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´╗┐Title: The Adventures of Puss in Boots, Jr.
Author: Cory, David, 1872-1966
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "The Adventures of Puss in Boots, Jr." ***

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[Illustration]

    _Little Puss Boots, hat in paw
       Bowed as Miss Pussy opened the door.
     "Glad to see you," she purred. "Come in!
       My little house is as neat as a pin!"_

[Illustration]

    _"Robinson Crusoe, how do you do!"
       As a strangely dressed man came into view,
     Cried little Puss Junior, raising his paw,
       As he stood 'neath a palm tree by the shore._

[Illustration]

    _A frog among some rushes dwelt;
       A bachelor was he.
     No frog was ever so polite

[Illustration]

    _"This makes a fine table I'd have you know,"
       Laughed Puss to Fairy Little Tiptoe.
     "We might all dine here on fairy cake,
       Unless you fear the toadstool break."_



THE ADVENTURES OF PUSS IN BOOTS, JR.

[Illustration: THE KNAVE OF HEARTS RUNS AWAY WITH THE TARTS.
_Frontispiece._]



    THE ADVENTURES OF
    PUSS IN BOOTS, JR.

    BY
    DAVID CORY

    AUTHOR OF

    LITTLE JACK RABBIT BOOKS,
    LITTLE JOURNEYS TO HAPPYLAND,
    PUSS IN BOOTS BOOKS, Etc.

    [Illustration]

    PROFUSELY ILLUSTRATED

    GROSSET & DUNLAP
    PUBLISHERS    NEW YORK

    Made in the United States of America



    ADVENTURES OF PUSS IN BOOTS, JR.

    Copyright, 1917, by Harper & Brothers
    Printed in the United States of America



CONTENTS


                                           PAGE

    PUSS IN BOOTS, JR., BEGINS HIS TRAVELS               9

    A VISIT TO PIGGIE'S MAMMA                           13

    PUSS SEES THE COW JUMP OVER THE MOON                16

    PUSS MEETS YANKEE DOODLE DANDY                      21

    PUSS SINGS A SONG AND HELPS A BEGGAR                25

    PUSS FOLLOWS WEE WILLIE WINKIE                      31

    PUSS, JR., MEETS THREE JOLLY WELSHMEN AND THE
    QUEEN OF HEARTS                                     35

    PUSS LEARNS WHERE HIS FATHER IS AND RECEIVES
    A TART FROM THE QUEEN                               40

    PUSS CROSSES A WONDERFUL BRIDGE                     43

    PUSS IN BOOTS, JR., VISITS THE OLD WOMAN IN THE
    SHOE                                                45

    PUSS, JR., JOINS THE CIRCUS                         51

    PUSS, JR., PROVES TO BE A WONDERFUL CIRCUS
    PERFORMER                                           54

    A TERRIBLE FIGHT STOPPED BY USING PLUM-CAKE         57

    PUSS, JR., MEETS ANOTHER CAT AND MORALIZES ON
    CONTENTMENT                                         60

    PUSS MEETS MOTHER GOOSE                             63

    TRIPPING WITH THE STARS                             66

    PUSS FINDS ADVENTURE AT THE TOP OF JACK'S
    FAMOUS BEAN-STALK                                   69

    PUSS DISCOVERS WHERE JACK IS HIDING                 74

    PUSS AND JACK MAKE A BOLD RESCUE                    77

    PUSS, JR., MEETS MR. ROWLEY FROG                    80

    PUSS IS HEARTILY WELCOMED BY JACK THE JUMPER        83

    OLD KING COLE'S FIDDLERS ARE RATHER RUDE TO
    PUSS                                                86

    THE MILLER OF THE DEE                               88

    PUSS, JR., RENDERS A MOTHER AID                     93

    THE MILKMAN'S HORSE, OLD NAGGETTY NOGG              96

    WHO IS A MAN'S MOST FAITHFUL FRIEND?                99

    PUSS BUYS A PAIR OF BOOTS MADE FOR HIS FAMOUS
    SIRE                                               102

    PUSS MEETS A MODEST MENDING MAN AND A JOLLY
    MILLER                                             105

    PUSS OVERHEARS A PROPOSAL AND IS INVITED TO A
    WEDDING                                            110

    PUSS AND SEVERAL ACQUAINTANCES JOURNEY TO THE
    WEDDING                                            113

    THE GUESTS ARRIVE SAFELY AT THE WEDDING            116

    PUSS IS WELCOMED AT THE WEDDING                    119

    THE BRIDE RECEIVES SOME HANDSOME PRESENTS          122

    PUSS MAKES A NEW FRIEND AND GAINS A STEED          125

    PUSS MEETS A HUNTER AND THEY BOTH LEARN THAT
    THE OWL IS A USEFUL BIRD                           130

    PUSS GOES ON A SHOPPING TRIP TO MAKE A LITTLE
    MAID HAPPY                                         133

    PUSS CONVERSES WITH AN INTELLIGENT GRAY
    DONKEY                                             136

    PUSS MEETS A HAPPY FARMER BUT MISSES A GOOD
    MEAL                                               139

    PUSS HELPS A STRANGER CATCH A RUNAWAY PIG          142

    PUSS HELPS A LITTLE BOY WHO IS IN TROUBLE          147



ILLUSTRATIONS


    PUSS, JR., TRUDGED ALONG BRAVELY               Page 17

    "WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO BUY WITH THE
    MONEY?" PUSS ASKED                               "  27

    PUSS JOINED IN THE CHASE TO HELP THE QUEEN       "  37

    OUT ON A LIMB, FROM WHICH HE DANGLED HIS
    RED-TOPPED BOOTS                                 "  47

    "GOOD MORNING, MA'AM," SAID HE, LIFTING
    HIS CAP POLITELY                                 "  71

    "AREN'T WE GREAT FRIENDS?" ASKED THE
    MILLER                                           "  89

    "IF I'D AS MUCH MONEY AS I COULD SPEND"          " 107

    "I GUESS YOU ARE RIGHT, MY GOOD SIR," SAID
    PUSS                                             " 127

    "TO MARKET, TO MARKET, TO BUY A FAT PIG"         " 143



THE ADVENTURES OF PUSS IN BOOTS, JR.



PUSS IN BOOTS, JR., BEGINS HIS TRAVELS


[Illustration]

Puss had made a great discovery in the garret. It seems strange that he
should have found something more important than a rat or mouse, but he
had. From the moment he had seen the picture-book he was a changed cat!

"Yes," he said, holding it a little to one side, so that the light from
the small attic window would show the picture more distinctly, "this is
certainly a portrait of my father."

It was the story of "Puss in Boots," and on the cover was a beautiful
picture of a cat wearing a magnificent pair of boots with shiny red
tops. Puss sat down and opened the book. The further he read the more
excited he became. When he had finished he jumped up and, proudly
looking at the portrait of his handsome father, he exclaimed, with
flashing eyes, "From to-day I shall call myself 'Puss in Boots, Junior';
I shall go forth in search of adventure, just as my father did, and I
shall not rest until I have found him!"

He looked around to see if he could find a pair of boots like those in
the picture.

To his delight he saw in a corner the very pair he wanted, and they had
red tops, too. He slipped them on and looked at himself in an old
cracked mirror which stood against the wall.

On a peg near by hung a cap, dusty, but not a bit shabby or worn.
Placing it on his head, he hunted around until he found an old cane with
a bent handle. "There's a cane in the picture--I suppose they called it
a staff in those days; at any rate, I'm now complete; I'm a real Puss in
Boots, Junior!" and with these words he scampered down the stairs as
fast as he dared, not yet being used to his new-found boots.

"Hurray!" he cried, as he reached the front door, and he took a hop,
skip, and jump across the piazza, holding his tail gracefully in his
left paw. "Hurray!"

Down the steps he skipped, two at a time, down the walk to the gate, his
heels clattering on the stone pavement, rat-a-tat-tat, like a
cavalryman. The road was dusty, but he went along gaily, the sun shining
on the bright-red tops of his boots, making him very proud indeed.

He hadn't gone very far when he heard a funny little squeak, and,
looking to the side of the road from which the sound came, he saw a
small pig stuck between two boards in the fence.

"Squeak, squeak! Oh, help me out!" cried Piggie.

Puss in Boots, Jr., ran up and, with the help of his cane, pried the
boards apart so that the little pig could just squeeze himself through.
"Squeak, squeak! Oh, thank you!" cried the little fellow. "I wish I
could do something to repay you!"

"You can," replied Puss, Jr., who had by this time grown very hungry, "I
would like something to eat."

"Come with me," said Piggie. "Mother always gets some milk from the
dairymaid about this time. Come." And he took Puss, Jr., by the front
paw and started to run across the field.

"Hold on! I mean, let go!" cried Puss in Boots, Jr. "How do you know
your mother will want visitors for lunch?"

"She'll be only too delighted, especially when she knows how you pulled
me out of the fence. You're not bashful, are you?"

"No-o-o!" replied Puss, Jr., "but you see I've never lunched with pigs
before!"

"Oh, don't let that worry you," replied his little friend, who seemed to
be pretty sure of himself for so small a pig. "Come along!"

And Puss did.



A VISIT TO PIGGIE'S MAMMA


Puss, Jr., followed his friend the little pig, whom he had so
fortunately rescued from between the fence boards, across the field and
into the woods. Indeed, he was so hungry by this time that he felt he
would be brave enough to follow a lion. Just then he heard some one
singing in a high, squeaky voice:

    "This little Pig went to market,
     This little Pig stayed at home,
     This little Pig had roast beef,
     This little Pig had none,
     This little Pig cried, 'Wee, wee, wee!'
     All the way home."

"That's mother," replied the little pig in answer to an inquiring look
from Puss, Jr. "She always sings that when any of us is naughty. You
see," he added, apologetically, "I should not have tried to get through
the fence and out on the road."

"Oh, I understand," replied Puss, Jr. "Is that your house?"

"Yes, and there's mother."

Puss, Jr., saw a very nice-looking lady pig standing in the doorway of a
queer little cabin. She had on a blue gingham apron over a short skirt
of gray, and a very tight-fitting shirt-waist, which was stretched
almost to the bursting-point as she raised her right forefoot to shade
her eyes.

"Well, here you are at last!" she exclaimed to Piggie. "But look at your
trousers; you've torn a big hole in them!"

He looked ruefully at the rent in his little blue jeans. "I got stuck in
the fence," he whimpered.

"He'd be there yet if I hadn't pulled him out," volunteered Puss, Jr.,
hoping to divert her attention from his little friend.

Mrs. Porker, for that was her name, turned and looked at him, as much as
to say, "Where did you come from?" but she didn't; she only very
politely remarked: "Thank you for helping Piggie. I'm sorry to say he
does not always mind mother. But come, you both are hungry, I know." And
she led the way into the cabin.

At a round table in the room two little pigs were already eating their
dinner. "What is your name?" asked Mrs. Porker in a kindly tone, pushing
a chair up next to hers for Puss.

"Puss in Boots, Junior, madam," he replied, with a polite bow.

"This is Wiggie and this is Tiggie," said their mother, and the two
small pigs got up and shook hands with him.

They had a merry lunch, and he was surprised to see how clean and well
behaved the Porker family was.

"You know," said Mrs. Porker, as if reading his thoughts, "that pigs are
really the cleanest of animals, only man is so cruel to pigs--he shuts
them up in small pens and makes them appear quite the opposite. Just
read the books about us and you will see. Yes," she continued, "when
pigs are allowed to run around they are clean as they can be; only when
they are little they are often most disobedient." And she looked at
Piggie, who got very red in the face.

"I don't believe he'll disobey again," answered Puss, Jr. "You have such
a nice playground here in the woods I shouldn't think he would want to
run away to that dusty road again; just look at my boots." And he thrust
his foot out and showed the bright-red tops all dingy with the day's
travel.

Lunch was now over, and after politely thanking Mrs. Porker for her
goodness Puss said good-by to the three little pigs.

"Don't forget me," called out Piggie as Puss, Jr., climbed over the
fence.

"Of course I won't," he called back, and waved his paw to Piggie in the
doorway.



PUSS SEES THE COW JUMP OVER THE MOON


Puss, Jr., trudged along bravely for some time, but, finding it very
dusty, he left the road and climbed over the low stone wall that
bordered the big pasture on his right.

"It's funny to see the moon in the daytime," he remarked as he crossed
the long green meadow dotted everywhere with yellow cowslips; "I don't
understand it," and he looked curiously at the big, white moon which
hung low in the skies just overhead. As he spoke, across the grass
hopped a big silver spoon, closely followed by a dish with a blue
border, which rolled along over the ground at a great rate.

"Wow, wow! Ha, ha!" laughed a little dog from the other side of the
fence. "Keep on rolling; you'll tire him out pretty soon."

Puss, Jr., watched the funny race with much amusement until he was
startled by a voice at his side, saying, "Glad to see you," and, turning
around, he saw a small cat with a fiddle under her paw.

[Illustration: PUSS, JR., TRUDGED ALONG BRAVELY]

"Hey diddle-diddle," she sang in a high, sweet voice, and scratched away
on the strings like a player in an orchestra.

"Tell me," Puss, Jr., said to her as the music stopped for a moment,
"why is the moon out to-day? I thought it only came out at night."

"Why, don't you know?" she replied. "It is going to let the cow jump
over it to-day."

"Indeed! and when does that happen?"

"Oh, any minute now; in fact, there she comes through the gate." And,
sure enough, across the fields a beautiful black-and-white cow came
leisurely toward them.

"Good morning," she exclaimed, as she neared our two friends, and,
turning to the cat with the fiddle, she said: "Are you ready? If you
are, just strike up a lively tune so that I can get into step before I
try for my jump."

Puss, Jr., was so interested that he forgot to ask another question, but
stood still while the cow commenced to prance around, keeping perfect
time to the music.

"Faster, faster!" she called, as she swung into a canter. "I'm going to
get a flying start; you know, if you get a flying start the higher you
will fly when you do fly."

This undoubtedly was true, for in a moment more she rose gracefully from
the ground toward the moon.

"Be careful!" screamed the Man in the Moon, leaning out as she
approached near enough for his voice to reach her. "Be careful and don't
clip off a piece with your hoof as you go over!"

She did as he told her, and sailed over in a long, sweeping curve and
landed safely in a patch of clover at the other end of the field.

"Great!" exclaimed Puss, Jr. "You did it splendidly!"

"Oh, that's nothing!" she answered, although she seemed rather proud of
her feat. "Oh, that's nothing at all!"

"I don't agree with you," he replied. "I should think you'd be very
proud of your feet; they're as good as wings."

The Jumping Cow paid no more attention to him, but munched away at the
clover like an ordinary cow.

"She won't say another word to-day," whispered the cat behind her
fiddle; "but if you're around this way to-morrow morning and it's a nice
day she may try another jump."

"I'm sorry," Puss, Jr., replied, "but by that time I shall be far away
upon my journey. Thank you just the same." And with these words he took
off his hat to Miss Pussy and resumed his travels along the cool, shady
path through the woods.



