes, and you will see that you are not left so badly off as you believe." Though his master did not place much reliance on the Cat's words, he had seen him play such cunning tricks in rats and mice, when he would hang himself up by the heels, or hide in the flour pretending to be dead, that he was not altogether without hope of being helped by him out of his .
As soon as the Cat had what he asked for, he boldly pulled on his boots, and, hanging his bag round his neck, he took the of it in his fore-paws, and started off for a warren where there were a great number of rabbits. He put some bran and sow-thistles in his bag, and then, stretching himself out as if he were dead, he waited till some young rabbit, little in the of the world, should come and his way into the bag, in order to eat what was inside it.
He had hardly laid himself down before he had the pleasure of seeing a young scatterbrain of a rabbit get into the bag, whereupon Master Cat pulled the strings, caught it, and killed it without mercy. Proud of his , he went to the palace, and asked to speak to the King. He was upstairs and into the state apartment, and, after making a low bow to the King, he said, "Sire, here is a wild rabbit, which my Lord the Marquis of Carabas—for such was the title he had taken a fancy to give to his master—has ordered me to present, with his duty, to your ."
"Tell your master," replied the King, "that I thank him and am pleased with his gift."
Another day he went and hid himself in the wheat, keeping the mouth of his bag open as before, and as soon as he saw that a of partridges had run inside, he pulled the strings, and so took them both. He went immediately and presented them to the King, as he had the rabbits. The King was equally grateful at receiving the brace of partridges, and ordered drink to be given him.
For the next two or three months, the Cat continued in this manner, taking presents of game at to the King, as if from his master. One day, when he knew the King was going to drive on the banks of the river, with his daughter, the most beautiful Princess in the world, he said to his master, "If you will follow my advice, your fortune is made; you have only to go and bathe in a part of the river I will point out to you, and then leave the rest to me."
The Marquis of Carabas did as his Cat advised him, without knowing what good would come of it. While he was bathing, the King passed by, and the Cat began to call out with all his might, "Help! Help! My Lord the Marquis of Carabas is drowning!" Hearing the cry, the King looked out of the coach window, and recognising the Cat who had so often brought him game, he ordered his guards to fly to the help of my Lord the Marquis of Carabas. Whilst they were getting the poor Marquis out of the river, the Cat went up to the royal coach, and told the King that, while his master had been bathing, some robbers had come and carried off his clothes, although he had shouted, "Stop thief," as loud as he could. The had hidden them himself under a large stone. The King immediately ordered the officers of his wardrobe to go and fetch one of his handsomest suits for my Lord the Marquis of Carabas. The King embraced him a thousand times, and as the fine clothes they dressed him in set off his good looks—for he was handsome and well made—the Marquis of Carabas quite took the fancy of the King's daughter, and after he had cast two or three respectful and rather tender glances towards her, she fell very much in love with him. The King insisted upon his getting into the coach, and accompanying them in their drive. The Cat, delighted to see that his plans were beginning to succeed, ran on before, and coming across some peasants who were a meadow, he said to them, "You, good people, who are mowing here, if you do not tell the King that this meadow you are mowing belongs to my Lord the Marquis of Carabas, you shall all be cut in pieces as small as meat." The King did not fail to ask the peasants whose meadow it was they were mowing. "It belongs to my Lord the Marquis of Carabas," said they all together, for the Cat's threat had frightened them. "You have a fine property there," said the King to the Marquis of Carabas.
"As you say, sire," responded the Marquis of Carabas, "for it is a meadow which yields an abundant crop every year."
Master Cat, who still kept in advance of the party, came up to some , and said to them, "You, good people, who are reaping, if you do not say that all this corn belongs to my Lord the Marquis of Carabas, you shall all be cut into pieces as small as minced meat."
The King, who passed by a minute afterwards, wished to know to whom belonged all the cornfields he saw. "To my Lord the Marquis of Carabas," repeated the reapers, and the King again congratulated the Marquis on his property.
The Cat, still continuing to run before the coach, uttered the same threat to everyone he met, and the King was astonished at the great wealth of my Lord the Marquis of Carabas. Master Cat at length arrived at a fine castle, the owner of which was an ogre, the richest ogre ever known, for all the lands through which the King had driven belonged to the Lord of this castle. The Cat took care to find out who the ogre was, and what he was able to do; then he asked to speak with him, saying that he did not like to pass so near his castle without doing himself the honour of paying his respects to him. The ogre received him as civilly as an ogre can, and made him sit down.
"I have been told," said the Cat, "that you have the power of changing yourself into all kinds of animals; that you could, for instance, transform yourself into a lion or an elephant."
"'Tis true," said the ogre, , "and to prove it to you, you shall see me become a lion." The Cat was so frightened when he saw a lion in front of him, that he quickly up into the , not without difficulty and danger, on account of his boots, which were worse than useless for walking on the tiles. Shortly afterwards, seeing that the ogre had resumed his natural form, the Cat climbed down again, and admitted that he had been terribly frightened. "I have also been assured," said the Cat, "but I cannot believe it, that you have the power besides of taking the form of the smallest animal; for instance, that of a rat, or a mouse; I confess to you I hold this to be impossible." "Impossible!" exclaimed the ogre, "you shall see!" and he immediately changed himself into a mouse, and began running about the floor. The cat no sooner caught sight of it, than he upon it and ate it.
In the meanwhile, the King, seeing the fine castle of the ogre as he was driving past, thought he should like to go inside. The Cat, who heard the noise of the coach rolling over the draw-bridge, ran to meet it, and said to the King, "Your Majesty is welcome to the Castle of my Lord the Marquis of Carabas!"
"How, my Lord Marquis," exclaimed the King, "this castle belongs to you? Nothing could be finer than this courtyard, and all these buildings which surround it. Let us see the inside of it, if you please."
The Marquis handed out the young Princess, and following the King, who led the way upstairs, they entered a grand hall, where they found prepared a magnificent repast, which the ogre had ordered in expectation of some friends, who were to have visited him that very day, but who did not venture to enter when they heard the King was there. The King, as greatly delighted with the excellent qualities of my Lord the Marquis of Carabas as his daughter, who was more than ever in love with him, seeing what great wealth he possessed, said to him, after having drunk five or six , "It depends on yourself, my Lord Marquis, whether or not you become my son-in-law." The Marquis, making several profound bows, accepted the honour the King offered him, and that same day was married to the Princess. The Cat became a great lord, and never again ran after mice, except for his amusement.
Be the advantage never so great
Of owning a superb estate,
From sire to son ,
Young men oft find, on industry,
Combined with ,
They'd better have depended.
If the son of a miller so quickly could gain
The heart of a Princess, it seems pretty plain,
With good looks and good manners, and some aid from dress,
The humblest need not quite despair of success.

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