The X Men Present: Puss in Boots

...

There was a miller who left no more estate to the three children he had than his mill, his ass –


Lance, Pietro, and Pyro all started laughing.

Rogue rolled her eyes. "And people think I left the Brotherhood just 'cause of Mystique."

Remy had his back turned to her, but his shoulders were moving suspiciously.

Ugh…Let's try something else.


There was a miller who left no more estate to the three children he had than his mill, his donkey, and his cat. His children divided their inheritance among themselves. The eldest, Lance, had the mill, the second, Pietro, the donkey, and the youngest, Rogue nothing but the cat, Pyro. The poor lass was quite comfortless at having so poor a lot.


"Wait-a-minute!" Pietro objected, "Lance is not older than me. I should get the mill."

"I should get disowned," Rogue said.

"Look at it this way, mate," Pyro said. "While the punk rocker over there is workin' for a living, you inherently have buns of steel. Just a ticker! Oi just realized that Ol Bucket Head kicked the bucket in this too. That's great."

I'm so glad at least one of you approves.


"My brothers," said young Rogue, "may get their living handsomely enough by joining their stocks together; but for my part, when I have eaten up my cat, and made me a muff of his skin, I must die of hunger."

The Cat, who heard all this but made as if he did not, said to her with a grave and serious air,

"Do not thus afflict yourself, my good mistress. You have nothing else to do but to give me a bag and get a pair of boots made for me that I may scamper through the dirt and the brambles, and you shall see that you have not so bad a portion in me as you imagine."


"What did Oi just say?" Pyro asked in general. "Anyone?"

"Wouldn't it make more sense to have Mystique be the cat, since she shapeshifts?" Pietro wondered.

Maybe, if I operated by sense…

"What," Pyro began after Remy finished explaining what 'thus' had to do with anything, "am I gonna do with a bloody bag? Why not give me lighter instead?"

Maybe, if you didn't need thumbs…


The Cat's mistress didn't quite believe what he said. However, she had often seen him play a great many cunning tricks to catch rats and mice, as when he used to hang by the heels, or hide himself in the meal, and make as if he were dead; so that she did not altogether despair of him affording her some help in her miserable condition. When the Cat had what he asked for, he booted himself very gallantly, and putting his bag about his neck, he held the strings of it in his two forepaws and went into a warren where there was great abundance of rabbits.


"Pyro," Rogue asked, "what are you doing?"

"Scampering through the dirt and brambles."

Ask a stupid question…


He put bran and sow-thistle into his bag, and stretching out at length, as if he had been dead, he waited for some young rabbits, not yet acquainted with the deceits of the world, to come and rummage his bag for what he had put into it.

It didn't take long until he had what he wanted. A rash and foolish young rabbit jumped into his bag, and Monsieur Pyro Puss, immediately drawing close the strings, took and killed him without pity. Proud of his prey, he went with it to the palace and asked to speak with his majesty. He was shown upstairs into the King's apartment, and, making a low reverent bow, said to him,

"I have brought you, sir, a rabbit of the warren, which my noble lady the Marchioness of D'Ancanto" - for that was the title which puss was pleased to give his mistress - "has commanded me to present to your majesty from him."

"Tell your mistress," said King Logan, "that I thank her and that am greatly pleased."


"Why do I get the feeling I'm not gonna like where this goes?" Logan said.

Remy smiled. "Dunno, mon ami, mais it'll probably go pretty good for me."

I'm not saying no, and I'm not gonna deny it.

"Is it just me, or does this Puss in Boots thing seem more up Remy's alley?" Lance asked.

Yes, but that would make too much sense and be predictable. You can go, you know. I don't need you two anymore.

"Cable's out at our place."

My sympathies.


Another time, he went and hid himself among some standing corn, holding still with his bag open, and when two partridges ran into it, he drew the strings and so caught them both. He went and made a present of these to the king, as he had done before of the rabbit which he took in the warren. The king, in like manner, received the partridges with great pleasure, and ordered him some money for drink.

The Cat continued for two or three months thus to carry his Majesty, from time to time, game of his mistress's taking. One day in particular, when he knew for certain that the king was to take the air along the river-side, with his son, the most handsome prince in the world, he said to his mistress,

"If you will follow my advice, your fortune is made. You have nothing else to do but go and wash yourself in the river, in that part I shall show you, and leave the rest to me."


"Girl, tell me you didn't do what I think you did," Logan fairly growled.

Don't ask me, and I won't tell you.