PUSS MEETS YANKEE DOODLE DANDY


The broad highway was somewhat dusty and not nearly so pleasant as the
cool, shady path through the woods. At the same time Puss felt that it
was leading him on toward his journey's end, and the thought that then
he would find his dear father made his heart beat fast with hope.

He began to whistle, when suddenly he heard the sound of hoofbeats. Then
a voice commenced singing, loudly and clearly:

    "Yankee Doodle came to town,
       Riding on a pony;
     He stuck a feather in his cap
       And called it macaroni.

    "Yankee Doodle came to town,
       Yankee Doodle dandy,
     He stuck a feather in his cap
       And called it sugar candy."

Down the road came a pony at a mad gallop, and seated upon his back was
a very queer-looking person. In his cap was a long feather and in his
right hand was a big whip. The pony was galloping along at a great rate,
and every now and again his rider would give a tremendous whoop, like an
Indian brave. "Yankee Doodle Dandy!" he yelled, and then the pony would
stand up on his hind legs and neigh.

"Look out!" yelled the rider, as he approached Puss. "Don't you see you
are in the way?"

"Am I?" said Puss, drawing to one side of the road.

"Well, not now," said the rider, drawing rein and looking at Puss with a
good deal of interest. "Where's your horse?"

"Where's my horse?" repeated Puss, looking about as if he expected to
find one.

"Yes, where's your steed?" continued the stranger.

"Haven't got any," said Puss. "My two legs are all that I have to carry
me."

"Get up behind me," said the stranger. "My name is Yankee Doodle Dandy,
and a Yankee is always willing to give a fellow-traveler a lift, whether
he be on the high seas or on the road."

"Thank you, my fellow-traveler," replied Puss, and he sprang nimbly to
the saddle and clung tightly to the coat-tails of Yankee Doodle Dandy.

"Git-ap!" cried the latter, and away went the pony down the road. In a
short time the towers and church steeples of a town came into view.

Suddenly a queer-looking figure tumbled down from the sky on to the road
just in front of them. Yankee Doodle Dandy reined in his horse just in
time; otherwise he would have run over the Man in the Moon.

"Why don't you fall any other place but right in front of my horse?"
asked Yankee Doodle Dandy, in a stern voice.

"Couldn't help it," answered the Man in the Moon. "You must remember
it's not such an easy thing to hit the exact spot you intend to when you
jump all the way from the moon. It's almost impossible. I've even heard
that an aeroplane has some difficulty in dropping bombs so that they hit
the mark."

"Well, I've heard that, too," admitted Yankee Doodle Dandy, "although up
to this time Yankeeville has not suffered from any air attacks."

"Well, don't be too sure," answered the Man in the Moon. "I've seen a
few things from my moon house that you never even dreamed of."

"Did you never hear the rhyme about the Man in the Moon?" Puss asked,
politely.

"No, I never did," said the Man in the Moon.

"What!" exclaimed Puss in surprise.

    "The Man in the Moon came tumbling down
       And asked the way to Norwich;
     He went by the south and burnt his mouth
       With eating cold pease porridge."

"Ha, ha!" laughed the Man in the Moon, "you are joking; I'm sure you
are," and he turned his footsteps toward the south.

"'He went by the south and burnt his mouth,'" said Puss.

"We can't help it," said Yankee Doodle; "he will go that way."



PUSS SINGS A SONG AND HELPS A BEGGAR


After he had said good-by to Yankee Doodle Dandy, Puss, Jr., had a good
time playing all the morning with some little boys whom he met. One of
the little boys got out his hobby-horse and he and Puss, Jr., took turns
galloping up and down the sidewalk.

    "I had a little hobby-horse,
       And it was dapple gray;
     Its head was made of pea straw,
       Its tail was made of hay,"

sang his mother from the front porch. "My little boy has had a fine
time," she said, "but he must come in now and rest, for it is almost
luncheon-time."

"And I must be going," said Puss, Jr., "for I have many miles yet to
travel ere I find my father, Puss in Boots."

"You have been so kind," said the little boy's mother as she shook hands
with Puss.

"Good-by!" cried the little boy, quite sorrowfully, waving his hat as
Puss disappeared down the street.

"Heigh-ho!" said Puss to himself, "once more on my journey. I'm a
wandering minstrel, as it were," and to suit his words he began to sing:

    "A wandering little cat am I,
       Seeking father cat,
     In my paw my trusty staff,
       On my head my hat
     With the magic plume the owl
       Gave to me one day.
     When the journey ends I'll have
       Lots of time to play!"

"A pussy-cat poet!" cried a voice close at hand.

Puss, Jr., started and turned. At his side stood a beggar-man.

"I'm hungry," said the poor fellow, "and poets, I hear, are always
generous," and he held out his hat for Puss to drop in a penny.

"Are they?" inquired Puss, with a grin; he put his hand into his pocket
and took out a sixpence. "Here, my good man," he said, "take this little
piece of money. It is more than I will get for the song which you seem
to admire so much.

"What are you going to buy with the money?" he asked, after they had
walked along for some time. They had left the city and were now in the
country.

[Illustration: "WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO BUY WITH THE MONEY?" PUSS ASKED]


"I'm going to get some pease porridge hot," answered the beggar. "I'm
going to spend that sixpence in short order! I haven't had a thing to
eat since yesterday morning."

"I have never gone hungry so long as that," said Puss. "I think I've
been pretty lucky since I started out to find my father, Puss in Boots."

"Puss in Boots!" exclaimed the beggar-man with surprise. "Why, I once
stopped at a castle where there was a most wonderful cat. He was the
seneschal, I think, and a most intelligent animal."

"Where was the castle?" asked Puss. "I mean, in what country?"

"I don't remember," replied the beggar-man. "You see, I have begged at
so many back doors and so many postern gates that I have them all
jumbled up together in my memory."

"Dear me," said Puss. "Will I ever find anybody who really knows where
my father lives?"

    "Pease porridge hot,
       Pease porridge cold,
     Pease porridge in the pot,
       Nine days old."

Along the road came a man with a big white apron over his coat. In front
of him he wheeled a little cart in which was a large pot of porridge.

    "Some like it hot,
       Some like it cold,
     Some like it in the pot,
       Nine days old."

"Well, it won't be in that pot even nine minutes!" cried the beggar-man.
"Here, my good friend," he cried, "give me sixpence worth of your
porridge, and be quick about it."

"Don't be in a hurry," said the porridge-man. "Where's the sixpence?"

"Here in my good right hand," replied the beggar-man.

"Ah!" said the porridge-man, "you shall have your porridge."

"I will also have some," said Puss.

"Hot or cold?" asked the man.

"You take yours hot and I'll take mine cold," said the beggar-man, and
in a few minutes the porridge was all gone.



PUSS FOLLOWS WEE WILLIE WINKIE


The vesper bells were ringing as Puss, Jr., entered the great gate that
led into the city of Babylon. Along the street the lamps were being
lighted and their flickering gleams sent the shadows hiding in building
and alley.

Puss, however, in spite of shadows, trudged on with a brave heart,
waiting for an opportunity to get his supper and a comfortable place to
sleep.

Suddenly he was startled by a strange sight. A small boy in his
nightgown came racing down the street:

    "Wee Willie Winkie runs through the town,
     Up-stairs and down-stairs in his nightgown,
     Rapping at the windows, crying through the lock,
     'Are the children in their beds? It's past eight o'clock!'"

"Wait for me!" cried Puss, Jr., but Wee Willie Winkie did not stop. On
he ran, turning the next corner before Puss could overtake him. Half-way
down the block Puss stopped and ran up the steps of a small house.
Lifting the big brass knocker, he let it fall with a rap that soon
brought a maid to the door.

"Goodness me!" she exclaimed. "What have we here?"

"Is anybody at home?" said Puss, flicking the dust off the red tops of
his boots in a most unconcerned way, as if, indeed, he had been
accustomed to making calls all his life.

The maid held out a little silver tray. "I will take your card."

Poor Puss! He didn't have any!

"But I'm Puss in Boots, Junior," he said, with such a lovely purr that
the maid opened the door wide:

"Come in, dear Puss, Junior."

Just then Wee Willie Winkie ran down the stairs, crying: "Are the
children in their beds? It's past eight o'clock." Closing the front
door, he whispered through the keyhole, "Are the children in their
beds?" And before he reached the sidewalk he turned back and, rapping on
the window, cried, "It's past eight o'clock!"

"Little kittens don't need Wee Willie Winkie, I guess," said the maid,
tickling Puss, Jr.'s, head.

    "Hush-a-bye, baby, lie still with thy daddy;
       Thy mammy has gone to the mill
     To get some meal to bake a cake,
       So pray, my dear baby, lie still."

The lullaby made Puss, Jr., sleepy, for the man's voice was low and
tender, and Puss was very tired.

In a sleepy voice he asked, "And has the mother gone to the mill to get
the meal for the cake?"

"Indeed she has," replied the maid.

After this she went into the kitchen. Puss gazed about him for a while
and then dropped off to sleep, hearing the drowsy voice of the man
up-stairs singing:

    "Hush-a-bye, baby, lie still with thy daddy."

All was very quiet. "Tick-tock, tick-tock," said the big clock, and a
mouse peeped out of his hole and laughed to himself when he saw Puss
fast asleep. He tiptoed over to the red-topped boots that had fallen off
Puss, Jr.'s, tired little feet, and even crawled inside. Perhaps he
wanted to tell his father how brave he had been to go inside a big cat's
high-top boots while the owner snored close by. Presently he ran over to
the hole in the wall. I imagine it did not take him long to tell his
story, for in a few minutes three little mice crept out and tiptoed over
to where Puss lay sleeping so soundly.

"Did you ever see any nicer boots than these?"

Mr. Mouse put on a very wise expression.

"They are certainly a very fine pair of boots," said he, "and they have
the mark of a royal cobbler."

"Gracious me! how interesting!" cried Mrs. Mouse; "let me take a
look." And she inspected Puss, Jr.'s, footwear with much interest.
"Beautifully made," she said. "This must be a royal cat, for otherwise
why should he have a royal cobbler?"

"I only hope he is not a royal mouser," replied Mr. Mouse, "and I think,
now that we have seen all we have, we had better return, for who knows
when he may awake?"

So they scampered off, leaving Puss, Jr., still sound asleep.



PUSS, JR., MEETS THREE JOLLY WELSHMEN AND THE QUEEN OF HEARTS


As Puss, Jr., staff in hand, wandered down the green hills to the
lowlands, he came to a sandy beach, and there stood three jolly Welshmen
looking toward the sea:

    One said it was a ship,
      The other he said "Nay,"
    The third one said it was a house
      With the chimney blown away.

"It's nothing of the sort," cried Puss, Jr., jumping nimbly about, "it's
nothing of the sort."

"Perhaps it's a submarine," suggested one of the three jolly Welshmen,
walking over to inspect the little craft.

"Wrong again," tooted a little owl who was perched upon a tree close by.

"It looks like a cheese," suggested the smallest of the three jolly
Welshmen.

"Nonsense," answered Puss, Jr. "Who ever heard of a person sailing about
in a cheese?"

"Well, I didn't mean a Swiss cheese," replied the Welshman who up to
this time had said nothing. "Swiss cheeses are full of holes. I guess
they wouldn't float very long."

"This boat has a big crack in it," said Puss. "Just look and see for
yourself."

"Crackers and cheese!" laughed one of the three jolly Welshmen. "How do
you like my joke?"

"It makes me feel hungry," said Puss, Jr. "I've had nothing to eat for a
long time."

"Come with us, then," said the three jolly Welshmen; "we'll take you to
see the Queen."

"I don't look very neat," replied Puss, rubbing the salt spray from his
boot-tops.

"Neither do I," cried the little owl, preening his feathers and
stretching out his tail. "I'm all ruffled up."

"Well, the Queen's making tarts to-day," cried the three jolly Welshmen
all at once. "We're going, anyway."

Puss, Jr., and the little owl waited no longer, but followed the three
Welshmen at once. In the distance could be seen the turrets of a stately
castle. On arriving at the postern gate they were admitted after a
slight delay. In the courtyard all was bustle and excitement. On long
tables were spread the most delicious-looking tarts--raspberry,
strawberry, lemon, apple, and all the other delicious varieties that
could be imagined. Puss, Jr.'s, mouth fairly watered at the sight, and
the little owl could hardly restrain himself from picking out
strawberries that protruded from under the crust of a tart near at hand.
The three jolly Welshmen also showed signs of impatience. They were as
anxious to taste the tarts as were their small companions.

[Illustration: PUSS JOINED IN THE CHASE TO HELP THE QUEEN]

At that instant a great commotion arose. The Knave of Hearts was seen
rushing away with a whole trayful of tarts. After him ran the Queen,
holding up her long train so as to run faster. Puss joined in the chase
to help the Queen.



PUSS LEARNS WHERE HIS FATHER IS AND RECEIVES A TART FROM THE QUEEN


The Knave of Hearts was a pretty good runner, and Puss, Jr., found it no
easy task to catch him. Finally, however, he did, and after some
difficulty brought him back to the castle. As they entered the postern
gate,

    The King of Hearts
    Called for those tarts,
    And beat the Knave full sore.

"I'm glad I didn't take a tart," said Puss, in a whisper to his little
friend the owl, while the three jolly Welshmen looked much relieved to
think that they had not touched one, either. At this point the Queen
came graciously forward and offered them all a tart apiece.

"How do you like it?" she asked Puss, smiling in a kind way. "You
deserve much more than a tart for having caught that naughty Knave. What
can I do to reward you?"

Puss carefully wiped his whiskers with his pocket-handkerchief before
replying. "Your Majesty," he answered, "I am in search of my illustrious
father, Puss in Boots. Could you but direct me to him I shall consider
you have more than repaid me for my trouble."

"Come into the castle," said the Queen, "and I will have my seneschal
inquire. No doubt he will know, as he is a very wise man and an old
retainer." So saying, she led the way into the castle, followed by Puss,
Jr., and the little owl.

"Puss in Boots? Puss in Boots?" repeated the old man, in an inquiring
tone, talking half to himself. "Why, is he not in the employ of my Lord
of Carabas?"

"Yes, indeed!" cried the Queen. "Now I remember. My dear Puss in Boots,
Junior, you still have a long journey before you; but to the brave all
things are possible. Although he lives far beyond the border-line of
Mother Goose Land, a good traveler need not despair."

"No, indeed, your Highness," replied Puss, Jr., "I have a good heart and
strong legs. 'Tis but a question of time before I see him, for danger I
fear not, neither stony roads nor stormy seas."

"Bravely said," cried the Queen. "But who is your little friend?" she
added, turning to look at the owl, who had perched himself on the
shoulder of Puss, Jr.

"He is the owner of the 'beautiful pea-green boat,'" replied Puss, "and
to him I owe much, for had he not come to my rescue when the Giant of
the Bean-stalk pursued me I should have been captured. His boat was on
the shore and we sailed away just in time."

"Most exciting," said the Queen; "and so that is how you landed on
Cranberry Tart Island?"

