August 25, 2022

#08-234: Puss in Boots, Part I

The King introduces the "Marquis of Carabas" to his daughter

Note: A miller's third son is left with only a cat for his inheritance. But what a cat! See how he helps the youth to get ahead in the world.

Get Ready: If you start out with nothing, what are some ways that you can become well-to-do or even rich?

Once a miller died and left to his eldest son his mill, to his second son his donkey, and to his third son nothing but a Cat.

The youngest, of course, felt cheated. He said aloud, "After I have cooked and eaten this Cat, I must die of starvation."

The Cat heard him, and said gravely: "Do not worry, my good Master. Just give me a bag and a pair of specially-made boots, and you will see that things are not as bad as you imagine."

The Cat's Master didn't put much stock in what he said, though he had often seen the Cat play clever tricks to catch rats and mice: hanging by the heels, hiding himself in the flour, and playing dead. So, thinking there might be a chance, he did as the Cat asked, and gave him the bag and the boots.

First, the Cat caught a juicy rabbit in his bag, and took it to the palace where he presented it to the King. "I have brought you this rabbit, Your Majesty, as a gift from my Master, the Marquis of Carabas" (for that was the title the Cat had chosen for his Master).

"Tell your Master," said the King, "that I thank him, and that he does me a great honor."

The Cat then caught a pair of partridges and did the same thing. For two or three months he brought the King gifts of game from time to time, always from the "Marquis of Carabas."

One day the Cat learned that the King and his daughter--naturally, the most beautiful Princess in all the world--were going for a pleasure ride along the river in their coach. He told his Master to go wash at a certain place in the river, "and leave the rest to me."

As the King passed the spot, the Cat cried out, "Help! help! My Lord Marquis of Carabas is drowning!"

The King, recognizing the Cat, had his coach stop and sent his men to save the "Marquis." The Cat explained that while his Master was washing, thieves had stolen his clothes (which the Cat had actually hidden under a rock).

The King commanded his men to dress the "Marquis" in the finest clothes and invited him into the carriage, where he and the Princess fell instantly in love.

We will see how the "Marquis" fared in the next lesson.


Practice: Match the term to its definition below:

  1. carriage
  2. drowning
  3. fared
  4. game
  5. gravely
  6. juicy
  7. miller
  8. partridges
  9. put stock in something
  10. starvation

  1. a fancy type of vehicle drawn by horses
  2. got along
  3. believe in something
  4. fat; delicious-looking
  5. beautiful birds shot for food
  6. seriously
  7. extreme hunger
  8. wild animals hunted for food
  9. dying from water in the lungs
  10. a person who grinds grain into flour

Answers are in the first comment below.

Submitted to the Shenzhen Daily for August 25, 2022

1 comment:

  1. Answers to the Practice: 1. a; 2. i; 3. b; 4. h; 5. f; 6. d; 7. j; 8. e; 9. c; 10. g