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Main > Fairy tale > All authors > Andrew Lang > Fairy tale "Drakestail"

Drakestail

The King is dining, and will not be disturbed.'

`Tell him that it is I, and I have come he well knows why.'

The porter shuts his wicket and goes up to say it to the King, who was just sitting down to dinner with a napkin round his neck, and all his ministers.

`Good, good!' said the King laughing. `I know what it is! Make him come in, and put him with the turkeys and chickens.'

The porter descends.

`Have the goodness to enter.'

`Good!' says Drakestail to himself, `I shall now see how they eat at court.'

`This way, this way,' says the porter. `One step further. . . . There, there you are.'

`How? what? in the poultry yard?'

Fancy how vexed Drakestail was!

`Ah! so that's it,' says he. `Wait! I will compel you to receive me. Quack, quack, quack, when shall I get my money back?' But turkeys and chickens are creatures who don't like people that are not as themselves. When they saw the new-comer and how he was made, and when they heard him crying too, they began to look black at him.

`What is it? what does he want?'

Finally they rushed at him all together, to overwhelm him with pecks.

`I am lost!' said Drakestail to himself, when by good luck he remembers his comrade friend Fox, and he cries:

`Reynard, Reynard, come out of your earth, Or Drakestail's life is of little worth.'

Then friend Fox, who was only waiting for these words, hastens out, throws himself on the wicked fowls, and quick! quack! he tears them to pieces; so much so that at the end of five minutes there was not one left alive. And Drakestail, quite content, began to sing again, `Quack, quack, quack, when shall I get my money back?'

When the King who was still at table heard this refrain, and the poultry woman came to tell him what had been going on in the yard, he was terribly annoyed.

He ordered them to throw this tail of a drake into the well, to make an end of him.

And it was done as he commanded. Drakestail was in despair of getting himself out of such a deep hole, when he remembered his lady friend, the Ladder.

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