"Yes, your Highness," said Puss, "but I did not know it was an island
nor that it was called 'Cranberry Tart.'"

"Well, it is," replied the Queen, "and if you will spend the night here
I will see that you reach the mainland to-morrow without delay."

So Puss, Jr., consented to spend the night in the stately castle of Tart
Island.



PUSS CROSSES A WONDERFUL BRIDGE


The next morning, bright and early, Puss, Jr., left the stately castle
of Cranberry Tart Island and continued his journey. The Queen had bidden
him a kind farewell, at the same time instructing one of her retainers
to show him the bridge connecting Cranberry Tart Island with the
mainland.

On arriving at the bridge Puss, Jr., was most surprised to see that it
was built entirely of gingerbread. "Goodness!" he exclaimed to himself,
"if many stopped on their way over to take a bite, there would soon be
no bridge left."

Probably the builder had been aware of this fact, for at the entrance of
the bridge was displayed a large sign which read as follows:

    No loitering allowed on the bridge. The gingerbread must not be
    eaten, under penalty of a fine and imprisonment.

"It looks pretty stale, anyway," tooted the little owl, who blinked and
winked in the early morning light as he flew beside Puss, Jr.

"You can't see very well, my dear friend," answered Puss. "It looks
perfectly delicious to me."

"Never mind how it looks," said the retainer, overhearing Puss, Jr.'s,
remark. "You must obey the law."

"I have no intention of not obeying," answered Puss, "nor would I
endanger our safety by biting off a piece. Should the bridge fall into
the water I should be forced to swim, and swimming is no easy matter for
a cat, especially with high-top boots."

"Wisely said," replied the retainer. "And now that we have crossed over
safely, I will leave you to pursue your journey, for you need no further
help from me."

"Thank you," cried Puss, Jr.

"Yet there is one thing I would warn you of," replied the retainer,
pausing before taking himself off. "In yonder forest is a gingerbread
cottage. Beware of it, for within lives a wicked witch." With these
words he turned away and crossed the gingerbread bridge that led back to
Cranberry Tart Island.

"A gingerbread cottage," laughed Puss to himself, following the path
that led into the forest:

    "A gingerbread bridge
     And a gingerbread house,
     A gingerbread cat
     And a gingerbread mouse.
     But the gingerbread cat
     Ate the gingerbread mouse
     As she ran on the bridge
     From the gingerbread house."



PUSS IN BOOTS, JR., VISITS THE OLD WOMAN IN THE SHOE


It was now about high noon; but the air was cool and balmy, for the sun
hardly penetrated the deep recesses of the green forest. As Puss trudged
along he sang a little song to himself. I think he must have been
something of a poet, for unconsciously his words rhymed and the air also
was of his own making. A little brown wren, who was hopping along on the
green moss that covered the floor of the great forest, heard him, and
she told it to some one who afterward told it to me. And this is the way
the little song went:

    Through the woods, the cool woods,
    The green woods, sweet with balm and fir,
    To the music of the breeze
    Singing softly through the trees
    This the song I purr:--
    Happy he who travels far,
    Travels far and free,
    Over valley, over hill,
    Over smiling lea;
    Never weary of the road,
    Happy that he be
    Just a jolly traveler
    Wandering, like me!

As Puss finished his song he emerged from the woods and found himself
upon a broad highway. "This must be the road that will lead me to my
father's home," he said to himself, and joyfully proceeded on his
journey.

In the distance he saw what looked like a queer little house, but as he
drew nearer he saw it wasn't a house at all, but a big shoe. So many
children were playing around, running in and out, that he would have
found it difficult to count them, even if he had tried.

"Hello!" he called out to a little boy who was the only one who hadn't
run into the shoe to tell mother that a big cat with boots on was coming
up the garden walk.

"Hello!" Puss, Jr., said again, and the little fellow bashfully put out
his hand.

"You have pretty boots," he said, looking down at them.

"Yes," answered their owner, "I'm rather proud of them myself; but what
are your little brothers and sisters afraid of?" he added, as he noticed
them peeking at him out of the window. "I won't hurt them."

Just then the Old Woman Who Lived in the Shoe came out, and, seeing one
of her children talking to a strange cat who wore boots, she hurried up
to them and asked:

"Are you Puss in Boots?"

[Illustration: OUT ON A LIMB, FROM WHICH HE DANGLED HIS RED-TOPPED
BOOTS]

"No, ma'am, but I'm his son," was the quick reply. "I'm Puss in Boots,
Junior."

"Oh, of course," she said. "I knew your father years ago, and for a
moment I forgot how time flies. Yes, we were very good friends in those
old days. He was a very fine cat."

Puss, Jr., nodded politely.

"Won't you come in?" the Old Woman asked, turning toward her shoe house,
"though you may find it difficult, as I can hardly find room for all my
children. I suppose people think I'm very cross," she continued, as they
managed to squeeze past the children in the hallway, "because I give
them all a whipping before putting them to bed; but if I didn't, those I
put to bed first wouldn't lie still. You see, by the time I get the last
one to bed it's time to take the first one up for breakfast."

Puss, Jr., felt very sorry for her, as she didn't seem cross a bit, and
the children clung to her skirt in a loving manner.

"Will you have a bowl of broth?" she asked. "It is about lunch-time, and
I'm going to give the children some."

He thanked her, and said he would gladly, as he was hungry and tired. He
sat down with the children, who had by this time arranged themselves in
a row, each one with an empty bowl in his hands. The broth tasted very
good, and Puss, Jr., felt so much better after eating it that he
proposed a game of tag. They all ran outside and stood around in a ring
while he counted "eeny, meeny, miney, mo," till all were out except
himself.

"You're it!" the children cried, gleefully.

What a frolic followed! He finally caught the biggest boy, making
believe for some time to miss the little tots, who screamed with fun as
he chased them in and out among the trees.

It was a different matter, however, when it came to catch Puss, Jr. At
last, with a jump, he ran up a tree and out on a limb, from which he
dangled his red-topped boots over their heads. When every one gave up,
he came down, and, after thanking the Old Woman for her kindness with a
flourish and bow, he resumed his journey.



PUSS, JR., JOINS THE CIRCUS


As Puss, Jr., neared a pretty village his attention was attracted to a
large tent in a field. Gaily colored wagons were standing close by, and
every now and then a roar or a growl could be heard quite distinctly.

"A circus!" cried Puss, and he hastened forward and entered a small
opening in the fence. As he approached the great tent he heard a voice
singing; it came from a little side-tent. It was a woman's voice, quite
soft and low:

    "Oh, mother, I'm to be married
       To Mr. Punchinello;
     To Mr. Pun, to Mr. Chin, to
       Mr. Nel, to Mr. Lo,
     Mr. Pun, Mr. Chin, Mr. Nel, Mr. Lo,
       To Mr. Punchinello."

As the last words died away a clown came from behind a circus-wagon.

"Nello, Nello!" he called.

"What is it, Punch?" inquired the owner of the pretty voice, appearing
in the doorway of her tent. But before he could answer she exclaimed:
"Oh, look! See the cat with red-topped boots!"

The clown turned and gazed at Puss, Jr., who came forward and put out
his paw.

"Won't you join our circus?" said the clown, with an engaging smile.

Puss did not reply for a moment. He was thinking it over quite
seriously. Whether or not it would interfere with his finding his father
was the question. While he stood debating as to what was the thing to
do, the circus-lady came out of her tent and cried:

"Oh, _do_ join our circus, Sir Puss! I am sure you would be a great
attraction. Every child in town would want to see a cat who wore boots!"

At this Puss, Jr.'s, face was all smiles. In fact, his whiskers curled
up in a most laughable way, making his little face quite irresistible.

"Thank you both very much," he replied, "but before I answer I must tell
you that I am in search of my illustrious parent, the famous Puss in
Boots. If I join your circus how am I to find my dear father?"

"Easy as not," answered the clown, quickly. "We are always on the move.
A new town 'most every day. We never linger long in any one spot."

"No, indeed, we don't!" cried the circus-lady. "We give a performance
this afternoon and to-night, and then we pack up and are off again."

"You can have one of the circus-horses to ride," suggested the clown, by
way of encouragement; "you need not travel on foot if you join us."

"That's a big inducement," admitted Puss, Jr.

"It's a merry life," added the circus-lady, "and when all the little
children clap their hands and cry 'Bravo!' it's very exciting."

"I'll join," said Puss; "here's my paw!"

"And here's my hand," said the clown.

"And here's mine," cried the circus-lady.

"Come with me," said the clown, "and I'll put your name on the program
and you shall be a regular circus performer from now on."

And that is how Puss, Jr., joined the circus.



PUSS, JR., PROVES TO BE A WONDERFUL CIRCUS PERFORMER


It was about eight-thirty o'clock in the evening. The big tent was all
aglow with lights. A long line of people reached from the dusty roadway
to the ticket-office. Flaring torches threw strange streaks of light
over the field, lighting up the circus-wagons with their gleaming red
bodies and yellow wheels.

Now and then the roars of the lions and the trumpetings of the elephants
could be heard, then the music of the band, a bugle-call, a shrill
voice, a snap of whips--all the familiar sounds of a traveling circus,
as the evening breeze ruffled the many flags that decked the great white
tent. Puss, Jr., stood by the side of the clown in the tan-bark ring and
looked about him. On all sides were eager faces. Hundreds of children
screamed and yelled as the clown came forward and motioned for silence.
When the sounds had died away he spoke, loud and clear:

"Ladies and gentlemen and little children, we have with us to-night the
son of the famous Puss in Boots, the well-known nursery character,
dearly loved by old and young. Puss, Junior, is in search of his father,
but in the meantime has consented to join our circus. I venture to say
that no other circus in the world has so wonderful a cat among its
performers. You will all be charmed to see him act. His first
performance will be to ride around the ring on our beautiful Arabian
horse, White Marvel!" As the clown finished Puss jumped nimbly to the
horse's back and commenced riding around the ring as if he had been
accustomed to this sort of thing all his life.

The children clapped their hands, and the grown-ups smiled and nodded
approvingly. The white horse broke into a gallop, but Puss stood first
on one leg and then on the other, bowing gracefully here and there. Not
once did he lose his balance, although he wore his red-topped boots, and
to stand on the bare back of a horse under such conditions is not the
easiest thing in the world.

When the clown brought out a wooden ring covered with tissue-paper the
crowd held its breath. Would Puss, Jr., dare jump through it? Around
galloped the big white horse in a swift canter, Puss balancing himself
on one leg. As he neared the clown, who stood on a big blue barrel close
to the ringside, Puss gathered himself together for the jump. Through
the tissue-paper he went like a bird on the wing, and landed safely on
the horse's back.

A wild round of applause greeted his daring deed. The children clapped
their hands and screamed, forgetting in their excitement to eat their
peanuts and candy popcorn. The man who carried the pink lemonade in
funny little glasses all set in rows in a tin tray stood still to watch.
He forgot to cry, "Anybody want some delicious, pink lemonade?" because
he was so excited over the success of the new member of the circus
family.

Then all the rest of the actor folk did their stunts; the monkeys played
baseball, and the elephants had a boxing-match, and when all was over
the clown and the circus-lady ran up to Puss, Jr., and said, "You were
the star performer of the whole show!" which, of course, pleased Puss
immensely.



A TERRIBLE FIGHT STOPPED BY USING PLUM-CAKE


As the circus entered a town one bright, sunny morning, the lion and the
unicorn escaped from their cages. Great was the excitement! All the
circus people started after them with long ropes, hoping to be able to
lasso them.

At first the townsfolk were greatly frightened, but gradually, as they
found out that the lion and the unicorn paid little attention to them,
their fear gave way to interest. It seems that the lion was an enemy of
the unicorn, and as soon as they were free they began to fight.

    The Lion and the Unicorn were fighting for the crown,
    The Lion beat the Unicorn all around the town.
    Some gave them white bread, and some gave them brown,
    Some gave them plum-cake and sent them out of town.

If it had not been for the plum-cake I verily believe they would have
been fighting still. But as soon as the unicorn saw the plum-cake he
said to the lion:

"What's the use of fighting, Leon? Let's have a truce. In fact, I'm
hungry."

"So am I," replied the lion. "I haven't had a sweet thing since I joined
the circus. And you know how hard it is to see all the little boys and
girls eating candy and popcorn and not be able to get even one little
piece."

"That's quite true," replied the unicorn. "People seem to think all I
require is hay. And as for you, they think raw meat is enough."

With these friendly words they stopped fighting and began to eat the
plum-cake. All the townsfolk stood by watching them. When the circus-men
arrived on the scene they were too surprised for the moment to do a
thing. They just stood still and watched the two animals eat the cake,
even waiting until the lion had picked up the last crumb and the unicorn
the last raisin. Then they came forward very quietly and threw a rope
first over the lion's head and then over the unicorn's, and led them
back to their cages. Puss, Jr., who had by this time arrived on the
scene, turned to the people and said:

"Ladies and gentlemen, it was very kind of you to give plum-cake to our
animals. It only goes to show what kindness will do. I hope you will
appreciate how much we thank you for what you have done, and also that
you will come to our show to-night. I can assure you we will give you a
double bill to show you how much we appreciate what you have done for
us."

"Hurrah!" cried the crowd. "Three cheers for Sir Cat!"

That night there was a tremendous attendance. The tent was crowded.
Everybody was in a jolly frame of mind. All the circus people did their
best. Puss, Jr., jumped through three hoops without touching the back of
the big white horse, and the clown was funnier than he had ever been in
all his life. The circus-lady never looked so pretty, nor did she ever
ride so well before. And it took the ticket-seller all night to count
the money.



PUSS, JR., MEETS ANOTHER CAT AND MORALIZES ON CONTENTMENT


For some time Puss, Jr., traveled with the circus, but at last, finding
that he could make better time if he traveled alone, he said good-by and
started off by himself. Perhaps he remembered the old saying, "He
travels faster who travels alone." At any rate, he made up his mind on
this point and set bravely out by himself.

But he was not lonely, for he was continually seeing new sights and new
people.

One morning as he trudged along a road bordered by green meadows he saw
at some little distance ahead a large apple-tree. As he drew near a
pussy-cat ran up the trunk.

    Little Robin Redbreast sat upon a tree,
    Up went Pussy-Cat, and down went he;
    Down came Pussy-Cat, away Robin ran;
    Said Little Robin Redbreast, "Catch me if you can!"
    Little Robin Redbreast jumped upon a wall,
    Pussy-Cat jumped after him, and almost got a fall;
    Little Robin chirp'd and sang, and what did Pussy say?
    Pussy-Cat said, "Mew," and Robin flew away.

"What are you trying to do?" asked Puss in Boots, Jr., stopping in front
of the tree and looking up at the pussy-cat, who sat upon the wall,
looking after the robin, who had flown away.

"I'm not trying to do anything," replied the pussy-cat, crossly, "but I
was wishing I had wings."

"They would be very nice," replied Puss, Jr., reflectively; "they would
be most convenient at times."

