"Now that's some difference!" you
might say; but there you are, that's how the miller was!
The eldest son kept the mill, the second son took the donkey and
set off in search of his fortune while the third sat down on a
stone and sighed, "A cat! What am I going to do with that?"
But the cat heard his words and said, "Don't worry, Master. What
do you think? That I'm worth less than a half-ruined mill or a
mangy donkey? Give me a cloak, a hat with a feather in it, a bag
and a pair of boots, and you will see what I can do."
The young man, by no means surprised, for it was quite common
for cats to talk in those days, gave the cat what he asked for,
and as he strode away, confident and cheerful. the cat said.
"Don't look so glum, Master. See you soon!"
Swift of foot as he was, the cat caught a fat wild rabbit,
popped it into his bag, knocked at the castle gate, went before
the King and, removing his hat, with a sweeping bow, he said:
"Sire, the famous Marquis of Carabas sends you this fine plump
rabbit as a gift."
"Oh," said the King, "thanks so much."
"Till tomorrow," replied the cat as he went out. And the next
day, back he came with some partridges tucked away in his bag.
"Another gift from the brave Marquis of Carabas," he announced.
The Queen remarked, "This Marquis of Carabas is indeed a very
In the days that followed, Puss in Boots regularly visited the
castle, carrying rabbits, hares, partridges and skylarks,
presenting them all to the King in the name of the Marquis of
Carabas. Folk at the palace began to talk about this noble
"He must be a great hunter," someone remarked.
"He must be very loyal to the King," said someone else.
And yet another, "But who is he? I've never heard of him."
At this someone who wanted to show people how much he knew,
"Oh, yes, I've heard his name before. In fact, I knew his
The Queen was very interested in this generous man who sent
"Is your master young and handsome?" she asked the cat.
"Oh yes. And very rich, too," answered Puss in Boots. "In fact,
he would be very honoured if you and the King called to see him
in his castle."
When the cat returned home and told his master that the King and
Queen were going to visit him, he was horrified.
"Whatever shall we do?" he cried. "As soon as they see me they
will know how poor I am."
"Leave everything to me," replied Puss in Boots. "I have a
plan." For several days, the crafty cat kept on taking gifts to
the King and Queen, and one day he discovered that they were
taking the Princess on a carriage ride that very afternoon.
The cat hurried home in great excitement. "Master, come along,"
he cried. "It is time to carry out my plan. You must go for a
swim in the river."
"But I can't swim," replied the young man.
"That's all right," replied Puss in Boots. "Just trust me." So
they went to the river and when the King's carriage appeared the
cat pushed his master into the water.
"Help!" cried the cat. "The Marquis of Carabas is drowning." The
King heard his cries and sent his escorts to the rescue. They
arrived just in time to save the poor man, who really was
The King, the Queen and the Princess fussed around and ordered
new clothes to be brought for the Marquis of Carabas.
"Wouldn't you like to marry such a handsome man?" the Queen
asked her daughter.
"Oh, yes," replied the Princess. However, the cat overheard one
of the ministers remark that they must find out how rich he was.
"He is very rich indeed," said Puss in Boots. "He owns the
castle and all this land. Come and see for yourself. I will meet
you at the castle."
And with these words, the cat rushed off in the direction of the
castle, shouting at the peasants working in the fields, "If
anyone asks you who your master is, answer: the Marquis of
Carabas. Otherwise you will all be sorry."
And so, when the King's carriage swept past, the peasants told
the King that their master was the Marquis of Carabas.
In the meantime, Puss in Boots had arrived at the castle, the
home of a huge, cruel ogre. Before knocking at the gate, the cat
said to himself, "I must be very careful, or I'll never get out
of here alive."
When the door opened, Puss in Boots removed his feather hat,
exclaiming, "My Lord Ogre, my respects!"
"What do you want, cat?" asked the ogre rudely.
"Sire, I've heard you possess great powers. That, for instance,
you can change into a lion or an elephant."
"That's perfectly true," said the ogre, "and so what?"
"Well," said the cat, "I was talking to certain friends of mine
who said that you can't turn into a tiny little creature, like a
"Oh, so that's what they say, is it?" exclaimed the ogre. The
"Well, Sire, that's my opinion too, because folk that can do big
things never can manage little ones."
"Oh, yes? Well, just watch this!" retorted the ogre, turning
into a mouse.
In a flash, the cat leapt on the mouse and ate it whole. Then he
dashed to the castle gate, just in time, for the King's carriage
was drawing up. With a bow, Puss in Boots said,
"Sire, welcome to the castle of the Marquis of Carabas!" The
King and Queen, the Princess and the miller's son who, dressed
in his princely clothes, really did look like a marquis, got out
of the carriage and the King spoke:
"My dear Marquis, you're a fine, handsome, young man, you have a
great deal of land and a magnificent castle. Tell me, are you
"No," the young man answered, "but I would like to find a wife."
He looked at the Princess as he spoke. She in turn smiled at
To cut a long story short, the miller's son, now Marquis of
Carabas, married the Princess and lived happily with her in the
castle. And from time to time, the cat would wink and whisper,
"You see, Master, I am worth a lot more than any mangy donkey or
half-ruined mill, aren't I?"