When we turned the page of the calendar and saw National Tell a Fairy Tale Day, Newton insisted that there was only one story that would do: Puss in Boots.
There are many versions of the story, but the most enduring version of Puss in Boots, was published in a collection of fairy tales by Charles Perrault, which called it, “The Master Cat or Puss in Boots.” In the story, when a miller passes away, the youngest son of a miller watches his older brothers inherit the mill and his father’s donkey, while all he inherits is his father’s cat. He sees that his brothers are going to be able to combine their inheritances to earn a living, but his inheritance of the cat isn’t going to bring him any benefit.
The cat insists that if the young man gets him a pair of boots and a bag, he will be able to help after all, and the young man does as he asks. Soon, the cat begins to catch game and bring it to the King, telling him that it is from the Marquis of Crabas. The cat continues to bring gifts for two or three months, always telling the Kingthey are from the Marquis.
One day, when the King and the Princess are out in the carriage, the cat tells his master to bathe in the river. While his master is bathing, the cat hides his clothes, and then he runs to the road to ask the king for help for the Marquis of Carabas. The King recognizes the cat from his many visits bearing gifts, and when the cat says that the Marquis was set upon thieves while bathing and is now drowning, the King sends his guards to rescue the Marquis from the river. The king gives the Marquis a change of clothes. The princess is quite taken with the young Marquis.
The cat runs ahead and uses threats to convince the people working the land that they should tell the King that their land belongs the Marquis of Carabas. The young man uses this to help convince the King that he already holds vast estates. The cat even kills an ogre so that his master can pretend that the ogre’s castle belongs to the Marquis of Crabas. The king believes the young man is wealthy, the princess falls in love with him, and the Princess and young man wed.
In the end, the puss in boots who made the miller’s son into the Marquis of Carabas and then a prince never has to chase a mouse again unless he wants to.
If would like to read the original version of this story, which the University of Adelaide has it available to read online for free as part of their public domain eBooks project at Puss in Boots.