"Excuse me," Rogue said with no thought to actually being polite, "but I have this lil' problem with skinny-dipping in a river!"

"You want me to go wit' you, chere?"

"No, she does not!" Logan answered for her.

"I don't need you to speak for me, Logan."

"Yeah, Wolvie, we don't need you. C'mon, chere, let's –"

"Back way up, Lebeau. The issue still stands."

In the midst of the debate, Pyro was in his own world.

"Scamper thus, so and so, and such forth scampering. Shrimp scampi-ering!"

Lance and Pietro were placing bets on who and when Rogue would hit someone first.

If this takes too much longer, I need one of you to give Rogue a lil' push.

"Are you crazy?" Lance asked. "That girl really doesn't like being pushed in any direction."

You will push her or you will be Little Red Riding Hood in the not-happy, gore version.

"There's a not-happy, gore version?"

I can make one.


The Marchioness of D'Ancanto did what the Cat advised her to, without knowing why or wherefore. While she was washing, the King passed along the high road, and the Cat began to cry out,

"Help! help! My Lady Marchioness of D'Ancanto is going to be drowned."

At this noise the King put his head out of the coach-window, and, finding it was the Cat who had so often brought him such good game, he commanded his guards to run immediately to the assistance of her Ladyship the Marchioness of D'Ancanto. While they were drawing the poor Marchioness out of the river, made somewhat difficult for the sake of propriety, the Cat came up to the coach and told the King that, while his mistress was washing, there came by some rogues, who went off with her clothes, though he had cried out, "Thieves! Thieves!" several times, as loud as he could.


"I cannot believe that idiot pushed me!" Rogue yelled. "Wait until I see him again!"

Yeah, what a jerk, right?

"What kind of lady bathes in a river alongside a road?" Pietro pondered.

"Are you questioning mon fille's honor?"

Before Remy could get a decent charge in his cards, Pyro tackled him.

"Thief! Thief!" he continued to yell several times, as loud as he could.


This cunning Cat had hidden the clothes under a great stone. The King immediately commanded the officers of his wardrobe to run and fetch one of his best robes for the Lady Marchioness of D'Ancanto.

The King caressed her after a very extraordinary manner, and as the fine clothes he had given her extremely set off her good bearing - for she was well made and very lovely in her person -, the King's son, Remy, took a secret inclination to her, and the Marchioness of D'Ancanto had no sooner cast two or three respectful and somewhat tender glances but he fell in love with her to distraction.


"Why would you make me his father?"

Because you hate him, I enjoy Logan torture, he likes aggravating you, and I like for him to enjoy himself. Any other stupid questions?

"Better question," Remy said, "why are you caressing Rogue?"

"It's an old style of speaking. I'm not really caressing her."

"Then why does it say caress?"

"Oh, come off it, Remy!" Rogue snapped again. In her defense, this wasn't the most ideal set of events to go through. But Remy went all into his chivalrous spiel that he'd gotten onto, and Rogue started in on her Miss Independent thing, and Lance came back long enough to place another bet.

Pyro looked between the bickering couple fondly.

"Oi do good work with those two."

You sure do.


The Cat, quite overjoyed to see his project begin to succeed, marched on and met some countrymen who were mowing a meadow. He said to them,

"Good people, you who are mowing, if you do not tell the King that the meadow you mow belongs to my Lady Marchioness of D'Ancanto, you shall be burned to toast."


"Yay!"


The King did not fail asking of the mowers to whom the meadow they were mowing belonged.

"To my Lady Marchioness of D'Ancanto," answered they altogether, for the Cat's threats had made them terribly afraid.

"You see, sir," said the Marchioness, "this is a meadow which never fails to yield a plentiful harvest every year."


"Wouldn't it have been better to make Remy the mill boy or the cat, since they're all lying cons?"

"Hey!" Rogue objected. "He is not a…well…nevermind."

"Ow, Roguey."


The Master Cat, who went still on before, met with some reapers, and said to them,

"Good people, you who are reaping, if you do not tell the King that all this corn belongs to the Marchioness of D'Ancanto, you shall be burned to toast."

The King, who passed by a moment after, would needs know to whom all that corn, which he then saw, did belong.

"To my Lady Marchioness of D'Ancanto," replied the reapers, and the King was very well pleased with it, as well as the Marchioness, whom he congratulated thereupon. The Master Cat, who went always before, said the same words to all he met, and the King was astonished at the vast estates of my Lady Marchioness of D'Ancanto.

