The original version of Draksetail was told in French as Bout-d’-Canard in the book Affenschwanz et Cetera by Charles Marelle in 1888, translated into English in the Red Fairy Book by Andrew Lang in 1890.
In quick succession, Drakestail meets four friends, a fox, a ladder, a river, and a bees' nest. In each, the exchange is essentially the same:
(Various versions of the tale would phrase it differently, and some have Drakestail offering the ride instead of merely agreeing to it.)
When Drakestail reaches the palace, he asks to see the King. The King, having already spent the coin (along with several years' taxes) with nothing to show for it, says to throw Drakestail in the chicken yard.
The chickens attack, but Mr. Fox comes out and kills them. Similarly, the ladder saves Drakestail from a well and the river saves him from the furnace. Each time he returns to the palace gates and says:
Finally, the King decides to sit on Drakestail. The bees' nest comes out and either stings him to death or causes him to jump out a window to his death.
Drakestail hunts for his money and cannot find it; however, when the townsfolk arrive to petition the King, they rejoice that he is dead and make Drakestail the new King.