Drakestail     /p3

The porter returned and said to Drakestail, "Have the goodness to enter." "Good!" said Drakestail to himself, "I shall now see how they eat at Court." "This way, this way," said the porter. "One step farther, a little more. There, there you are."

"How? What? In the poultry yard?" Imagine how angry Drakestail was! "Ah! So that's it!" said he. "Wait! I compel you to receive me. Quack, quack, quack, when shall I get my money back?"

The turkeys and chickens are creatures who don't like those that are not like themselves. When they saw the newcomer they rushed at him all together to overwhelm him with pecks. "I am lost!" said Drakestail to himself, when by good luck he remembered his comrade, friend Fox, and he cried, "Reynard, Reynard, come out of your earth, or Drakestail's life is of little worth."

Then friend Fox, who was waiting for these words, hastened out, threw himself on the wicked fowls, and scared them back to their corners. Drakestail, quite content, began to sing again, "Quack, quack, quack, when shall I get my money back?"

Well, the King who was still at the table heard this refrain, and was terribly annoyed and ordered them to throw this tail of Drake into the well! 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, Ladder.

"Ladder, Ladder, come out of thy hold, or Drakestail's day will soon be told." Friend Ladder, who was only waiting for these words, hastened out and leaned her two arms on the edge of the well. Then Drakestail climbed nimbly on her back and with a hop he was in the yard where he began to sing louder than ever.

When the King, who was still at the table laughing at the trick he had played on his creditor, heard him again reclaiming his money, he became livid with rage. He commanded that the furnace should be heated and this tail of Drake be thrown into it. The furnace was soon hot, but his time Drakestail was not so afraid; he could count on his sweetheart, River.

"River, River, outward flow, or to death Drakestail must go." Friend River hastened out, and threw herself into the furnace which she flooded. After that she flowed growling into the hall of the palace. Drakestail, of course quite content, begins to swim, singing deafeningly, "Quack, quack, quack, when shall I get my money back?"

The King was still at the table, and thought himself quite sure of his game; but when he heard Drakestail singing again, he became furious and got up from the table, brandishing his fists. "Bring him here, and I'll cut him to bits! Bring him here quick!" cried he.