"Indeed they would!" answered the pussy-cat; "they'd be lots better even
than red-topped boots."

Puss looked down at his feet. "Perhaps," he answered, "but I have found
my boots most helpful. Do you know," he continued, "if people would be a
little more contented with what they have I think they'd get more."

The pussy-cat did not answer for a few minutes. Then she said: "What you
say is very true. I suppose I ought to be thankful that I have such nice
strong claws. It's not hard work climbing trees, and, as far as running
goes, my legs carry me very well. Perhaps I don't need wings, after
all."

"Well, I never saw a flying cat," admitted Puss, Jr., "although I've
seen some remarkable things since I started out to find my father, Puss
in Boots."

"So you are a traveler," said the pussy-cat, jumping down from the wall
and walking up to Puss. "How long have you been seeking your father?"

"A long, long time," replied Puss, Jr. "Do you know, sometimes I almost
get discouraged, for this is a big world and at times I feel so very,
very small."

"Well, you come home with me," said the pussy-cat, "and get a good rest.
I think you're tired out." This was the truth, for he had traveled far
that day.



PUSS MEETS MOTHER GOOSE


    "Oh, my pretty cock, oh, my handsome cock,
       I pray you do not crow before day,
     And your comb shall be made of the very beaten gold,
       And your wings of the silver so gray."

Puss, Jr., opened his eyes sleepily to find himself in Mother Goose's
arms. They were seated on a gander's back, who was flying along as if
such a thing as traveling with two passengers was nothing at all. As
Mother Goose finished her little verse, the gander alighted on the roof
of a big red barn on which a weathercock sedately turned this way and
that in the early morning breeze. The sun was just coming up, for it was
early, very early. Puss rubbed his eyes and sat up. "And how's my little
pussy-cat?" asked Mother Goose, stroking him kindly. "Did he have a good
night's sleep?"

"Yes, indeed, thank you," answered Puss, now thoroughly awake and
remembering how he had met Mother Goose the previous day, and how
fortunate it was that she had agreed to take him back to Mother Goose
Land.

"Cock-a-doodle-do!" said the weathercock.

"Crow as much as you like," said Mother Goose. "Now that Puss is awake
you can make all the noise you wish. At first I thought we were not
going to stop on your barn, Sir Chantecler, and that was the reason I
asked you to delay your early morning crow so that we could be far away
before you commenced. Puss is in need of all the sleep he can get, for
in a few days he will be on his feet again. He has still a long ways to
go ere he finds his famous father, Puss in Boots."

"Well," answered the weathercock, "I didn't crow before day, so kindly
give me a gold comb and silver wings."

"That I will," answered Mother Goose, "this very evening."

"And who will bring them?" asked the weathercock, for he was very vain,
and is sometimes called a weather-vane, perhaps for that reason. "Who
will bring them to me, and how am I to know that a gold comb will be
becoming or that silver wings will suit my complexion?"

"Leave that to me," said Mother Goose, with a lofty air. "Weathercocks
only know of the breezes that blow; they swing back and forth when the
wind's from the north, the south, east or west--they are never at rest."

"More poetry from Mother Goose," sighed the weathercock. "If people must
talk, why do they want to rhyme it out? Let them talk in good old
prose. It suits me best."

Mother Goose evidently did not hear his remarks, for she was busily
feeding the gander. Puss was stretching his legs by walking along the
roof and watching some sparrows who were chirping under the eaves.
Presently she called Puss. "We are off again," she cried; "get aboard
the goose-ship!" When they were comfortably seated she turned to the
weathercock and said: "This evening the sun will gild your comb and
silver your wings just before he goes behind yonder western hill.
Good-by!"

The weathercock did not reply, and the gander did not wait, but flew
away with his two passengers safely sitting on his back.



TRIPPING WITH THE STARS


    "Twinkle, twinkle, little star,
     How I wonder what you are!
     Up above the world so high,
     Like a diamond in the sky."

Puss repeated this little rhyme to himself as he looked at a lovely star
that shone in the heavens with a soft and silvery light.

"I always liked that little song," said Mother Goose. "I've heard it
time and again. Mothers always sing that to their babies just before
they go to sleep."

"Do they?" asked Puss. "Mine never did. She used to sing about little
mice and birds."

Mother Goose laughed heartily. "It all depends on whose little baby you
are," she said, "but I guess it all comes out all right in the end."

The gander said never a word. He was doubtless too busy propelling his
great wings and steering with his tail to pay much attention to what his
two passengers were saying.

I don't know whether there was a sign up like the ones they have in the
cars, "Don't talk to the motorman," or not. At any rate, the gander
observed the law, for he made no answer. On and on they went, through
the night. Past cloud and star, over river and valley, hill and dale,
swiftly and silently, for after these few remarks both Mother Goose and
Puss grew very sleepy.

It must have been well on toward morning before they awoke. Nestled on a
soft, feathery gander's back, with the wind singing lullabies as you
travel swiftly underneath the stars, is quite sufficient to keep any one
asleep. It was indeed a mighty fine cradle, and if the morning sun had
not poked his golden fingers into Puss, Jr.'s, eyes he might still have
been sound asleep.

"Mother Goose," he cried, touching the dear old lady gently on the
shoulder, "we are getting very near the earth. It's time for you to wake
up."

"To be sure it is," she replied, rubbing her eyes and arranging her
curls beneath her old peaked hat; "to be sure, and, dearie me! I believe
I have actually overslept!"

They were now close to the earth. The cocks were crowing lustily in the
barn-yards, and every now and then the bark of a dog, faint but clear,
would come to their ears.

"It's funny to look at a house from the outside in the early morning,"
said Puss. "I've always looked out from the inside."

"Of course you have, my dear little traveler," answered Mother Goose,
"but now that you are on your journey to find your famous father, Puss
in Boots, you will see many things very differently."

"Well," said the gander, for the first time speaking, "I'm a bit tired,
so I think I will alight near this old barn."

Puss was delighted, for he wanted once more to feel himself on earth.



PUSS FINDS ADVENTURE AT THE TOP OF JACK'S FAMOUS BEAN-STALK


The next morning as Puss, Jr., went journeying along he came in sight of
a modest little cottage, in the garden of which was growing an immense
bean-stalk, reaching up and up until its top was hidden in the clouds.
On approaching the front gate, a motherly-looking woman appeared in the
doorway and looked curiously at Puss.

"Good morning, ma'am," said he, lifting his cap politely.

"Good morning," she replied, at the same time wiping a tear from her
eyes. "Have you seen anything of my son Jack?"

"No, ma'am," answered Puss. "Has he not yet climbed down the
bean-stalk?"

"What!" exclaimed the good woman. "Do you mean to tell me he has climbed
up this giant bean-stalk?"

"Indeed he has," answered Puss, "and if you will permit me I will climb
up also. Maybe I shall find him near the top, or possibly entangled in
the vines."

The good woman gladly gave her consent and Puss sprang nimbly up the
vine-like ladder. Up and up he climbed until he was lost to sight amid
the white clouds in the sky. At last he reached the top, and, looking
about him curiously, wondered which way to turn. Suddenly he heard a
gentle cackling near at hand, and a small hen crawled out of a thicket
that lay to the right of the path.

"I'm tired to death laying golden eggs for that greedy giant,

    "To lay every day
     Is all work and no play,"

she continued, unconsciously making a little rhyme.

"But where is Jack?" asked Puss, after he had consoled her by saying
that there was much harder work in the world than laying golden eggs.

"Oh, he's up at the giant's house, hiding somewhere," she replied.

"Won't you show me the way?" said Puss, "for I have a message from his
mother to deliver to him."

"Come along; follow me," she cackled, and Puss walked by her side,
politely helping her over the rough places, as the path became steeper
and steeper. Near the top of the hill was the giant's house. But Puss
was not afraid and boldly followed the little hen through the great
doorway and presently found himself in the presence of the giant.

[Illustration: "GOOD MORNING, MA'AM," SAID HE, LIFTING HIS CAP
POLITELY]

"Come, chick," cried the giant, not noticing Puss. "Come, chick, and lay
me a gold egg!"

"I'm so tired to-day," she replied, "won't you let me off just for
once?"

"No, siree!" roared the giant. "Lay! lay!"

"How dare you be so cruel, Sir Giant!" roared Puss as loud as he could,
stepping forward and brandishing his staff.

"Heighty tighty!" laughed the giant, "on one condition will I let off
the little hen, and that is that you spend the night in my house and
tell me some of your adventures."

Puss, Jr., bowed low and graciously. He was able now to reward the
little hen for showing him the way, and as the guest of the giant, it
would be much easier to find Jack. Puss made up his mind toward midnight
to hunt over the entire house for him.



PUSS DISCOVERS WHERE JACK IS HIDING


Puss, Jr., found the giant a very agreeable host. Perhaps it was because
Puss told so many interesting stories of what he had seen and done since
leaving the garret.

"By the time you find your father," roared the giant, for even when he
whispered it sounded like thunder, "you will have traveled far and wide,
my dear friend."

They were seated in the giant's great living-room. A huge pipe was in
his mouth, the smoke from which rose in a cloud as big as that from a
factory chimney. Puss, Jr., was not the least bit dismayed, however, for
he was naturally a brave cat, and his many adventures had given him an
air of assurance as well as a liberal education. He sat opposite the
giant and recounted his adventures one after another, much to the
delight of his great host. All the while, however, Puss was scheming as
to the best way to discover Jack. He had made up his mind firmly that
after his long climb up the bean-stalk, and the fact that he had been
so lucky as to make a friend of the giant, he would allow nothing to
turn him aside.

Finally the giant fell sound asleep. Puss carefully opened the door and
tiptoed into the kitchen, where the giant's wife was washing up the
supper-dishes. As he entered he noticed that the oven door was open just
a crack. "My good woman," said Puss, "your husband is asleep, so I have
taken this opportunity to thank you for the very fine supper of which I
have just partaken."

The giant's wife started at the sound of his voice and immediately
walked over and stood in front of the oven as if to guard it from view.

"Ha, ha!" said Puss to himself. "I'll wager Jack is in the oven. I
wonder why the good woman mistrusts me.

"Madam," said Puss, "I'm in search of a little boy named Jack, and I
have a message from his mother for him. Jack of the wonderful
bean-stalk, and I am sure he is in yonder oven."

Puss, Jr., heard a scratching sound, then a creak, and in a moment Jack
stepped from behind the giant's wife, after carefully closing the oven
door.

"How do you do," said Jack, coming forward, "and what does mother want?"

"She is worried about you," replied Puss, Jr., "and asked me to tell
you, should I have the good fortune of meeting you, that she hoped you
would return home, for she is so lonely."

"That I will," answered Jack, "as soon as I have the opportunity." He
had hardly finished speaking when the heavy tread of the giant was
heard. Jack jumped back into the oven, while the giant's wife commenced
talking to Puss, Jr., as if nothing whatever had happened.

"Why did you leave me?" roared the giant, turning fiercely to Puss.

"Why did you fall asleep?" asked Puss. "Were my tales not of sufficient
interest to keep you awake?"

"They were," replied the giant, somewhat taken aback by the answer he
received. "I guess I have the habit of falling asleep after supper. It's
mighty difficult to break a habit."

"It is, indeed," said Puss. "I feel sleepy myself. Will you allow me not
to break my habit of going to bed early?"

The giant laughed long and loud. "Show him his room, mother," he said,
turning to his wife. So Puss said good night and followed her up-stairs,
having made up his mind to meet Jack at midnight.



PUSS AND JACK MAKE A BOLD RESCUE


It was midnight in the giant's house. Puss Jr., heard the great clock
strike twelve. Softly he tiptoed down the stairs, holding his boots in
one paw and his staff and cap in the other. When he reached the great
living-room he peeped cautiously in.

There sat the giant in the big arm-chair, fast asleep, the poor little
hen that laid the golden eggs lying on the table, not daring to move.

"How dare he break his word?" said Puss to himself. "He promised if I
told him stories last night that he would not make the little hen lay
her daily golden egg. Now he has gone and broken his promise."

The little hen moved uneasily and looked appealingly at Puss.

"What can I do?" he said to himself. Suddenly a bright idea came into
his head, and, turning toward the kitchen, he opened the door very
softly and peered in. To his great delight he saw Jack sound asleep in
the big rocking-chair that the giant's wife sat in during the few
moments of the day in which she was not hard at work. Puss, Jr.,
carefully set his boots down near the door and walked over to Jack.
Fearing he might let out a cry of surprise upon seeing him, Puss paused.

"How shall I waken him without startling him?" he asked himself. It was
indeed a problem. Should Jack give a scream the giant would wake and
rush in. Then all would be lost. It was a trying moment for Puss, Jr.

Suddenly an owl hooted outside. Jack slowly opened his eyes.

"'S-sh!" cautioned Puss, quietly, "be careful!"

"Don't worry," replied Jack in a whisper. "I've no desire to make the
acquaintance of the giant. He wouldn't care for my stories. He'd just
eat me up."

"That he would," said Puss. "He's no good, either. He broke his promise
to me last night," and then Puss told Jack how the giant had said he
would let the little hen off for once if Puss would tell some of his
adventures.

"And I spent all last evening telling him stories till I was tired out,"
concluded Puss, "and now he has kept that poor little hen by his side
all night long. She's in the great living-room on the table, not daring
to move. And the giant has the gold egg tightly grasped in his hand."

"Let's rescue the little hen," said Puss.

"How can we?" asked Jack.

"Why, just run off with her," replied Puss.

"Where to?" said Jack, for he was still rather sleepy and his mind was
not working as rapidly as Puss, Jr.'s.

"Take her home to your mother," whispered Puss. Together they crept into
the room where the giant still lay snoring. Jack carefully picked up the
little hen and started for the door. As he did so he knocked Puss,
Jr.'s, staff from his paw.

"Run!" cried Puss, as the giant opened his eyes. They fell upon Puss,
for Jack had disappeared down the bean-stalk.

"You have stolen my hen!" he roared.

Puss darted in another direction and the giant after him. Just then the
little owl, who had awakened Jack, flew near and called out:

    "The Owl and the Pussy-Cat went to sea
       In a beautiful pea-green boat."

And this is the way Puss, Jr., escaped from the wicked giant.



PUSS, JR., MEETS MR. ROWLEY FROG


The following day Puss, Jr., was trudging along near the edge of a
forest. The land was rather low and marshy, and the path was none too
dry. He gingerly picked his way, avoiding as well as possible the muddy
spots. Of a sudden his attention was arrested by a funny sight.

A few feet in front of him, as he rounded a curve in the path, was a
frog. On his head rested a large stove-pipe hat, much worn and
weather-beaten. A large cigar was in his mouth, on which he puffed away
vigorously, the clouds of smoke streaming out behind him like a long
gray feather.

"Hello, Mr. Rowley!" cried Puss.

The frog turned. Taking the cigar out of his mouth, he answered, "How do
you know my name?"

"Just a good guess of mine, perhaps," replied Puss. "But, anyway,
there's a famous Mr. Rowley in _Mother Goose_, so I took a chance."

