The Ugly Duckling

The Ugly Duckling teaches us many lessons like that lesson for people to accept themselves for who they truly are, we shouldn’t discriminate against people, judging by their physical appearance, and we should never give up on following our passions and finding our place in society.

The Ugly Duckling

it was lovely summer weather in the country, and the golden corn, the green oaks

and the haystacks piled up in the meadows looked beautiful. The stork walks about

on his long red legs chattered in the Egyptian language, which he had learned from his

mother, the cornfields and meadows were surrounded by large forests in the midst

of which were deep pools; it was indeed delightful to walk about in the country in

a sunny spot stood a pleasant old farmhouse close by a deep river, and from

the house down to the waterside grew great burdock leaves so high that under

the tallest of them, a little child could stand upright; the spot was as wild

as the center of thick wood in this snug retreat sat a duck on her nest, watching

for her young brood to hatch, she was beginning to get tired of her tasks for the little

ones for a long time coming out of their shells, and she seldom had any visitors;

the other ducks liked much better to swim about in the river than to climb the slippery

banks and sit under a burdock leaf to have a gossip with her had less than one shell

cracked and then another, and from each egg came a living creature that lifted

his head and cried.

Peep-peep, quack quack,” said the mother, and then they all cracked  as well as

they could and looked about them on every side of the large green leaves,

their mother allowed them to look as much as they liked because green is good for

the eyes, “how large is the world?” said the young ducks when they found out how

much more room they now had than while they were inside the eggshell,

“do you imagine that this is the whole world?” asked the mother, “wait till you have

seen the garden, it stretches far beyond the back to the Parsons field, but I have

never ventured to such a distance. Are you all out?” she continued rising,

“No, I declare the largest egg lies there still; I wonder how long this is to last. I am

quite tired of it,” and she seated herself again on the nest,

“Well, how are you getting on?” asked an old duck who visited her,

“one egg is not hatched yet,” said the duck, “it will not break, but look at all 

the others! Are they not the prettiest little ducklings you ever saw? they are 

the image of their father, who is so unkind he never comes to see”,

“let me see the egg that will not break,” said the duck, “I have no doubt it is

a Turkey’s egg, I was persuaded to hatch some once, and after all my care in trouble

with the young ones, they were afraid of the water; I quiet and clucked, but all to

no purpose, I could not get them to venture in, let me look at the egg! yes, that is a

turkey, Zack; take my advice, leave it where it is, and teach the other children to swim”,

“I think I will sit on it a little while longer,” said the duck, “as I have sat so long already,

a few days will be nothing” “Please yourself,” said the old duck, and she went away.

At last, the large egg broke, and a young one correct forth crying,Peep peep”,

it was very large and ugly; the duck stared at it and exclaimed it is very large and not

at all like the others, “I wonder if it is a turkey? we shall soon find it out however

when we go to the water, it must go in if I have to push it myself”.

On the next day, the weather was delightful, and the Sun shone brightly on the green

burdock leaves, so the mother duck took her young brood down to the water,

and jumped in with a splash, “quack-quack” cries she, and one after another, the little

ducklings jumped in the water closed over their heads, but they came up again in an

incident and swam about quite prettily with their legs paddling under them as easily

as possible, and the ugly duckling was also in the water swimming with him.

“Oh,” said the mother, “that is not a turkey; how well he uses his legs, how upright

he holds himself, he is my child, and he is not so very ugly after all if you look at

him properly, quack, quack, come with me now. I will take you to Grand Society

and introduce you to the farmyard, but you must keep close to me, or you may be

trodden upon and above all, beware of a cat”.

when they reach the farmyard, there was a great disturbance; two families were

fighting for an eels head which, after all, was carried off by the cat, “see children,

that is the weight of the world,” said the mother duck wetting her beak for she would

have liked the Eel head herself.Come now, use your legs, and let me see how well

you can behave; you must bow your heads prettily to that old duck younger; she is

the highest born of them all and has Spanish blood; therefore, she is well off,

don’t you see she has a red flag tied to her leg, which is something very grand

and a great honor for a duck; it shows that everyone is anxious not to lose her,

as she can be recognized both by man and beast, come now don’t turn your toes,

The Ugly Duckling

a well-bred duckling spreads his feet wide apart, just like his father and mother 

in this way, now bend your neck and say quack.”

