Gateway to the Classics: First Reader by Franklin T. Baker
 
First Reader by  Franklin T. Baker


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Puss in Boots

A poor miller had three sons.

When he died he left them all he had.

To the oldest he left his mill.

To the second he left his donkey.

To the youngest he left his cat.


"What shall I do?" said the youngest.

"My brothers can get on very well.

They have the mill and the donkey.

But I have only the cat.

I wish I had silver and land."

But the cat purred and said,

      "Do not be sad, master.

      We shall do very well.

      Bring me a pair of boots to keep

      my feet from mud and briars,

      and get me a bag to carry.

      Then we'll see what can be done

      to get silver and land."

So he brought some fine large boots for his cat, and a green bag with a red string to it.


Then Puss took the bag and some apples, and marched out among the briars.

She put a red apple into the bag, and left it open on the ground.

Then she lay down and made believe that she was asleep.

Soon a young rabbit came to the place.

He smelled the apple and looked into the bag.

Then he went in to get the apple.

Puss pulled the string and shut the bag.

She took the rabbit to the King of the country, and said,

      "My master is Marquis of Carabas.

      He sends you this rabbit."

The King took the rabbit, and said, "Tell your master I am much pleased."

Then Puss went into a field of corn, and sat with the bag open.

Soon two young quails ran into it.

Puss pulled the string and shut them in.


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She took these to the King, and said,

      "My master, the Marquis of Carabas,

      sends you these quails."

The King said, "Tell your master I am much pleased."

Every day for a month or more Puss took the King a present.

And the King said every day, "Tell your master I am much pleased to receive this present."

One day Puss heard the King say he would go riding by the river.

She told her master to go and swim in the river.

Soon the King rode by with a company of men.

Puss went to meet him along the bank of the river and called,

      "Help! Help! my master will drown."

The King sent his men to help.

They drew the young plan to the bank.

"This is the Marquis," said Puss.

The King liked the young man.

He thanked him for all the presents, and told his men to bring dry clothes for the Marquis.

Then the King asked the Marquis to ride in the coach between himself and his daughter.


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Puss marched on before, in her boots.

Soon she saw some men cutting grass.

She spoke to them and said,

      "Tell the King that this land belongs

      to the rich Marquis of Carabas."

So when the King came near and asked, "Whose land is this?" they answered,

      "This is part of the land of the Marquis.

      He is very rich."

Puss marched on before, in her boots.

She came to some men cutting corn.

She said to them,

      "Tell the King that this land belongs

      to the rich Marquis of Carabas."

So when the King came by, he said, "Whose land is this?"

They answered,

      "This is part of the land

      of the Marquis of Carabas.

      He is very rich."

Puss walked on before, in her boots.

Soon she came to a giant's castle.

She stepped in. She saw the giant. He was big and terrible.

She said,

      "They say you can change yourself

      into a lion, or a mouse, or anything.

      Is it true? Can you show me?"


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"Yes," said the giant, "I can."

Then he changed himself into a lion, and roared so loud that he almost broke the windows.

Puss was so frightened that she ran clear up on the roof.

When she came down and peeped into the room, there sat the giant.

"That was wonderful," said Puss.

      "They say you can change yourself

      into little things

      as small as a rat or a mouse.

      Is it true? Can you show me?"

"Yes," said the giant, "I can."

Then he changed himself into a mouse.

What do you think Puss did?

Zip! She jumped on the mouse, and ate him up, just like that.


Then she went out to meet the King, and said,

      "This, O King, is the castle

      of the rich Marquis of Carabas."

The King was pleased with the castle and with the land and with the young marquis.

So he gave his daughter to the Marquis of Carabas.

The King stayed on a whole week at the giant's Castle.

And Puss, and the Master, and his wife, were happy there ever after.


Adapted from Perrault's Fairy Tales

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