There is a special kind of pleasure in books where we see dirty, broken places and people fixed up--repaired, scrubbed cleaned, properly fed, and healed. (Or movies: I am thinking of Cold Comfort Farm). This is one of those books. It happens first with Brute, who through an act of bravery is given the chance to escape the hopeless squalor of his life in the town where he was born. There he is friendless and exploited--treated as a beast of burden, cheated even when he works twice as hard as anyone else, with no hope of anything better. In his new home at the castle, all of the sudden he is able to make improvements to his life--a good job, new clothes, hot baths, clean sheets and good food lead to good friends, education, and then the chance to do the same for someone else.
Watching them get cleaned up, and then find healing and happiness in each other is incredibly satisfying, especially after how much each of them has suffered. All in all, a very well-done, enjoyable fable.