The ducklings did as they were bid, but the other ducks stared and said, “Look here

comes another brood as if there were not enough of us already,

and what a queer-looking object one of them is we don’t want him here”, and then

one flew out and picked him in the neck, “leave him alone,” said the mother,

“he is not doing any harm,”Yes, but he is so big and ugly,” said the spiteful duck,

therefore, he must be turned out” “The others are very pretty children,” said the old

duck with a rag on her leg. “All but that one; I wish his mother could have proved

him a little” “That is impossible, your grace,” replied the mother, “he is not pretty,

but he has a very good disposition and swims as well or even better than the others,

I think he will grow up pretty and perhaps be smaller; he has remained too long

in the egg and therefore his figure is not properly formed”, and then she stroked

his deck and smooth his feathers, saying, “It is a trait and therefore not of so much

consequence, I think he will grow up strong and be able to take care of himself”,

the other ducklings are graceful enough,” said the old duck. “Now, make yourself at

home, and if you can find an eels head, you can bring it to me”,

and so they made themselves comfortable, but the poor duckling who had crept out

of his shell last of all and looked so ugly, was bitten and pushed and made fun of,

not only by the Ducks but by all the poultryhe is too big,” they all said, and the

Turkey, who had been born into the world with Spurs and fancied himself an emperor

puffed himself out like a vessel, and full sail and flew at the duckling and became

quite red in the head with a passion so that the poor little thing did not know where

to go, and was quite miserable because he was so ugly and laughed at by the whole

form yard, so it went on from day to day till it got worse and worse, the poor duckling

was driven about by everyone, even his brothers and sisters were unkind to him

and would say, “Ah, you ugly creature, I wish the cat would get you” and his mother

said she wished he had never been born, the expecting the chickens beat him,

and the girl who fed the poultry kicked him with her feet, so at last, he ran away

frightening the little birds in the hedge as he flew over the peelings.

“They’re afraid of me because I am ugly,” he said, so he closed his eyes and flew still

farther until he came out on a large more inhabited by wild ducks, where he remained

the whole night feeling very tired and sorrowful.

In the morning, when the wild ducks rose in the air, they stared at their new comrade,

“What sort of a duck Ryu,” they all said; coming around him, he bowed to them

and was as polite as he could be, but he did not reply to their question, “You are

exceedingly ugly,” said the wild ducks, but that will not matter if you do not want

to marry one of our families.

poor thing he had no thoughts of marriage; all he wanted was permission to lie

among the rushes and drink some of the water on the moor.

After he had been on the moor two days, there came two wild geese, or rather

goslings, for they had not been out of the egg long and were very saucy,

“Listen, friend,” said one of them to the duckling,you are so ugly that we like you

very well, will you go with us and become a bird of passage? Not far from here is

another more in which there are some pretty wild geese all unmarried, it is a chance

for you to get a wife, you may be lucky ugly as you are”Pup-pup’ sounded in the air

and the two wild geese fell dead among the rushes, and the water was tinged with

blood,pop-pop; echoed far and wide in the distance and whole flocks of wild geese

rose from the rushes, the sound continued from every direction, for the sportsman 

surrounded the moor, and some were even seated on branches of trees overlooking 

the rushes, the blue smoke from the guns rose like clouds over the dark trees, 

and as it floated away across the water, several sporting dogs bounded and among 

the rushes which bent beneath them wherever they went, how they terrified the poor 

duckling, he turned away his head to hide it under his wing, and at the same

moment, a large terrible dog passed quite near him; his jaws were opened, his tongue

hung from his mouth, and his eyes glared fearfully; he thrust his nose was close

to the duckling showed his sharp teeth, and then “splash, splash,” he went into

the water without touching him. “Oh,” said the duckling, “how thankful I am for being

so ugly, even dog will not bite me”, and so he lay quite still while the shot rattled

through the rushes, and gun after gun was fired over him.