"Well, I don't want you to try to stop me," said Rowley, "for I had
enough fuss when I left home. You see, my people didn't want me to go at
all."

"Then why did you?" asked Puss, who by this time had come up to the
frog.

"Because I was tired to death of the old pond," replied Rowley. "One has
got to see the world some time, and when one is young is the time and
not when one is old."

"Yes, 'every dog must have his day,'" quoted Puss.

"And every frog, too," answered Rowley, pushing his high hat down on his
head more securely and replacing the cigar between his lips.

"And where are you going?" asked Puss.

    "A frog he would a-wooing go,
       Heigh-ho! says Rowley.
     Whether his mother would let him or no.
     With a rowley powley, gammon and spinach,
      Heigh-ho! says Anthony Rowley."

"Well, then, Anthony!" cried Puss, taking the frog by the arm, "let us
be comrades. For it is lonesome business, this traveling alone, and I
would have a good friend to talk to while we trudge along."

"But I already have a companion," answered Mr. Rowley. "Don't you
remember the second verse in _Mother Goose_?"

"Not exactly," replied Puss, Jr.

"Well, this is the way it goes," answered the frog. "It's describing me,
of course."

    "So off he set with his opera hat,
       Heigh-ho! says Rowley.
     And on the road he met with a rat.
     'Pray, Mr. Rat, will you go with me?'
       Heigh-ho! says Rowley,
     'Kind Mrs. Mousey for to see?'"

At that moment the rat jumped out of the bushes. "Don't be afraid," said
Puss, Jr.

"All right," replied the rat, "I sha'n't."

"Glad to have seen you both," said Puss, Jr. "I can't tarry long, for I
must continue my journey."



PUSS IS HEARTILY WELCOMED BY JACK THE JUMPER


It was near nightfall. Puss, Jr., was weary and footsore, for he had
traveled far. No one had given him a thing to eat all day, and he was
faint from want of food. Darkness was coming upon him and he looked
about him to find a place to sleep.

In the distance a little light caught his eye, and, hastening his steps
toward it, he soon came to a small cottage. Looking through the open
door, he was surprised to see resting on the floor a small brass
candlestick. It was the flame from this that had attracted his attention
and drawn his weary feet forward.

            Jack be nimble,
            Jack be quick,
    And Jack jump over the candlestick.

Over the candlestick leaped a small boy, and with a laugh turned toward
the open door.

"Can _you_ jump over a lighted candlestick?" he asked.

"I never tried," said Puss, "but I guess I can."

"Don't singe your tail!" cried Jack, as Puss prepared himself for the
jump.

"Don't worry," replied Puss, Jr. "I think too much of my tail to spoil
one single little hair."

Gathering himself together, Puss jumped nimbly over the candle.

"Good for you!" cried the little boy.

"Oh, that's nothing," replied Puss. "I once belonged to a circus."

"You did?" cried the little boy. "Tell me about it."

"Well," said Puss, "there isn't much to tell. I was walking along one
day and came up to a big tent. A man asked me if I would not like to
join, and I said yes."

"What did you do?" asked the little boy.

"Oh, I rode a horse around the ring. I jumped through hoops covered with
tissue-paper, and I never slipped off. It was pretty good fun," sighed
Puss, Jr. "But, dear me, I'm so hungry! Can't you get me some milk?"

"Of course I can," replied the little boy; "you just sit down and see
that the candle doesn't blow out, and I'll run and tell mother." In a
few minutes he returned, followed by a motherly-looking woman.

"Why, it's Puss in Boots!" she said.

"No, madam," replied Puss; "but I'm his son, and have been these many
months trying to find my dear father."

"And you haven't found him yet?" said the good woman.

"No, not yet," replied our little hero, "but I hope to very soon."

"Well, you shall have a good supper," said the kind woman, "for my
little boy tells me you are hungry."

In a few minutes Puss was eating a hearty supper, and then he followed
the little boy up to his bedroom, where they both slept soundly all
night long after mother had blown out the light.



OLD KING COLE'S FIDDLERS ARE RATHER RUDE TO PUSS


    Old King Cole was a merry old soul,
    And a merry old soul was he;
    And he called for his pipe,
    And he called for his bowl,
    And he called for his fiddlers three.
    And every fiddler, he had a fine fiddle,
    And a very fine fiddle had he;
    "Tweedle dee, tweedle dee," said the fiddlers;
    "Oh, there's none so rare as can compare,
    With Old King Cole and his fiddlers three."

Cole Castle was a very magnificent one. Puss looked up at the great
walls and sighed. "I wish I would find my dear father here, but I
suppose I won't."

"No, you won't," cried a voice, and one of the three fiddlers poked his
head out of a window and laughed loud and long. "There are no cats in
this castle."

"No cats allowed here," cried the third fiddler, appearing at the
postern gate.

Puss, Jr., almost felt like crying. "Did you ever hear of Puss in
Boots?" he asked.

"Certainly," replied all three fiddlers at once, "but he doesn't live
here. No cats do. We make all the noise in this castle. You don't think
for a moment Old King Cole could stand any more noise, do you?"

"My father wouldn't make any noise," replied Puss, Jr., indignantly.

"I never heard of a cat that didn't," said one of the fiddlers.

"All cats make an awful noise at night," said another.

"They meow and cry like everything on the back fence," said the third
fiddler. "They make more noise than a fiddle, and a worse noise than a
fiddle out of tune."

"I don't like you," said Puss. "People who don't like cats are not to be
trusted."

"Ha, ha!" laughed all three fiddlers, "you're jealous of us!"

"Not the least," replied Puss, stoutly. "I'm not jealous at all. I'm
just indignant that you should make such a remark about my family."

"No harm meant," said the three fiddlers, "no harm meant, my good Sir
Cat."

"Very well, we won't argue the matter," said Puss, "for a traveler has
no time to argue if he would reach his journey's end. Time is precious,
and I must be on my way. Only let me tell you, I have heard many a
fiddle that made a worse noise than a cat," and with this parting remark
our little hero continued on his way.



THE MILLER OF THE DEE


"What a lovely old mill!" thought Puss, Jr. "Is that your 'hush-a-by
baby upon the tree-top'?" he asked the miller on entering the old mill.

"No, sir-ee!" answered the jolly miller, with a jolly laugh. "Haven't
you ever heard the song about me? This is the way it goes:

    "There was a jolly miller once
       Lived on the River Dee;
     He worked and sang from morn till night,
       No lark so blithe as he.

    "And this the burden of his song
       Forever used to be:
     'I care for nobody! No, not I!
       And nobody cares for me!'"

"Doesn't anybody care for you?" asked Puss. "It seems strange, for you
are so jolly."

[Illustration: "AREN'T WE GREAT FRIENDS?" ASKED THE MILLER]

"Well," answered the miller, "you see, it's this way: I am here all
alone all day; there's no room in the mill except for me and the sacks
of corn. It all belongs to me, even the old willow-tree. I let a little
woman who lives quite near here hang the cradle on the limb every
morning. As she goes to work in the village, she puts her baby in the
cradle and the wind rocks it to sleep until she comes back at noon. Then
she goes away again and comes back at evening and takes the cradle home
with her. The baby is very good; that is, it has been so far; but you
can never tell how long a baby will be good."

"That's true of every one," said Puss, with much gravity.

"If it ever starts crying--that is, a long crying spell, she'll have to
get another willow-tree or another baby. I can't be bothered with a
crying baby so close at hand."

"But you haven't answered my question yet," said Puss.

"Oh," replied the miller. "You mean because I care for nobody and nobody
cares for me."

"Yes; I don't quite understand it."

"Come inside and I'll explain it to you," said the miller.

Puss walked inside and sat down on a bag of flour. "All I do is to grind
corn for people," continued the miller, sitting down on a dusty stool.
"They bring their corn in to be ground and then they leave. When they
come back the corn is ready for them,--that is, the flour. They take it
away and I'm left all alone. So what do I do? Well, I make friends with
a little mouse and a big rat that live in the old mill." As he spoke
the little mouse ran out of her hole and sat down by the miller. "We are
great friends, aren't we, mousie?" he said.

The little mouse squeaked, "Yes, Mr. Miller."

Then the big rat came out and sat down by the miller, only on the other
side.

"Aren't we great friends?" asked the miller.

The rat said, "You are the best friend I have." At which the miller
smiled and Puss grinned.

"Animals make good friends," said the miller.

"Yes, indeed," replied Puss, "but rats and mice are so destructive. They
eat your corn."

"Not much," said the miller; "only a little bit."

"We only eat what we need," said the mouse and the rat in chorus.



PUSS, JR., RENDERS A MOTHER AID


Puss, Jr., was very much interested in the jolly miller and his two
small friends, the rat and the mouse. It seemed strange to Puss that a
miller should have two such friends as these. But when he thought it
over he saw there was much reason to the miller's words.

At the time the miller was talking the mouse and the rat kept a close
watch on Puss, Jr. They knew from experience, most likely, that cats are
not millers, and although Puss, Jr., with his boots and cap, his clothes
and staff, did not resemble an ordinary cat, at the same time he was a
cat. So the rat and the mouse kept at a safe distance.

"Tell your little friends," said Puss to the jolly miller, "that I won't
hurt a hair of them."

"Mousie," said the miller, leaning over and patting the little mouse,
"Sir Cat says he will not harm a hair of your tiny head."

"That's very kind of him," replied the little mouse in a squeaky voice.

The rat made the same answer when the miller patted him.

Just then the mother of the baby who was in the cradle on the tree-top
came by. She smiled at the miller, who took off his rusty, dusty cap.
"There she goes," he said to Puss. "She's going to take the cradle down
now. She'll take 'cradle, and baby, and all' home with her."

Puss stepped to the doorway to watch her. First she stood on tiptoe and
looked into the cradle. Then she smiled and leaned over and kissed the
baby, who began to crow and clap his hands. After she had kissed him
many times she lifted him out of the cradle and danced him up and down
on her knee. As she danced him gently up and down, she sang:

    "Down in the village, all the day long,
     Mother's been singing a sweet little song;
     Just to herself she's been singing all day,
     While baby's been rocking and rocking away:
     'Hush-a-by, baby, upon the tree-top,
     Mother is watching the tick-tocky clock;
     Counting the minutes go by until she
     Will be taking her baby boy down from the tree.'"

Then she laid the baby over her shoulder and, picking up the cradle,
started off for home.

"Let me carry the cradle for you," said Puss, Jr., running out of the
mill.

"That would be a great help," she replied, "for baby is getting very
heavy, and mother has been working hard all day."

So Puss put the cradle on his shoulder and, bowing to the miller,
followed after her, while the baby kicked and crowed and tried to reach
down and pull his whiskers. And Puss tickled the baby's hand and winked
at the baby, who gurgled and laughed and tried to pull the feather out
of Puss, Jr.'s, cap. And the little mother forgot all about her own
weariness, for baby lay so warm against her neck and his laugh tinkled
so sweetly in her ear!



THE MILKMAN'S HORSE, OLD NAGGETTY NOGG


    "Jockety jog, jockety jog!
     Over the hills, and over the bog.

    "Jockety jog, jockety jog!
     Many a mile this day I've trod.

    "Jockety jog, jockety jog!
     I'm the milkman's horse, old Naggetty Nogg."

"Are you really?" exclaimed Puss, Jr., looking up into the face of the
old white horse. "And is your name 'Naggetty Nogg'?"

"Yes, that's my name," replied the old horse. "You see, every horse is a
nag. So in some way or another they got to calling me 'Naggetty,' and
then, after a while, they added on the 'Nogg.'"

"Yes, every one has at least two names," replied Puss, "and it is
natural that you should have two, just like everybody. I like the name
'Naggetty Nogg' very much. It's quite fine."

"It sounds 'horsy' all right," he answered, giving his tail a sweep to
brush off some flies that had settled on his side. "It sounds real
horsy."

"And it fits you perfectly," said Puss. "You couldn't have chosen a
better name."

"But I didn't choose it," replied the old horse, quickly; "it was given
to me. You see, my master and I start out early every morning. First we
go to the farm to get the milk. It's so early in the morning that it's
quite dark sometimes--that is, in the winter-time. The farmer comes out
and opens the milk-house door with his key. The milk is all kept in
great big pans in long rows. It's very cool inside, for the milk-house
is built over a spring that bubbles away all the time, running out of
the old stone milk-house down to the meadows, where the cows drink it
and the little fish swim in it. I know, because one time when my right
forefoot was hurt they put me out in the meadow and many a good drink
I've had from that same little brook. The bottom is all bright little
stones, and the ferns hang over the edge of the bank, and the little
birds hop down and drink. Oh, it's very pleasant out there in the
meadow. I sometimes wish my old foot would go lame again so that I might
enjoy the green grass and the cool breezes. But that wouldn't do at all.
My master would lose money. He would have to hire another horse. And
then, too, I would miss the mothers who come out to get the nice fresh
milk from my master. Sometimes they have a baby in their arms and two
or three small children hanging on to their skirts. And they always pat
my nose and say:

"'How is old Naggetty Nogg to-day?' Sometimes I get a lump of sugar,
too."

"You make me wish that I could drive a milk-wagon," said Puss, Jr.,
with a sigh. "I'd like to be a milkman if I had a Naggetty Nogg to
drive."



WHO IS A MAN'S MOST FAITHFUL FRIEND?


"What is your master's name?" asked Puss, Jr., as the old white
milk-horse paused in his story.

    "Jockety jog, jockety jog!
     My master's name is Roundey K. Rogg.

    "Jockety jog, jockety jog!
     He's a good man; he drinks no grog.

    "Jockety jog, jockety jog!
     Never does he old Naggetty flog."

"That's a blessing," said Puss, Jr. "I've seen so many poor horses
whipped. It's a shame that a man can hurt a horse."

"Yes, a horse is a man's most faithful friend," replied old Naggetty.
"He works for him all the time."

"Don't you get tired?" asked Puss.

"No-o-o," replied the old horse, "not very tired. You see, when we start
out we have the cans full. So we go very slowly so as not to churn the
milk or spill it. If we went too fast the tops of the cans might fly
off. Then on our way home, when all the milk has been delivered and all
the hungry little children have had all they can drink, we come along at
a good clip. The cans bump and make a most cheerful noise. And every
step is nearer home, where my supper of oats is waiting for me, and my
good master's supper is waiting for him."

"I'd like to climb up into your wagon and go home with you," said Puss.
"Do you suppose your master would object?"

"You can ask him," replied the old horse. "But you mustn't climb up
until you do."

"Certainly not," replied Puss, indignantly. "I wouldn't take such a
liberty. Tell me more about him." The old horse whisked his tail and
commenced:

    "Jockety jog, jockety jog!
     I'll bear him safe through all this fog.

    "Jockety jog, jockety jog!
     How the darkness this way doth clog."

