A miller had three sons, his mill, a donkey and a tom cat; the sons had to grind, the donkey had to get grain and carry flour away and the cat had to catch the mice away. When the miller died, the three brothers divided their inheritance, the oldest received the mill, the second the donkey and the third the tom cat, further was nothing left for him. Thereon he was sad ans spoke to himself: "But I have gotten all the worst, my oldest brother can mill, my second can ride on his donkey, what can I start with the tom cat? Let me make a pair of fur gloves out of his pelt, so it's over."
"Listen," said the tom cat, who had understood everything, what he said, "you do not need to kill me, to get a pair of bad gloves from my pelt, let only a pair of boots be made for me, that I can go out, and be seen among the people, then you will soon be helped." The miller's son was in wonderment, that the tom cat so spoke, but because the shoemaker just walked by, he called him in, and let a pair of boots be measured for him. When they were ready, the tom cat put them on, took a sack, made the bottom of the same full of corn, but on the top a string, with which one could pull it closed, then he threw it over his back and went on two legs, like a human, out the door.
In those days reigned a king in the land, he liked to eat partridges so much: there was a need, that none were to be gotten. The whole forest was full, but they were so shy, that no hunter could reach them. The tom cat knew that and considered to do his matter better; when he came into the forest, he made the sack open, spread the corn apart, but the cord he laid into the grass and led it behind a hedge. There he hid himself, snuck around and lurked. The partridges soon came running, and one after the other hopped into the sack. When a good quantity was in it, the tom cat pulled the cord closed, ran to and twisted their heads around; then he threw the sack over his shoulder and went straight away to the king's palace. The watch cried: "Halt! Whereto?" - "To the king," answered the tom cat quickly. - "Are you crazed, a tom cat to the king?" - "Just let him go, said another, the king has often boredom, maybe the tom cat makes him amused with his humming and spinning. When the tom cat came in front of the king, he made a Reverence and said: "My Herr, the Graf, with that he named his long and distinguished name, lets himself be recommended to the Herr King and sends him these partridges, that he just caught in slings. The king astonished over the beautiful fat partridges, knew not out of pleasure how to contain himself, and commanded that the tom cat be given as much gold out of the treasure chamber into his sack, as he could carry: "That bring to your Herren and thank him again many times for his gift."
But the poor miller's son sat at home at the window, supported his head an his hand and thought, that he had spent his last for the tom cat's boots, and what large things will he be able to bring back. Thereon the tom cat stepped in, threw the sack from his hack, untied it open and shook the gold in front of the miller: "There you have something for the hoots, the king also greets you and says many thanks to you." The miller was glad over the wealth, without understanding rightly, how it came to be. But the tom cat, as he took off his boots, told him everything, then he said: "You do have money enough now, but it should not stay with that, tomorrow I will put my boots on again, you will become richer still, I also told the king, that you are a Graf." On the next day the torn cat went, as he had said, well booted to hunting again, and brought the king a rich catch. So it went all days, and the tom cat brought gold home all days, and was so popular as one by the king, that he was allowed to come in and go out and prowl around in the palace, where he wanted. One time the tom cat stood in the king's kitchen by the stove and warmed himself, thereon came the coach man and cursed: "I wish king and the princess were at the executioner! I wanted to go to Wirtshaus and drink once and play cards, there I should drive them spazieren at the lake." As the tom cat heard that, he snuck home and told his Herrn: "If a Graf you want to be and become rich, so come outside with me to the lake and bathe yourself therein." The miller did not know, what he should say to that, but followed the tom cat, went with him, undressed splinter naked and sprang into the water. But the tom cat took his clothes, carried them away and hid them. No sooner was he finished with that, thereon came the king driving by; the tom cat immediately began, pathetically to lament: "Ach! All merciful king! Mein Herr, bathed himself here in the lake, thereon a thief came and stole his clothes, that lay on the shore, now the Herr Graf is in the water and can not come out, and if he stays in longer he will calch cold and die." When the king heard that, he called halt and one of his people had to chase back and of the king's clothes bring hack. The Herr Graf put on the magnificent clothes, and because the king anyway for the partridges, that he thought to have received from him, held his worth, so he had to sit with them in the carriage. The princess was also not upset over it, because the Graf was young and handsome, and she liked him quite well.
But the tom cat went ahead and came to a large grass field, where over a hundred people were making hay. "Who does this grass field belong to, you people?" said the tom cat. - "The great magician." - "Listen, the king will soon drive by, when he asks, who the grass field belongs to, so answer: the Grafen; and if you do not do that, you will all be struck dead." Thereon the tom cat went further and came to a grain field, so large, that no one could oversee it, there stood more than two hundred people and cut the grain. "Who's grain is this you people?" - "The magician." - "Listen, the king will drive by now, when he asks, who the grain belongs to, so answer: the Grafen; and if you do not do that, vou will all be struck dead." - Finally the tom cat came to a magnificent forest, there stood more than three hundred people, felled the big oaks and made wood. - "Who's forest is this, you people?" - "The magician." - "Listen, the king will drive by now, when he asks, who the forest belongs to so answer: the Grafen; and if you do not do that, you will all be killed." The tom cat went still furlher, the people all looked after him, and because he looked so wonderly, and as a human walked in the boots, they were afraid of him. He soon came to the magicians palace, stepped boldly in and in front of him. The magician looked at him contemptuously, and asked him, what he wanted. The tom cat made a Reverenz and said: "I have beard, that vou could transform yourself into every animal you chose by your own will; what a hound, fox, or even wolf concerns, that I will well believe, but of an elephant, that seems to me quite impossible, and therefore I have come to convince myself." The magician said proudly: "That is a trifle to me," and in that wink-of-an-eye was transformed into an elephant. "That is much, but also in a lion?" - "That is also nothing," said the magician and stood as a lion in front of the tom cat. The tom cat made as if startled, and cried: "That is unbelievable and unheard of, the same I would never had dreamt of coming into my thoughts; but more still, all else, it would be, if you could transform yourself into such a small animal, as a mouse is, you can certainly do more, than any other magician in the world, but that will be certainly too high for you. The magician was very friendly from the sweet words and said: "O'ja, dear cat-let, that I can also," and sprang as a mouse around the room. The tom cat was after him, caught the mouse with one jump and ate him up.
But the king was still driving spazieren with the Grafen and the princess, and came to the large field. "Who does the hay belong to?" asked the king - "The Herr Grafen" - cried all, as the tom cat had commanded them. - "Thou have a pretty piece of land, Herr Graf," said he. Thereafter they came to the large grain field: "Who does the grain belong to, you people?" - "The Herrn Grafen." - "Ei! Herr Graf! large, big estates!" - "Thereon to the forest: "who does the wood belong to, you people?" - "The Herrn Grafen." - The king was astonished even more and said: "Thou must be a rich man, Herr Graf, I do not believe, that I have such a magnificent forest." Finally they came to the palace, the tom cat stood on top of the stairs, and as the wagon stopped below, he sprang down, opened the door and said: "Herr King, thou comest to the palace of my Herr, the Graf, that this honors him and makes him happv his life day long." The king stepped out and marveled at the magnificent building, that was almost larger and more beautiful, than his own palace; but the Graf led the princess up the stairs into the hall, that was shimmering with gold and precious stones.
Thereon the princess was promised to the Graf, and when the king died, he was king, but the booted tom cat became first minister.