It was late in the day before all became quiet, but even then, the poor young thing

did not dare to move; he waited quietly for several hours and then, after looking

carefully around him، hastened away from the moor as fast as he could, he ran over

field and meadow till a storm arose, and he could hardly struggle against it,

towards evening he reached a poor little cottage that seemed ready to fall

and only remains standing because he could not decide on which side to fall,

first, the storm continued so violently that the duckling could go no farther; he sat

down by the cottage, and then he noticed that the door was not quite closed, in

a consequence of one of the hinges had been given away; there was, therefore,

a narrow opening near the bottom large enough for him to slip through, which he did

very quietly and got a shelter for the night, a woman, a tomcat and a hen, lived in this

cottage, the Tomcat whom the mistress called my little son was a great favorite

he raises back in purr and could even throw out sparks from his fur if it were stroked

the wrong way, the hen had very short legs, so she was called chicky short legs,

she laid good eggs, and her mistress loved her as if she had been her child.

In the morning, the strange visitor was discovered, and the Tomcat began to purr

in the hint to cluck, “what is that noise about” said the old woman looking around

the room, but her sight was not very good; therefore, when she saw the duckling

she thought it must be a fat duck that has strayed from home,oh what a prize.”

she exclaimed, “I hope it is not a trick, for then I shall have some ducks eggs,

I must wait and see”, so the duckling was allowed to remain on trial for three weeks,

but there were no eggs; now, the Tomcat was the master of the house and the hen

was the mistress, and they always said we and the world, for they believed

themselves to be half the world, and the better half, to the duckling, thought that

others might hold a different opinion on the subject, but the hen would not listen to

such doubts,Can you lay eggs?” she asked, “no, then have the goodness to hold

your tongue” “Can you raise your back or/or throw out sparks?” said the Tomcat,

“no, then you have no right to express an opinion when sensible people are

speaking”, so the duckling sat in the corner feeling very low-spirited till the sunshine

and the fresh air came into the room through the open door, and then he began

to feel such a great longing for a swim on the water that he could not help telling

the hen,What an absurd idea,” said the hen, “you have nothing else to do, therefore,

you have foolish fancies, if you could / or late eggs they would pass away”, “but it is

so delightful to swim about on the water,” said the duckling,and so refreshing

to feel it close over your head when you dive down to the bottom, delightful indeed.”

said to him, “Why? you must be crazy! ask the cat; he is the cleverest animal I know”,

he asked him how he would like to swim about on the water or to dive under it,

But I will not speak of my own opinion; ask mistress, the old woman; there is no one

in the world more clever than she is, do you think she would like to swim or to let

the water close over her head?” “You don’t understand me,” said the duckling,

“We don’t understand you!! who can understand you?! I wonder do you consider

yourself more clever than the cat or the old woman, I will say nothing of myself

don’t imagine such nonsense, child, and thank your good fortune that you have been

received here, are you not in a warm room and in a society from which you may learn

something?! but you are a chatter, and your company is not very agreeable,

believe me, I speak only for your own good; I may tell you unpleasant truths

but that is proof of my friendship, I advise you, therefore, to lay eggs and learn

to purr as quickly as possible”.

“I believe I must go out into the world again,” said the duckling, “yes do,” said to him,

so the duckling left the cottage and soon found water on which he could swim

and dive, but was avoided by all other animals because of its ugly appearance,

Autumn came, and the leaves in the forest turned to orange and gold, then as winter

approached, the wind caught them as they fell and whirled them in the cold air,

the clouds heavy with hail and snowflakes hung low in the sky and the Raven

stood on the ferns.

Crying “broke, broke,” it made one shiver with cold to look at them all. This was very

sad for the poor little duckling, one evening just as the Sunset amid radiant clouds,

there came a large flock of beautiful birds out of the bushes; the duckling had never

seen any like them before, they were swans, and they curved graceful necks,

while their soft plumage is shown with dazzling whiteness, they uttered a singular

cry as they spread their glorious wings and flew away from those cold regions

to warmer countries across the sea, as they mounted higher and higher in the air,

the ugly little duckling felt quite a strange sensation as he watched them; he whirled

himself in the water like a wheel, stretched out his neck towards them, and uttered

a cry so strange that it frightened him. Could he ever forget those beautiful happy

birds? when at last they were out of sight, he dived under the water and rose again

almost beside himself with excitement, he knew not the names of those birds nor

where they had flown, but he felt towards them as he had never felt for any other bird

in the world, he was not envious of these beautiful creatures but wish to be as lovely

as they.