The old horse paused. "I was thinking of a dark night some time ago. The
moon was hidden behind the clouds and not a star was to be seen. We had
gone a long ways out of our usual track, for my master had heard of a
poor woman who had a sick baby, and he said he must take her some fresh
milk. When we started back for home it was already pretty dark, but I
knew the road. My master left it all to me. He just let the reins hang
down over the dashboard and gave me my head. So I kept along, taking
good care not to stumble. The tin cans bumped and banged together and
the wheels creaked over the rough places. Master began to sing his
favorite song:

    "Place the little candle-light
     In the window clear and bright.
     Tho' the night be dim and dark
     I shall see its tiny spark."



PUSS BUYS A PAIR OF BOOTS MADE FOR HIS FAMOUS SIRE


    Solomon Grundy,
    Born on a Monday,
    Christened on Tuesday,
    Married on Wednesday,
    Took ill on Thursday,
    Worse on Friday,
    Died on Saturday,
    Buried on Sunday.
    This is the end of
    Solomon Grundy.

Puss, Jr., stood before a little shop. In the window was this sign. "Too
bad," said Puss to himself; "he had such a nice little store."

"He did that!" cried a voice. Puss looked up and saw a little old woman.
On her head was a queer green bonnet and over her shoulders hung a faded
red shawl. "Are you Mrs. Grundy?" asked Puss. For some reason he felt
sure it was, so he was not at all surprised when she answered yes.

"And do you still run the little shop?" he asked.

"Yes, my good Sir Cat," she replied, "and I have a very fine pair of
red-topped boots which I would like to sell you."

"I guess I need a new pair," said Puss, Jr., looking down at his own.
There was a big hole in the toe of one and the other was minus a heel.

"Walk in," said little old Mrs. Grundy, "and you may try them on." Puss
followed her into the store and sat down. Mrs. Grundy climbed up a
little step-ladder and took down a box from the top shelf. "This pair of
boots," she said, "was made once upon a time, very long ago, for a very
famous cat whose name was Puss in Boots."

At these words Puss, Jr., jumped off his seat and threw his paws around
Mrs. Grundy.

"Gracious me!" she cried, "what are you doing?"

"Oh, my dear madam," cried Puss, "the famous cat you mention is my
father--I am Puss in Boots, Junior."

"Is that possible?" exclaimed Mrs. Grundy, letting the box fall with a
bang to the floor. "Is that possible? I'm so glad that I saved these
boots all these years. And to think that his son will wear them," she
added, sitting down in her excitement.

"But I don't care much about the boots!" cried Puss, Jr. "I want so
badly to find my father. Can't you tell me where he lives?"

Mrs. Grundy looked puzzled. "I did know, my little friend," she replied,
"but I have clean forgotten now. Indeed I have," she added, in a
sympathetic voice, seeing how disappointed poor little Puss looked.

"Just the same, I will pay you well for the boots," said Puss, Jr., "and
be on my way at once. One never can tell what each day may bring, and I
might find my father, although it grieves me to think you have forgotten
just where he lives."



PUSS MEETS A MODEST MENDING MAN AND A JOLLY MILLER


    "If I'd as much money as I could spend
     I never would cry old chairs to mend;
     Old chairs to mend, old chairs to mend,
     I never would cry old chairs to mend.

    "If I'd as much money as I could tell,
      I never would cry old clothes to sell;
     Old clothes to sell, old clothes to sell,
     I never would cry old clothes to sell."

"Well, what would you do?" asked Puss, Jr., coming up to the funny
little man who was singing this song as he journeyed along over the
roadway down the hill, across the bridge to the creaking mill.

"I'd buy a little house and a little cow and a little pig, and I'd live
all the days of my life as happy as could be," replied the funny little
man.

"That wouldn't take such an awful lot of money," replied Puss. "You said
in your song if you had 'as much money as you could spend.' I should
think that would mean a big castle and a big automobile and a big yacht,
and, and--"

"I couldn't spend more than a little, for I've never had much practice
in spending," answered the funny little man.

Before Puss could make reply they crossed the bridge and found
themselves opposite the old mill. In the doorway stood the miller all
covered with flour. His hat was dusty, too; even his hair and eyelashes
were white with the dusty flour.

"Any old chairs to mend?" asked the funny little man.

"I have a stool here that has lost a leg," replied the miller, "and an
old clock that has lost a hand, and my wife has a pitcher that has lost
a mouth and a needle that has no eye. Can you mend them all?"

"You'd better call in the doctor," said the funny little man; "he's the
person you want."

"Ha, ha!" roared the miller, "I was only joking."

"So was I," answered the little man. "Give me the stool. I will heal
that patient first, then will see about the others."

The miller presently brought out the injured stool, and while it was
being mended he and Puss, Jr., had a talk.

[Illustration: "IF I'D AS MUCH MONEY AS I COULD SPEND"]

"Yes," said the miller as Puss seated himself on a sack of flour, "I'm a
busy man. It's grind, grind all day long. Red corn and yellow corn and
white corn from the cribs of the farmers. From the fields to my mill,
and then from here to the baker or the kitchen, and then into cakes for
little children. The big wheel goes round and round all day long and the
water splashes and gurgles as it turns it. And then I tie up the sacks
after they are well filled, and then the wagon comes and takes them
away. Every day the same thing, year in and year out."

"It's nice and cool," said Puss, "and the flour smells sweet, and it's
home, you know. I'm a little tired with my long journey and wish I could
find my dear father."

"Cheer up," said the miller. "You'll find him soon, I'm sure of that."



PUSS OVERHEARS A PROPOSAL AND IS INVITED TO A WEDDING


    It was a merry time,
      When Jenny Wren was young,
    So neatly as she danced,
      And so sweetly as she sung--

    Robin Redbreast lost his heart;
      He was a gallant bird;
    He doffed his hat to Jenny,
      And thus to her he said:

    "My dearest Jenny Wren,
      If you will but be mine,
    You shall dine on cherry pie,
      And drink nice currant wine."

    "I'll dress you like a goldfinch,
      Or like a peacock gay;
    So if you'll have me, Jenny,
      Let us appoint the day."

While on his journey Puss, Jr., paused to listen to this sweet song. On
a branch above him sat Robin Redbreast. With his hat held in one claw he
bowed most beautifully to a little wren that sat on a limb just below
him. "I'll dress you like a goldfinch," repeated Robin, swinging his
beautiful green hat with its long black feather up and down in the
breeze.

    Jenny blushed behind her fan,
      And thus declared her mind:
    "Then let it be to-morrow, Bob;
      I'll take your offer kind.

    "Cherry pie is very good,
      So is currant wine;
    But I'll wear my russet gown,
      And never dress too fine."

"I'd like to buy her a beautiful gold dress," said Robin Redbreast,
turning to look at Puss, Jr., who stood very quietly at the foot of the
tree.

"I think her little russet gown is much nicer," replied Puss. "To tell
you the truth, she wouldn't look very much like a wren if you dressed
her like a goldfinch."

"Of course I wouldn't," chirruped little Jenny Wren; "and, besides, I
wouldn't feel at all like myself. I might think Robin had married a
goldfinch instead of me; and I don't want to think that."

"Of course you don't," said Puss, kindly.

"You are both right," said Robin Redbreast. "I only thought for the
moment that she would like a different gown, but she shall have her
way. There is only one little bird in the world for me, and that is
Jenny Wren."

Jenny hid her face behind her fan, for she was I blushing very hard.
Indeed, her cheeks were I almost as red as Robin's breast.

"To-morrow, then, shall be our wedding-day," said Robin, "and you are
invited, my dear Puss, Junior."



PUSS AND SEVERAL ACQUAINTANCES JOURNEY TO THE WEDDING


    Robin rose up early,
      Before the break of day;
    He flew to Jenny Wren's house,
      To sing a roundelay.

    He met the Cock and Hen,
      And bade the Cock declare,
    This should be his wedding-day,
      With Jenny Wren, the fair.

    The Cock then blew his horn,
      To let the neighbors know
    This was Robin's wedding-day,
      And they might see the show.

Puss, Jr., was also up bright and early. He carefully polished his
red-top boots and dusted his cap with the long feather in it. Then he
started out for the woods.

"Cock-a-doodle-do!" cried the rooster.

"How do you doodle-do, my noble Sir Chanticleer?" asked Puss, bowing. "I
am on my way to Cock Robin's wedding; he has given me an invitation,"
he added, as the rooster stopped crowing to listen.

A little squirrel ran down from his tree and stood upright on his hind
legs as Puss came to the edge of the woods. "Follow me," said Puss.
"There is to be a fine wedding in your forest city this morning." So the
little squirrel ran after Puss.

Presently they came to a little pond. On a big log sat a very
friendly-looking old bullfrog. "Ker-chunk, ker-chunk!" he cried.

"Get off your log and come with us," said Puss, Jr. "There is to be a
grand wedding in the woods."

The bullfrog jumped off his log into the water with a great splash and
swam to the shore. Scrambling up the bank, he followed Puss and the
squirrel. The three had only gone a little ways when they came to a
chipmunk.

"Hello, Chip!" cried the little squirrel. "Don't you want to join us?"

"Where are you going?"

"To a wedding," said Puss, Jr.

"All right," said the chipmunk, and he ran up and joined Puss, Jr.'s,
little party. After going for some distance they came to a brook.

"How shall we get across?" asked Puss, Jr.

"I'm all right," said the bullfrog. "I'll swim." And with a beautiful
dive he landed in the middle of the stream and swam away to the other
bank.

"I wish my boots were rubber," said Puss. "I might wade across and carry
you two on my back."

While they were wondering what to do, a muskrat swam up to the bank and
said: "Why don't you walk over Beaver Dam? It's only a little distance
from here."

"Will it be perfectly safe?" asked the little squirrel, timidly.

"Certainly, my dear friends," replied the muskrat. "You run along the
bank and I'll show you the way."

So Puss and his small comrades followed the little muskrat till they
reached Beaver Dam.



THE GUESTS ARRIVE SAFELY AT THE WEDDING


Puss, Jr., continued on his way with his small comrades, the squirrel,
the old bullfrog, the chipmunk, the muskrat, the beaver (who had joined
them without being asked after they had paid him for crossing his dam),
and the timid little rabbit. Presently they saw in the distance the
wedding procession of Cock Robin and Jenny Wren.

    And first came Parson Rook,
      With his spectacles and band,
    And one of Mother Hubbard's books
      He held within his hand.

    The Sparrow and the Tomtit,
      And many more, were there.
    All came to see the wedding
      Of Jenny Wren, the fair.

    Then followed him the Lark,
      For he could sweetly sing,
    And he was to be the clerk
      At Cock Robin's wedding.

"Let us make haste," cried Puss, Jr., "or we shall be late."

"Please don't go so fast," begged the old bullfrog. "I'm a very poor
walker."

"Here, climb up on my back," said the squirrel. "You can lean against my
tail. It will keep you from falling off."

This helped matters a great deal, and our little friends moved forward
at a good pace. The old bullfrog was also much relieved. He was pretty
tired and every once in a while gasped for breath. He was not too weary,
however, to catch several flies on the way, and he winked quite solemnly
at Puss, who grinned in return. As they neared the wedding procession
they heard the lark singing.

    He sang of Robin's love
      For little Jenny Wren;
    And when he came unto the end,
      Then he began again.

    The Goldfinch came on next,
      To give away the bride;
    The Linnet, being bridesmaid,
      Walked by Jenny's side;

    And as she was a-walking,
      Said, "Upon my word,
    I think that your Cock Robin
      Is a very pretty bird."

"I think he is," whispered Puss, Jr., to the squirrel.

"So do I," said the chipmunk.

"Ker-chunk," said the old bullfrog, "he has a fine red vest. I always
like white waistcoats, though," he added, looking down at his own; "but
then, you know, everybody doesn't like the same thing."



PUSS IS WELCOMED AT THE WEDDING


All the birds of the forest seemed to be at the wedding of Cock Robin
and little Jenny Wren, as Puss, Jr., and his little friends sat down
beneath a big tree. The little squirrel cuddled up to Puss, while the
chipmunk sat close by. The muskrat and the beaver stood near at hand,
while the rabbit and the old bullfrog, who had climbed off the
squirrel's back, looked out from behind the tree trunk. They were the
most timid of all, so they hid behind the tree.

All the birds were singing as sweetly as could be. It was certainly very
beautiful wedding music. Perhaps the most exquisite strains came from

    The Blackbird and the Thrush,
      And charming Nightingale,
    Whose soft note sweetly echoes
      Through every grove and dale;

    The Bullfinch walked by Robin,
      And thus to him did say:
    "Pray mark, friend Robin Redbreast,
      That Goldfinch dressed so gay;

    "What though her gay apparel
      Becomes her very well,
    Yet Jenny's modest dress and look
      Must bear away the bell."

Just then Parson Rook looked over at them. "Why, Puss in Boots, Junior!"
he called out. "Come over here," and, turning to the wedding guests, he
said: "There is the son of the famous Puss in Boots. We are honored to
have so illustrious a person with us. And delighted, too, for he is a
great traveler and a jolly good fellow."

Puss, Jr., arose and bowed.

"Bring your little friends with you, also," said Parson Rook, "for all
the forest folk are welcome. Who is there more loved, I would like to
know, than Robin Redbreast and little Jenny Wren?"

"Nobody!" croaked the old bullfrog.

"No one," said Puss, Jr.

"We all love Robin and Jenny," cried the squirrel and the chipmunk.

"And so do I," "And so do I," cried the beaver and the rabbit together.
As they finished the birds began to sing the wedding-march.

    Then came the bride and bridegroom,
      Quite plainly was she dressed,
    And blushed so much, her cheeks were
      As red as Robin's breast.

    But Robin cheered her up;
      "My pretty Jen," said he,
    "We're going to be married,
      And happy we shall be."

"I'm going to give her a gold piece for good luck," whispered Puss.

"I've got a nut," said the little squirrel.

"And so have I!" said the chipmunk. "We'll each give her a nut."

"I'll give her a fresh-water pearl," said the old bullfrog.

The rabbit and the beaver looked at each other. "We'll have to run home
and get something," they cried.



THE BRIDE RECEIVES SOME HANDSOME PRESENTS


"Don't be gone long," cried Puss, Jr., as the rabbit and the beaver ran
off to their homes to get a present for Jenny Wren. "You had better
hurry, or the wedding will be over by the time you return."

"Don't worry about me," said the rabbit, whisking away at a great rate.

"I'll be back, never fear," said the beaver.

Puss watched them out of sight, then he heard the parson begin again:

    "Oh, then," says Parson Rook,
      "Who gives this maid away?"
    "I do," says the Goldfinch,
      "And her fortune I will pay;

    "Here's a bag of grain of many sorts,
      And other things besides;
    Now happy be the bridegroom,
      And happy be the bride."

Presently the rabbit returned. "Do you think she will like this?" he
asked Puss, Jr., holding up a little white powder-puff. "I made it all
myself. I had it put away in a little box for safe-keeping."

"It's very pretty," said Puss, Jr., with a smile. "What little bunny's
tail did you cut off to make it with?"

"Not mine," replied the rabbit; "but don't ask me too many questions."

