Puss in Boots begins his travels

Puss made an interesting discovery in the attic. It seems strange that he 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 cleary, “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 now on I will call myself ‘Puss in Boots, Junior’; I will go out looking for adventure, just as my father did, and I will not rest until I have found my father too!”

He looked around to see if he could find a pair of boots like those in the picture. To his delight in the corner he saw 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.

He also found a hat and put it on. Then he looked for a cane. “There’s a cane in the picture, now my outfit is complete; I’m a real Puss in Boots, Junior!” and with these words he hurried down the stairs as fast as he could, not being used to his new 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, his heels clattering on the stone pavement, rat-a-tat-tat. The sun shining on the bright-red tops of his boots, making him very proud.

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 pig. “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 has some milk. 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.”

“I’ve never lunched with pigs before!” said the cat.

“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.