Poor ugly creature, how gladly he would have lived even with the Ducks had they

only encouraged him.

The winter grew colder and colder; he was obliged to swim about on the water

to keep it from freezing, but every night the space in which he swam became

smaller and smaller, at length, it froze so hard that the ice and the water crackled

as he moved, and the duckling had to paddle with his legs as well as he could

to keep the space from closing up, he became exhausted at last and lay still

and helpless frozen fast in the ice.

Early in the morning, a peasant who was passing by saw what had happened,

he broke the ice in pieces with his wooden shoe and carried the duckling home

to his wife, the warmth revived the poor little creature, but when the children wanted 

to play with him; the DA claimed thought they would do him some harm, so he 

started up in tariff fluttered into the milk pan and splashed the milk about the room,

then the woman clapped her hands which frightened him still more; he flew first into

the bark asked, then into the meal tub and out again; what a condition he was in,

the woman screamed and struck at him with the tongs; the children laughed and

screamed and tumbled over each other in their efforts to catch him, from luckily he

escaped, the door stood open, and the poor creature could manage to slip out

among the bushes and lie down quite exhausted in the newly fallen snow.

it would be very sad were I to relate all the misery and privations which the poor little

duckling endured during the hard winter, but when it had passed, he found himself

lying one morning in a more amongst the rushes, he felt the warm sun shining

and heard the Lord singing, and saw that all around was beautiful spring, then the

young bird felt that his wings were strong as he flapped them against his side

and rose high into the air; they bore him onward, where he found himself in a large


Before he well knew how it happened, the apple trees are in full blossom

and the fragrant elders bent their long green branches down to the stream,

which wound around a smooth lawn; everything looked beautiful in the freshness

of early spring.

From a thicket close by came three beautiful white swans rustling their feathers

and swimming lightly over the smooth water, the duckling remembered the lovely

birds and felt more strangely unhappy than ever. “I will fly to those Royal Birds.”

he exclaimed, “and they will kill me because I am so ugly and dare to approach them,

it does not matter better to be killed by them than attacked by the Ducks beaten,

by the hens pushed about, by the maiden who feeds the poultry, or starved with

hunger in the winter” Then he flew to the water and swam toward the beautiful


The moment they aspired to the stranger they rushed to meet him with outstretched

wings, “kill me,” said the poor bird, and he bent his head down to the surface of the

water and awaited death, but what did he see in the clear stream below? his own

image no longer a dark gray bird ugly and disagreeable to look at but a graceful

and beautiful swan.

To be born in a duck’s nest in a farmyard is of no consequence to a bird if it is

hatched from a swans egg, he now felt glad at having suffered sorrow in trouble

because it enabled him to enjoy so much better all the pleasure and happiness

around him.

For the great swans swam around the newcomer and stroked his neck with their beaks

as a welcome into the garden, presently came some little children and threw bread

and cake into the water.

The Ugly Duckling “See?!” cried the youngest; there is a new one, and the rest were delighted and ran

to their father and mother dancing and clapping their hands and shouting joyously,

“There is another Swan, come a new one has arrived,” then they threw more bread

and cake into the water and said, “The new one is the most beautiful of all; he is so

young and pretty, and the old swans bowed their heads before him”,

then he felt quite ashamed and hid his head under his wing, for he did not know what

to do, he was so happy and yet not at all proud.

He had been persecuted and despised for his ugliness, and now he heard them say

he was the most beautiful of all the birds, even the elder tree bent down its bowels

into the water before him, and the Sun shone warm and bright.

Then he rustled his feathers, curved his slender neck, and cried joyfully from

the depths of his heart. “I never dreamed was such happiness as this while I was

an ugly duckling”.

The End