Just then the beaver came panting up. "Whew!" he cried. "I'd rather
travel by water than by land; but, anyhow, I'm here. How do you think
she will like my present?" and he held up a little gold ring.

"Just the thing!" cried Puss. "But where did you get it?"

"Oh, I found it on the bottom of the brook one day," replied the beaver,
"so I picked it up and hung it on a nail; I thought it might come in
handy some day."

"When shall we give her the present?" asked the squirrel.

"Wait, wait," said Puss; "they are not yet married. Listen to Parson
Rook:

    "And will you have her, Robin,
      To be your wedded wife?"
    "Yes, I will," says Robin,
      "And love her all my life."

    "And will you have him, Jenny,
      Your husband now to be?"
    "Yes, I will," says Jenny,
      "And love him heartily!"

    Then on her finger fair
      Cock Robin put the ring;
    "You're married now," says Parson Rook,
      While loud the lark did sing:

    "Happy be the bridegroom,
      And happy be the bride,
    And may not man, nor bird, nor beast,
      This happy pair divide."



PUSS MAKES A NEW FRIEND AND GAINS A STEED


"Heigh-ho!" cried Puss, Jr., swinging his cane, as he marched merrily
along--"heigh-ho for a short journey and a happy ending!"

"Well said, my merrie Lord Cat," cried a voice. A tinker by the roadside
looked up as Puss was about to pass him by.

    "If wishes were horses, beggars would ride.
     If turnips were watches,
     I'd wear one at my side.
     And if 'ifs' and 'ands'
     Were pots and pans,
     There'd be no work for tinkers!"

"I guess you are right, my good sir," said Puss, pausing and looking at
the old tins that the tinker had set down on the ground. "If wishes were
horses, I'd have one at once, for four legs are better than two, and
horses' legs are meant to travel, while a cat's are not made especially
for that purpose."

"You are an observing cat," said the tinker, with a twinkle in his eye.

"I speak from experience, my good man," said Puss, "for I have used my
legs for traveling these many miles, and when I look at a horse, I
cannot help thinking he has the better of me as far as legs go."

"And when I look at my legs," said the tinker, "I think how well they
would look astride of a good gray horse."

"Let us both make a wish," suggested Puss, half in fun and half in
earnest. "Wishes do come true at times, you know."

"Very good," replied the tinker, "I'm wishing."

"And so am I," said Puss.

To their utter astonishment they heard a shrill neigh close at hand,
and, turning to see what manner of steed had answered so quickly their
wishes, they beheld two fine gray horses in the meadow close by. Leaning
their heads over the fence rail, the two animals gazed at them with
expectant eyes.

"Why, they already have on their saddles and bridles!" cried the tinker,
with amazement. "Are you a fairy cat? Do your wishes always come true?"

"That is a nice question to answer," replied Puss, "but in this case,
you can see for yourself."

"Well," said the tinker, "let us not refuse this stroke of good luck. I,
for one, shall mount one of yonder steeds."

[Illustration: "I GUESS YOU ARE RIGHT, MY GOOD SIR," SAID PUSS]

"And I will ride the other," cried Puss, nimbly springing over the
fence. Thrusting his foot into the stirrup, he sprang into the saddle
and waited for his friend the tinker. Alas for the clumsy tinker! As he
attempted to mount, the bundle of old tins made such a rattle that both
horses jumped in fright, and in another moment ran off at a great rate.
Puss clung tightly to the reins, and, on looking back, saw the
bewildered tinker still standing by the fence, while his horse careered
across the meadow, kicking up his heels and snorting at a great rate.



PUSS MEETS A HUNTER AND THEY BOTH LEARN THAT THE OWL IS A USEFUL BIRD


"Well, that was a clumsy tinker," said Puss to himself, as he guided his
good gray horse into the highway. "But I suppose he is no rider, and
therefore is safer upon his own two legs. At any rate, I cannot stop to
inquire, nor would I be of any assistance. So I shall ride away,
thankful at my good luck in having a steed for a mere wish. As wishes
are horses, pussy-cats may ride," he said, with a laugh.

The gray horse proved a good roadster and covered many a mile before
midday. Presently, on coming to a crossway, Puss decided to take the
road that led through the woods. He had hardly entered when he saw a
funny little man dressed like a huntsman. In his right hand he carried a
bow and on his back was a quiver full of arrows.

A small dog ran along at his heels, snuffing about continually, as if
expecting to find a rabbit or a squirrel. Before Puss had gone much
farther, the funny little huntsman paused under a large tree, from a
hole in which an old owl looked out, winking and blinking his eyes.

    There was an owl lived in an oak,
      Whiskey, Whaskey, Weedle;
    And all the words he ever spoke
      Were Fiddle, Faddle, Feedle.

    A sportsman chanced to come that way,
      Whiskey, Whaskey, Weedle;
    Said he, "I'll shoot you, silly bird!"
      So Fiddle, Faddle, Feedle.

"Bow-wow!" yelped the little dog, suddenly catching sight of the old
owl.

"There now, you've gone and done it!" cried the funny little hunter, as
the owl quickly drew in his head. "You're a fine hunting-dog, you are!"

The little dog hung his tail and walked away. In another moment, on
catching sight of Puss on his big gray horse, he set up another wild
barking.

"What's the matter now?" inquired the little huntsman. "Oh, it's you, is
it?" he exclaimed, suddenly seeing Puss.

"Your little dog is a better watchman than a hunter," said Puss, with a
grin; "that is, he's a good old scout."

"Well, I'm glad to find out he's good for something," said the little
hunter, "for he made me just now lose a good shot at an old owl that has
been hooting and tooting around my house for many nights. I would have
liked to put an arrow through his old head."

"You would, eh?" screamed the owl, suddenly poking his head through the
hole. "Let me tell you, my good sir, that I have caught more rats and
mice in your old barn than your cat has. Is this the way that you repay
a useful friend like me?"

The little hunter dropped his bow. "I never thought of that," he said,
apologetically.

"Well, next time think before you shoot," cried the owl; "it may save
you many a miss!"



PUSS GOES ON A SHOPPING TRIP TO MAKE A LITTLE MAID HAPPY


    "The rose is red, the violet blue;
     The gillyflower's sweet, and so are you.
     These are the words you bade me say
     For a pair of new gloves on Easter Day."

Puss, Jr., looked down from his horse at a little girl who was swinging
on the front gate. He pulled up his good gray horse:

"A pair of new gloves on Easter Day? Is that what you want the most?"

"Yes, indeed," cried the little girl. "I've got a new bonnet with red
ribbons on it, and also a gown of yellow and brown; a pair of silk hose
of the color of rose, and a lovely new pin with a big diamond in. A
parasol, too, of purple and blue."

"Wait a minute," said Puss, "you talk so fast, and your words all rhyme,
and you've got so many things, of so many different colors that--that I
really don't remember whether you said you had a pair of gloves, after
all."

"No, my dear pussy-cat," said the little maid, with a pout. "I have new
shoes, and new _everything_ but gloves. Now won't you bring me a pair
for Easter Day?"

"Where shall I buy them?" asked Puss. "I don't see any shops about, and
if I must go all the way to London for them you'll never receive them in
time for this Easter."

"Not far from here," cried the little maid, "is a tiny shop where they
make beautiful gloves. Take the first road to your right and then turn
to your left, and then turn to your right, and then you'll see it."

"Whew! Mew!" cried Puss. "Well, here goes. I'll do the best I can, but
if I do not return you will know that I turned to the left when I should
have turned to the right, and then that I turned to the right when I
should have turned to the left, and so got all mixed up and never found
the tiny shop where the beautiful gloves are made." This was a long
sentence for Puss, but he was learning how to make conversation after
the manner of little girls!

But his good gray horse must have remembered the directions, for he
landed his small master safe at the glove-shop. Puss, Jr., bought a
lovely pair of gloves and remounted his horse. Soon he was back again in
front of the little gate where a short half-hour before the little girl
had been swinging back and forth. She had disappeared, but he heard her
singing.

"Where are the gloves for Easter Day?" she cried, running out of the
door of the cottage.

"Here they are, my pretty one," said Puss.

    "The rose is red, the violet blue;
     The gillyflower's sweet, and so are you,"

sang the little girl as she tried them on.

    "These are the words you bade me say
     For a pair of new gloves on Easter Day,

"Aren't they, dear Puss, Junior?" she said, with a smile, looking up at
him.



PUSS CONVERSES WITH AN INTELLIGENT GRAY DONKEY


    "Donkey, donkey, old and gray,
     Ope your mouth and gently bray,
     Lift your ears and blow your horn
     To wake the world this sleepy morn,"

called Puss, Jr., who always remembered his _Mother Goose_ rhymes
perfectly.

The donkey paused in his grazing and looked up. "This sleepy morn," he
repeated. "I don't call this a 'sleepy morn.' I should say it was very
wide awake."

"I guess it is," admitted Puss, "but, you see, I was only saying a
little rhyme from _Mother Goose_."

"Well, I don't see how it applies to the present situation at all,"
replied the donkey, in a rather ungracious manner. "The only thing you
have right is the donkey part."

Puss felt rather crestfallen. To be corrected by a donkey, generally
considered one of the stupidest of animals, was not at all to his
liking. Puss evidently forgot for the moment that all _Mother Goose_
animals are very intelligent, for otherwise how would they have been
celebrated in rhyme? But, like a wise cat, he took the rebuke meekly and
said nothing.

"Well," said the donkey, after a pause, "can I do anything else for you,
Sir Cat? Granting that it is too late to wake the morn, there may be
other requests with which I will gladly comply."

"Gracious me!" thought Puss to himself, "he uses big words."

The donkey cocked up both ears as if awaiting Puss, Jr.'s, reply.

"Which is the shorter road across Mother Goose Land?" inquired Puss.

"I don't know the exact number of miles," replied the donkey,
thoughtfully, "but the road to your left is the shorter. The one to your
right leads to the seashore. Gingerbread Bridge is at the ending."

"What!" exclaimed Puss, Jr. "Why, you don't say so!"

"What do you know about Gingerbread Bridge?" asked the donkey.

"I crossed it once, and not so very long ago, either," replied Puss.

"Then you certainly don't want to take Gingerbread Road," replied the
donkey, "so it is not hard to choose which way to go."

"Thank you," said Puss, turning his horse's head down the road to the
left. "I will take the left road because it is the right road!"

"Ha, ha!" brayed the donkey, "that's a good joke for a cat. May you have
a pleasant journey!"

"Lift your ears and blow your horn; the sheep's in the meadow, the cows'
in the corn!" cried Puss, gaily. "Although the morn is awake, I fear Boy
Blue is still asleep."

And with these words our small hero cantered down the road and out of
sight.



PUSS MEETS A HAPPY FARMER BUT MISSES A GOOD MEAL


Toward noon of a fine day Puss, Jr., halted his good gray horse near a
meadow. Standing near the fence, sharpening his scythe, stood a young
farmer. His wide straw hat kept off the sun and his loose shirt and open
collar let in the breeze which was blowing across the green grass.

"Warm day," said Puss, as he drew rein.

"Well," replied the farmer, "it's not so bad. I don't feel it." And he
commenced to sing:

    "My maid Mary she minds the dairy,
       While I go a-hoeing and mowing each morn,
     Gaily run the reel and the little spinning-wheel,
       Whilst I am singing and mowing my corn."

"Are farmers always so happy?" asked Puss when the man stopped singing.

The farmer smiled and said: "My good sir, when one is blessed with a
fine wife and a good farm he can beat a canary-bird at singing."

"You don't say so!" said Puss, Jr. "But suppose one has neither, what
should such an unlucky one do?"

"Don't ask me," said the farmer, setting to work again. "I'm a simple
man, and what is happiness for me might not be for another."

As he swung his scythe back and forth the tall grass fell in graceful
rows and the sweet scent of the new-mown hay was everywhere. Suddenly
Puss saw a field-mouse scampering over the ground. This was too much for
Puss. He had eaten nothing since breakfast, and he had not had a mouse
to eat for so long that he had almost forgotten how mice tasted. Jumping
down from his good gray horse, he gave chase.

"Go it, Sir Cat!" cried the farmer. "Don't lose him."

Puss needed no words of encouragement. He longed for a good run, and his
mouth fairly watered at the idea of a nice fat little mouse for lunch.
But the field-mouse saw him coming and wasted no time. Away he went,
hopping over the grass and looking wildly about for a place in which to
hide. A trunk of a fallen tree at no great distance attracted his
attention, and with a final burst of speed he reached it and crawled
into a hole before Puss had the opportunity to seize him by the tail.

"Oh, pshaw!" cried Puss, sitting down on the log. "I surely thought I
had him."

"You did, eh?" squeaked the little mouse, peering out of his hole and
laughing at poor Puss. "I prefer to be inside this log rather than
inside even so famous a character as Puss in Boots, Junior."

"How do you know my name?" asked Puss, surprised at what he heard.

"Why, I'm one of the three blind mice whose tails the farmer's wife cut
off," said the mouse.

"I thought there was very little tail to you," said Puss, "or else you
went into the hole so fast that it made your tail look very short, for I
couldn't even get a little hold on it."

"Well, having my tail clipped did me some good," said the mouse.



PUSS HELPS A STRANGER CATCH A RUNAWAY PIG


    "To market, to market, to buy a fat pig,
     Home again, home again, jiggety jig.
     To market, to market, to buy a fat hog,
     Home again, home again, jiggety jog.
     To market, to market, to buy a plum bun,
     Home again, home again, market is done."

A funny little man came dancing down the road. Before him he drove a fat
pig, which squeaked and grunted loudly. To one of its hind legs was
fastened a rope, the other end of which the funny little man held
tightly in his hand.

    "To market, to market, to buy a fat pig,
     Home again, home again, jiggety jig."

sang the little old man. "How do you like my piggety pig?" he asked,
looking up at Puss, Jr., who had stopped his good gray horse to watch
the funny sight.

"He looks like a fine pig," replied Puss.

[Illustration: "TO MARKET, TO MARKET, TO BUY A FAT PIG"]

"Whoa, there, piggety pig!" cried the old man as the pig began to
struggle to get away.

"Look out!" cried Puss. But the warning came too late. The pig had
wriggled his foot out of the noose and went racing down the road.

"Take me up behind you!" cried the little old man. "Then let us follow
and catch him."

"Jump up! Quick about it!" cried Puss, Jr.

In a moment the little old man was on the good gray horse, who
immediately set off at a gallop to overtake the piggety pig. It was a
long race, for he had a good head start and terror lent wings to his
feet.

"Git up!" cried Puss, digging his heels into the sides of the good gray
horse. "Git up! Don't you see the pig is getting away from us?"

"Neigh, neigh!" cried the good gray horse as he gave a spring forward.

"Then go faster!" screamed the little old man.

"Gid ap!" yelled Puss, Jr. At this the horse with leaps and bounds came
closer and closer to the fleeing pig.

"I've got the rope!" cried the little old man.

"Make a big noose at one end," said Puss, "and as we draw near throw it
over his head."

"That I will," answered the little old man. "When I was young I was a
cowboy. I hope I've not forgotten how to swing a lariat."