Monsieur Pyro Puss came at last to a stately castle, the master of which was an ogre, wealthy beyond belief, for all the lands which the King had then gone over belonged to this castle. The Cat, who had taken care to inform himself who this ogre was and what he could do, asked to speak with him, saying he could not pass so near his castle without having the honor of paying his respects to him.

The ogre received him as civilly as an ogre could do, and made him sit down.


Pyro looked up from his seat at the hulking mass that was the Juggernaut. He waved nervously.

"Hi."

Juggernaut just stared at him.

"Wow. It's like talking with my mom."


"I have been assured," said the Cat, "that you have the gift of being able to change yourself into all sorts of creatures you have a mind to; you can, for example, transform yourself into a lion, or elephant, and the like."

"That is true," answered the ogre very briskly, "and to convince you, you shall see me now become a lion."

Puss was so sadly terrified at the sight of a lion so near him that he immediately got into the gutter, not without abundance of trouble and danger because of his boots, which were of no use at all to him in walking upon the tiles. A little while after, when Puss saw that the ogre had resumed his natural form, he came down and owned he had been very much frightened.


Rogue looked suspiciously at Juggernaut.

"If Mystique is gonna be here, I'm gone."

Hakuna matata, Rogue.

"What?"

"IT MEANS NO WORRIES," Pyro belted at the top of his lungs, "FOR THE REST OF YOUR DAYS!"

"I cannot believe you're friends with him," Rogue said to the space that Remy had recently occupied.

He was now singing harmony with Pyro.

"IT'S OUR PROBLEM FREEEEE PHILOSOPHYYYYYYYYY! HAKUNA MATATA!"

Pietro looked her.

"That is your man."

Encore! Bravo!


"I have been, moreover, informed," said the Cat, "but I know not how to believe it, that you have also the power to take on you the shape of the smallest animals. For example, to change yourself into a rat or a mouse, but I must own to you I take this to be impossible."

"Impossible!" cried the ogre, "You shall see that presently."

And at the same time, he changed himself into a mouse and began to run about the floor. Puss no sooner perceived this, but he fell upon him and ate him up.


Remy was having something of a hard time holding Mystique back from Pyro who'd grabbed Pietro as a human meat shield.

"You idiot! You weren't actually supposed to eat me!"

"Yeah, kinda figured that out. Calm down, would ya! I spat you back out!"

"I AM GOING TO KILL YOU!"

"Pyro," Remy grunted as he was elbowed in the gut, "stop talking!"

"Let me go, you firebug, or I'll tell my father!"

This is going so well.


Meanwhile the King, who saw, as he passed, this fine castle of the ogre's, had a mind to go into it. Puss, who heard the noise of his Majesty's coach running over the draw-bridge, ran out, and said to the King,

"Your Majesty is welcome to this castle of my Lady Marchioness of D'Ancanto."

"What? My Lady Marchioness," cried the King, "and does this castle also belong to you? There can be nothing finer than this court and all the stately buildings which surround it. Let us go into it, if you please."

The Marchioness gave her hand to the Prince, and followed the King, who went first. They passed into a spacious hall, where they found a magnificent collation, which the ogre had prepared for his friends, who were that very day to visit him, but dared not to enter, knowing the King was there. His Majesty was perfectly charmed with the good qualities of my Lady Marchioness of D'Ancanto, as was his son, who had fallen violently in love with him, and, seeing the vast estate he possessed, said to him, after having drunk five or six glasses,

"It will be owing to yourself only, my Lady Marchioness, if you are not my daugther-in-law."

The Marchioness, making several low curtsies, accepted the honor which his Majesty conferred upon her, and forthwith, that very same day, married the Prince.

Puss became a great lord, and never ran after mice any more but only for his diversion.


"Unbelievable," Rogue shook her head. "Even when there's a woman who can handle herself, she ends up married to the first pretty boy idiot that looks her way."

Remy fluttered his eyes. "Do you really think I'm pretty?"

"Did you miss the idiot part completely?"

"You know," Pyro said, "Oi really do like these boots. Can I keep 'em?"

Why not? Black, leather boots are very Indy.

"Great! Can Oi have my lighter back now? There are peasants that need to be made toast."

Here you go.

"Yay!"

Pyro happily scampered off, never noticing that one seriously ticked blue lady was following him.

Pietro looked at Logan.

"Ten bucks says she wastes him."

"Deal. Crazy always wins, bub."

And that is the moral of this children's story, folks! Along with conning honest, hardworking people is perfectly all right, as is lying to the king if he's apparently a complete moron and basing your entire marriage on a lie. And possibly some other points I missed. Did you catch any?