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Fairy Tales Every Child Should Know

Replied the Ogre somewhat sternly


justify;">The king insisted

on his getting into the carriage and taking a ride with them. The cat, enchanted to see how well his scheme was likely to succeed, ran before to a meadow that was reaping, and said to the reapers: "Good people, if you do not tell the king, who will soon pass this way, that the meadow you are reaping belongs to my lord marquis of Carabas, you shall be chopped as small as mince meat." The king did not fail to ask the reapers to whom the meadow belonged? "To my lord marquis of Carabas," said they all at once; for the threats of the cat had terribly frighted them. "You have here a very fine piece of land, my lord marquis," said the king. "Truly, sire," replied he, "it does not fail to bring me every year a plentiful harvest." The cat who still went on before, now came to a field where some other labourers were making sheaves of the corn they had reaped, to whom he said as before: "Good people, if you do not tell the king who will presently pass this way, that the corn you have reaped in this field belongs to my lord marquis of Carabas, you shall be chopped as small as mince meat." The king accordingly passed a moment after, and inquired to whom the corn he saw belonged? "To my lord marquis of Carabas," answered they very glibly; upon which the king again complimented the marquis upon his noble possessions. The cat still continued to go before, and gave the same charge to all the people he met with; so that the king was greatly astonished at the splendid fortune of my lord marquis
of Carabas. Puss at length arrived at a stately castle, which belonged to an Ogre, the richest ever known; for all the lands the king had passed through and admired were his. The cat took care to learn every particular about the Ogre, and what he could do, and then asked to speak with him, saying, as he entered the room in which he was, that he could not pass so near his castle without doing himself the honour to inquire after his health. The Ogre received him as civilly as an Ogre could do, and desired him to be seated, "I have been informed," said the cat, "that you have the gift of changing yourself to all sorts of animals; into a lion or an elephant for example." "It is very true," replied the Ogre somewhat sternly; "and to convince you I will directly take the form of a lion." The cat was so much terrified at finding himself so near to a lion, that he sprang from him, and climbed to the roof of the house; but not without much difficulty, as his boots were not very fit to walk upon the tiles.

Some minutes after, the cat perceiving that the Ogre had quitted the form of a lion, ventured to come down from the tiles, and owned that he had been a good deal frightened, "I have been further informed," continued the cat, "but I know not how to believe it, that you have the power of taking the form of the smallest animals also; for example of changing yourself to a rat or a mouse: I confess I should think this impossible." "Impossible! you shall see;" and at the same instant he changed himself into a mouse, and began to frisk about the room. The cat no sooner cast his eyes upon the Ogre in this form, than he sprang upon him and devoured him in an instant. In the meantime the king, admiring as he came near it, the magnificent castle of the Ogre, ordered his attendants to drive up to the gates, as he wished to take a nearer view of it. The cat, hearing the noise of the carriage on the drawbridge, immediately came out, saying: "Your majesty is welcome to the castle of my lord marquis of Carabas." "And is this splendid castle yours also, my lord marquis of Carabas? I never saw anything more stately than the building, or more beautiful than the park and pleasure grounds around it; no doubt the castle is no less magnificent within than without: pray, my lord marquis, indulge me with a sight of it."


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