The Ugly Duckling

This is my version when I told the famous story to my 3-year-old son of The Ugly Duckling. 🙂

On a warm spring day in a farmland, Mother Duck was patiently sitting on her eggs.  She had been sitting on the eggs for a month already.  “The ducklings should come out soon. I can feel them pecking the shells from inside.” Mother Duck announced happily.  Soon, one after another, the shells cracked, and pop out lovely yellow-color ducklings.  There were six in total.

“Quack quack~~” Mother Duck happily greeted to her little ones.  She was almost about to stand up when she noticed that there’s still one more egg left under her.  This egg was unusually bigger than the normal duck eggs.  “Did I count the eggs wrongly?  I remember that I laid six eggs in total. How come this egg looks so different? ” Mother Duck wondered.  But she decided to sit down on the egg and hatch it out.

After about ten more days, the egg finally hatched, out came a big strange looking duckling with gray feather.  Mother Duck looked at her last born and wondered, “Why does this little one look so different from his brothers? Poor little duckling!” Mother Duck sighed in maternal love and indistinct worry. “Anyway, I’ll raise him up as I’ll do with his brothers. “ Mother Duck determined.

This little duckling ate a lot, and he soon outgrew his brothers.  He was a good swimmer too, and he swam faster and better than his brothers. But he led an unhappy life.  The life on the farmland was not easy.   He was teased by the poultry because he’s big and ugly. The ducks pecked him, the chickens beat him, the little girl who feed the poultry kicked him, and even his brothers were unkind to him and always laughed at him.  Although Mother Duck tried her best to protect him and console him, the little ugly duckling still felt lonely and sad,” No one likes me, they all tease me.  Why am I so different from my brothers?”

One day, at sunrise, the little duckling escaped from the farmland.  He ran and ran, and finally arrived at a pond.  There were a lot of ducks swimming in the pond. When the little duckling approached, they stared at him, inquiring:”who are you? I have never seen a duckling as ugly as you are.”  The little duckling was sadder, and he left the pond and travelled even more.  He reached many places, but wherever he went, he would be laughed by other creatures.

He experienced a lot of things.  He saw huntsmen firing at ducks with guns and hunting dogs chasing after ducks; the little duckling dodged in bushes, hid his
head under his wing, and narrowly survived the hunting.

He had good times too.  Once out of the bush, he saw a flock of beautiful birds flying south in the sky.  They curved their graceful necks, their soft plumage looked dazzling white, and they spread their strong glorious wings. These were swans, although the little duckling did know their name. “If only I could look like them, just for one day!” said the little duckling, admiringly.

He was once adopted by an old lady with poor eye sight, who hoped that the little duckling could lay eggs. In the old lady’s house, the little duckling was bullied by the lady’s two other pets – a hen and a cat. The little duckling couldn’t stand the pressure from the hen to push him to lay eggs, and he didn’t want to let the old lady down, so after several months there, the little duckling fled.

It was winter, the weather was freezing, the little duckling was almost frozen to death, and it was not easy to find food because everywhere was covered by ice.   The little duckling searched very hard for food. Walking kept him warm, and searching extra hard made him lucky enough to find more food source.  He survived the
winter.

One morning, when the little duckling woke up, he felt warm sunshine before he opened his eyes.  Bird messagers sang happily, reporting the good news to everybody wherever they flew:”spring is here, spring is here.” Little duckling opened his eyes, and there, in the sky, he saw the beautiful birds flew back.  “Oh my, am I in dream?”   Little duckling stared at them in eagerness.  The swans flew nearer and nearer, and finally they landed on a nearby pond. Their outstretched wings splashed the water while they uttered singular voices.

“I want to be one of them!” The little duckling declared, and he stood up and walked towards the flock.  His determination was so strong that he forgot about how ugly he was, and that he did not care how the birds might tease him.  He just wanted to be one of them.

As the little duckling approached them, the swans swam to him too.  “Hi! Good morning!” the swans greeted to him heartedly.  By then, the little duckling had reached the pond side. When he heard the swans’ greetings, he couldn’t believe his ears, so he awkwardly lowered his head.

What did he see in the water? A beautiful young swan! “Is that me? Goodness! How I’ve changed.  I can hardly recognize myself!”   The little duckling was astounded.

“We are swans as you are. ” One swan said. “How did you spend your winter?  ” another swan asked kindly.

“Oh, it is a long story.” The little duckling slowly recovered from the shock.  He was soaked in bliss.  He came up and joined the flock happily.  He now felt glad at  having suffered sorrow and trouble, because it enabled him to enjoy so much better all the pleasure and happiness around him; for the great swans swam round the new-comer, and stroked his neck with their beaks, as a welcome.

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