As good luck would have it, he had not. All at once the little old man
swung the rope in the air and the noose fell over the pig's head.

"I've got him! I've got him!" cried the old man, and Puss, Jr., pulled
in his horse. The race was over and the old man, jumping down to the
ground, thanked Puss again and again for his assistance.



PUSS HELPS A LITTLE BOY WHO IS IN TROUBLE


The town of Banbury Cross was very pretty, situated at the corner of two
cross-roads, close to a sparkling river over which ran a bridge. As
Puss, Jr., on his good gray horse, whose feet went rackety-rackety,
rackety-tak over the broad planking, drew rein at the farther end a
small boy, who stood by the side of a pretty little pony, began to sing:

    "I had a little pony,
       His name was Dapple-gray,
     I lent him to a lady
       To ride a mile away.
     She whipped him, she lashed him,
       She rode him through the mire;
     I would not lend my pony now,
       For all the lady's hire."

"Neither would I," said Puss.

The little boy opened his eyes very wide. They were blue as the skies
overhead and were full of tears. "She whipped him, she lashed him,"
continued the boy. "I'll never again lend my pony to anybody."

"I wouldn't lend my good gray horse," said Puss, "for one never knows
whether a person is kind to animals or not."

"I never thought a lady would hurt my pony," sobbed the boy. "Just look
at him. He's all covered with mud."

"So he is," said Puss, consolingly; "but never mind. A good washing will
fix him up."

"But my father will be angry," said the boy. "He doesn't like to wash my
pony, and I'm too little."

"Let's take your pony down to the riverbank," Puss suggested. "We'll
find a shallow spot and wash him off. Perhaps we can ride him a little
way into the water; that would help." Tying his good gray horse to a
post near by, Puss led the pony down the bank to the river, the little
boy following.

"Do you want to ride him in," asked Puss, "or shall I?"

"You do it," said the little boy. "I'm afraid."

So Puss jumped on the pony's back and gently urged him into the river.
After going out some distance he stopped, for the water was almost up to
his boots. "I guess I can wash him now," cried Puss, and, leaning over,
first on one side and then on the other, he splashed up the water and
scrubbed off the mud and dirt until the pony was as clean as a whistle.

"Now," exclaimed Puss, "he looks like himself again." The pony seemed
quite relieved also, for after gaining the bank he neighed and kicked up
his heels in a delighted manner.

"He looks better than ever," said the little boy. "He was really quite
dusty before I lent him to the lady."

"Yes, he's in fine shape," said Puss. "I must now leave you, for I am on
a long journey."

"Thank you," said the boy. "A pleasant journey to you, my good Sir Cat."

       *       *       *       *       *

How our little hero, Puss in Boots, Jr., at last finds his famous
father, Puss in Boots, at the castle of my Lord of Carabas, will be told
in _Further Adventures of Puss in Boots, Jr._


THE END



[Illustration]

    _Little Tom Thumb with his tiny spear
       Follows Puss Boots both far and near.
     Did you ever see such a brave little cat,
      With a shiny sword and a feathered hat?_

[Illustration]

    _"Faster, faster, Good Gray Horse,
       Hasten swiftly on your course,
     'Till I see the stately towers
       Where my father spends his hours."_

[Illustration]

    _"Grandmother Goose your trusty broom
       Makes spick and span each cottage room,"
     Said little Puss Boots, doffing his hat,
       For he was a most polite little cat._

[Illustration]

    _This funny gnome is puzzled quite
       Why little Puss Junior is so polite.
     But Puss has manners very grand
       I would have everyone understand._



THE PUSS-IN-BOOTS, Jr. SERIES

By DAVID CORY

Author of "The Little Jack Rabbit Stories" and "Little Journeys to
Happyland"

Handsomely Bound. Colored Wrappers. Illustrated. Each Volume Complete in
Itself.


To know Puss Junior once is to love him forever. That's the way all the
little people feel about this young, adventurous cat, son of a very
famous father.

    THE ADVENTURES OF PUSS-IN-BOOTS, JR.
    FURTHER ADVENTURES OF PUSS-IN-BOOTS, Jr.
    PUSS-IN-BOOTS, Jr. IN FAIRYLAND
    TRAVELS OF PUSS-IN-BOOTS, JR.
    PUSS-IN-BOOTS, JR., AND OLD MOTHER GOOSE
    PUSS-IN-BOOTS, JR., IN NEW MOTHER GOOSE LAND
    PUSS-IN-BOOTS, JR., AND THE GOOD GRAY HORSE
    PUSS-IN-BOOTS, JR., AND TOM THUMB
    PUSS-IN-BOOTS, Jr., AND ROBINSON CRUSOE
    PUSS-IN-BOOTS, JR., AND THE MAN IN THE MOON



Little Jack Rabbit Books

(Trademark Registered)

By DAVID CORY

Author of "Little Journeys to Happyland"

Colored Wrappers With Text Illustrations.


A new and unique series about the furred and feathered little people of
the wood and meadow.

Children will eagerly follow the doings of little Jack Rabbit, and the
clever way in which he escapes from his three enemies, Danny Fox, Mr.
Wicked Wolf and Hungry Hawk will delight the youngsters.

    LITTLE JACK RABBIT'S ADVENTURES
    LITTLE JACK RABBIT AND DANNY FOX
    LITTLE JACK RABBIT AND THE SQUIRREL BROTHERS
    LITTLE JACK RABBIT AND CHIPPY CHIPMUNK
    LITTLE JACK RABBIT AND THE BIG BROWN BEAR
    LITTLE JACK RABBIT AND UNCLE JOHN HARE
    LITTLE JACK RABBIT AND PROFESSOR CROW
    LITTLE JACK RABBIT AND OLD MAN WEASEL
    LITTLE JACK RABBIT AND MR. WICKED WOLF
    LITTLE JACK RABBIT AND HUNGRY HAWK
    LITTLE JACK RABBIT AND THE POLICEMAN DOG
    LITTLE JACK RABBIT AND MISS MOUSIE
    LITTLE JACK RABBIT AND UNCLE LUCKY
    LITTLE JACK RABBIT AND THE YELLOW DOG TRAMP

GROSSET & DUNLAP, _Publishers_, NEW YORK



LITTLE JOURNEYS TO HAPPYLAND

By DAVID CORY

Profusely Illustrated. Individual Colored Wrappers.

Printed in large type--easy to read. For children from 6 to 8 years.

A new series of exciting adventures by the author of the LITTLE JACK
RABBIT books. This series is unique in that it deals with unusual and
exciting adventures on land and sea and in the air.


THE CRUISE OF THE NOAH'S ARK

This is a good rainy day story. On just such a day Mr. Noah invites
Marjorie to go for a trip in Noah's Ark. She gets aboard just in time
and away it floats out into the big wide world.


THE MAGIC SOAP BUBBLE

The king of the gnomes has a magic pipe with which he blows a wonderful
bubble and taking Ed. with him they both have a delightful time in
Gnomeland.


THE ICEBERG EXPRESS

The Mermaid's magic comb changes little Mary Louise into a mermaid. The
Polar Bear Porter on the Iceberg Express invites her to take a trip with
him and away they go.


THE WIND WAGON

Little Hero stepped aboard the Wind Wagon and started on a journey to
many wonderful places and had a delightful time.


THE MAGIC UMBRELLA

A little old man gave Jimmy the Magic Umbrella which took him to
Happyland, where he had many adventures.



THE LITTLE WASHINGTONS SERIES

By LILLIAN ELIZABETH ROY

Handsomely Bound. Colored Wrappers. Illustrated. For Children 6 to 12
Years

This series presents early American history in a manner that impresses
the young readers. Because of George and Martha Washington Parke, two
young descendants of the famous General Washington, these stories follow
exactly the life of the great American, by means of playing they act the
life of the Washingtons, both in battles and in society.


THE LITTLE WASHINGTONS

Their thrilling battles and expeditions generally end in "punishment"
lessons read by Mrs. Parke from the "Life of Washington." The culprits
listen intently, for this reading generally gives them new ideas for
further games of Indian warfare and Colonists' battles.


THE LITTLE WASHINGTONS RELATIVES

The Davis children visit the Parke home and join zealously in the games
of playing General Washington. So zealously, in fact, that little Jim
almost loses his scalp.


THE LITTLE WASHINGTONS' TRAVELS

The children wage a fierce battle upon the roof of a hotel in New York
City. Then, visiting the Davis home in Philadelphia, the patriotic
Washingtons vanquish the Hessians on a battle-field in the empty lot
back of the Davis property.


THE LITTLE WASHINGTONS AT SCHOOL

After the school-house battle the Washingtons discover a band of gypsies
camping near the back road to their homes and incidentally they secure
the stolen horse which the gypsies had taken from the "butter and egg
farmer" of the Parkes.


THE LITTLE WASHINGTONS' HOLIDAYS

They spend a pleasant summer on two adjoining farms in Vermont. During
the voyage they try to capture a "frigate" but little Jim is caught and
about to be punished by the Captain when his confederates hasten in and
save him.



THE BUNNY BROWN SERIES

By LAURA LEE HOPE

Author of the Popular "Bobbsey Twins" Books, Etc

Durably Bound. Illustrated. Uniform Style of Binding. Every Volume
Complete in Itself.


These stories are eagerly welcomed by the little folks from about five
to ten years of age. Their eyes fairly dance with delight at the lively
doings of inquisitive little Bunny Brown and his cunning, trustful
sister Sue.

    BUNNY BROWN AND HIS SISTER SUE
    BUNNY BROWN AND HIS SISTER SUE ON GRANDPA'S FARM
    BUNNY BROWN AND HIS SISTER SUE PLAYING CIRCUS
    BUNNY BROWN AND HIS SISTER SUE AT CAMP-REST-A-WHILE
    BUNNY BROWN AND HIS SISTER SUE AT AUNT LU'S CITY HOME
    BUNNY BROWN AND HIS SISTER SUE IN THE BIG WOODS
    BUNNY BROWN AND HIS SISTER SUE ON AN AUTO TOUR
    BUNNY BROWN AND HIS SISTER SUE AND THEIR SHETLAND PONY
    BUNNY BROWN AND HIS SISTER SUE GIVING A SHOW
    BUNNY BROWN AND HIS SISTER SUE AT CHRISTMAS TREE COVE
    BUNNY BROWN AND HIS SISTER SUE IN THE SUNNY SOUTH
    BUNNY BROWN AND HIS SISTER SUE KEEPING STORE
    BUNNY BROWN AND HIS SISTER SUE AND THEIR TRICK DOG
    BUNNY BROWN AND HIS SISTER SUE AT A SUGAR CAMP
    BUNNY BROWN AND HIS SISTER SUE ON THE ROLLING OCEAN
    BUNNY BROWN AND HIS SISTER SUE ON JACK FROST ISLAND



THE BOBBSEY TWINS BOOKS

For Little Men and Women

By LAURA LEE HOPE

Author of "The Bunny Brown Series," Etc.

Durably Bound. Illustrated. Uniform Style of Binding. Every Volume
Complete in Itself.


These books for boys and girls between the ages of three and ten stands
among children and their parents of this generation where the books of
Louisa May Alcott stood in former days. The haps and mishaps of this
inimitable pair of twins, their many adventures and experiences are a
source of keen delight to imaginative children everywhere.

    THE BOBBSEY TWINS
    THE BOBBSEY TWINS IN THE COUNTRY
    THE BOBBSEY TWINS AT THE SEASHORE
    THE BOBBSEY TWINS AT SCHOOL
    THE BOBBSEY TWINS AT SNOW LODGE
    THE BOBBSEY TWINS ON A HOUSEBOAT
    THE BOBBSEY TWINS AT MEADOW BROOK
    THE BOBBSEY TWINS AT HOME
    THE BOBBSEY TWINS IN A GREAT CITY
    THE BOBBSEY TWINS ON BLUEBERRY ISLAND
    THE BOBBSEY TWINS ON THE DEEP BLUE SEA
    THE BOBBSEY TWINS IN THE GREAT WEST
    THE BOBBSEY TWINS AT CEDAR CAMP
    THE BOBBSEY TWINS AT THE COUNTY FAIR
    THE BOBBSEY TWINS CAMPING OUT
    THE BOBBSEY TWINS AND BABY MAY
    THE BOBBSEY TWINS KEEPING HOUSE
    THE BOBBSEY TWINS AT CLOVERBANK



THE HONEY BUNCH BOOKS

By HELEN LOUISE THORNDYKE

Individual Colored Wrappers and Text Illustrations Drawn by WALTER S.
ROGERS


Honey Bunch is a dainty, thoughtful little girl, and to know her is to
take her to your heart at once.

Little girls everywhere will want to discover what interesting
experiences she is having wherever she goes.

    HONEY BUNCH: JUST A LITTLE GIRL
    HONEY BUNCH: HER FIRST VISIT TO THE CITY
    HONEY BUNCH: HER FIRST DAYS ON THE FARM
    HONEY BUNCH: HER FIRST VISIT TO THE SEASHORE
    HONEY BUNCH: HER FIRST LITTLE GARDEN
    HONEY BUNCH: HER FIRST DAYS IN CAMP
    HONEY BUNCH: HER FIRST AUTO TOUR
    HONEY BUNCH: HER FIRST TRIP ON THE OCEAN



THE FLYAWAYS STORIES

By ALICE DALE HARDY

Author of The Riddle Club Books

Individual Colored Jackets and Colored Illustrations by WALTER S. ROGERS

A splendid new line of interesting tales for the little ones,
introducing many of the well known characters of fairyland in a series
of novel adventures. The Flyaways are a happy family and every little
girl and boy will want to know all about them.


THE FLYAWAYS AND CINDERELLA

How the Flyaways went to visit Cinderella only to find that Cinderella's
Prince had been carried off by the Three Robbers, Rumbo, Hibo and Jobo.
"I'll rescue him!" cried Pa Flyaway and then set out for the stronghold
of the robbers. A splendid continuation of the original story of
Cinderella.


THE FLYAWAYS AND LITTLE RED RIDING HOOD

On their way to visit Little Red Riding Hood the Flyaways fell in with
Tommy Tucker and The Old Woman Who Lived in a Shoe. They told Tommy
about the Magic Button on Red Riding Hood's cloak. How the wicked Wolf
stole the Magic Button and how the wolves plotted to eat up Little Red
Riding Hood and all her family, and how the Flyaways and King Cole sent
the wolves flying, makes a story no children will want to miss.


THE FLYAWAYS AND GOLDILOCKS

The Flyaways wanted to see not only Goldilocks but also the Three Bears
and they took a remarkable journey through the air to do so. Tommy even
rode on a Rocket and met the monstrous Blue Frog. When they arrived at
Goldilock's house they found that the Three Bears had been there before
them and mussed everything up, much to Goldilock's despair. "We must
drive those bears out of the country!" said Pa Flyaway. Then they
journeyed underground to the Yellow Palace, and oh! so many things
happened after that!


GROSSET & DUNLAP, PUBLISHERS, NEW YORK





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