An Interesting Children Story – The Ugly Duckling


 

A long time ago in a certain farm, a Mama Duck sat on her nest. “For how long will I have to sit on my babies for them to hatch? I have to sit here all day with no visitors to keep me company,” She thought to herself. But what could she do? She is a Mama Duck and must keep her eggs warm for them to hatch.

Finally, one of the eggs began to crack. Soon, little yellow ducklings started stepping out of their shells. They shook their wings and said, “Quack, quack! The Mama Duck was so happy that her eggs have finally hatched. “You are all so beautiful,” the Mama Duck said. “Quack, quack!” replied the little ducklings.

“Come and line up. We will journey down to the lake for your very first swim,” she said. She counted the ducklings, one, two, three, four, five. Oh! I should have six ducklings and not five. But one large egg in the nest was yet to hatch. “Alright then, it looks like that big egg there needs more time to hatch. We would have to reschedule our trip to the lake,” she said to the little ducklings. She then went and sat on the large egg.

Early the next day, the big egg cracked and started to hatch. A very big odd-looking bird came out of the shell. It was a baby boy bird and much bigger than others. He wasn’t yellow like others. He was dark-gray from his head to his feet. He had a funny wobble when he walks.

“What is that?” One of the little pointed at him, “he cannot be one of us.”

“He is so ugly,” another one said.

“It is very wrong for you to say such things to your brother,” said Mama Duck in a stern voice.

“You are only a day old! Your brother hatched from the very same nest as you did and you must see him as family. Now line up all of you. We will go to the lake for your very first swim.”

The little yellow ducklings kept quacking, “Ugly! Ugly! Ugly!” The big duckling didn’t understand why the other ducklings were yelling at him. He took the last spot as they journeyed to the lake.

When they got to the lake, each yellow duckling jumped into the water and swam behind their mother. When it got to the big duckling’s turn, he jumped into the water and started to paddle too. “He can swim very well,” Mama Duck said to herself. After swimming, they left the lake and started to play on land. The ugly tried to join his brothers and sisters to play, but they kept calling him ugly and told him to go away. “We will not play with you! You are very ugly and walk funny too, go away!” They yelled at him.

When Mama Duck was close by, she would not let them speak to him in such a manner. “Be nice to him!” she would say to them. But she wasn’t always close to them as she had to provide food for her kids.

One day when Mama Duck had gone out in search of food for her kids, one of the yellow ducklings said to the ugly duckling, “you will do us a great favor if you just left and never return.” They all started quack, “Get out ugly duckling! Get out ugly duckling! The big ugly duckling felt and thought to himself. “If I am not welcomed here, then I must leave.” That night while they all slept, the ugly duckling left the nest and flew across the lake to the other side. There he met two grown-up ducks.

“Please, can I stay here for a while?” the ugly duckling said to them. “I have nowhere else to go.”

“We don’t really care if you stay here all your life, just don’t get in our way,” said one of the grown-up ducks.

Suddenly, he heard a sound in the bush. “Woof! Woof!” A big hungry dog was in pursuit of two ducks. The ducklings quickly flew up in the air with their feathers flying all over the place. The poor ugly duckling froze to death when the dog came up to him and sniffed him. The dog turned away and returned to the path to which he came. “Maybe I am too ugly for the big hungry dog to want,” said the big ugly duckling with his head held low.

The sky turned dark after some time. Then came a heavy downpour. The ugly duckling was soaked through and through. Then a cold wind started to blow. The ugly duckling was so cold that he held his wings close to his chest. “If only I could get a place to keep warm and get dry.” Just then, he saw a tiny light coming from a hut not far away. He flew to the door of the hut. “Quack?” said the ugly duckling. The door of the hut creaked open and the duck went in.

“what is all this noise?” said an old woman, looking from right to left. Her eyes were not that good. She then looked down. “Ah, there you are, it is a duck!” she picked up the ugly little duckling and dropped him close to the fire to keep warm. “You can stay here, but only if you lay eggs,” the old woman said. Just then, a tomcat and a hen crept up to the ugly duckling.

“Who do you think you are?” said the tomcat. “coming in here and taking up a room by the fireplace.”

“I don’t need a competitor here, I alone lay the eggs,” said the hen.

“I am not here to fight with anyone, by the way, I am a boy duck and I can’t lay eggs,” said the ugly duckling.

“Then why are you still here? Said the tomcat. “Did you not hear what the old woman said?”

“Leave here, pretender!” clucked the hen.

“Leave here! Leave here!” hissed the tomcat

The door of the hut was still slightly open, so the poor little duckling slipped through the door and was back into the storm.

“No one wants anything to do with me,” said the ugly duckling with a tear in his eye. the storm soon ended and he found himself close to a new lake. When he walked closer to the lake and peer inside, he saw the reflection of a flock of large white birds flying. When he looked overhead, he could not believe what he saw. Above him were the most beautiful birds he had ever seen, with their white bodies and slender necks which seems to help them glide effortlessly through the sky. He was so fascinated by the view that he kept watching until the very last bird had winged its way out of view.

He stayed close to the lake all by himself, and time passed. The leaves of the trees turned red and gold and all the leaves fell to the ground. the winter came, setting a blanket of white snow all over the place. The cold wind and dark clouds made the duckling feel even more sad and lonely. The winter was so unbearable for the duck. He had to go into the cold, cold lake to fish, but it was getting hard to swim. The lake was gradually turning into complete ice. One day, all he could do was paddle the water to keep it from freezing around and trapping him in the lake.

“I am so tired!” said the ugly duckling as he kept paddling with all his might. The ice got thicker and drew closer to him.

Just then, two giants hand held him and took him up. “You poor thing!” said a farmer. He held the ugly duckling close to his thick wool jacket and took him to his house.

The farmer placed the ugly duckling near the fireplace to keep warm.  Never was a fireplace more welcome! The farmer took care of the duckling for the rest of the winter. Then spring came. Every plant was gradually giving its green color again.

“It is time for you to go to the lake to swim again, as you were born to do,” said the farmer. He took the duckling to the lake where he had found him and set him with care on the water.

“Wow! I feel very strong,” said the young bird, flapping his wings. “I have never felt as strong as I do right now!”

Just then, he heard a splashing sound behind him and turned around. It was a flock of those same beautiful birds he had seen before in the sky. They landed behind him. “Don’t worry, I will go now.” He said to them holding out one wing. “I will not make trouble for you.” A big tear rolled down his cheek as he turned to leave. When he opened his eyes again, he saw a reflection in the water of one of those beautiful white birds. Why was it so close to him? He jumped back and the reflection jumped back too.

“What is happening to me?” he said. He stretched his neck and the reflection of the beautiful white birds did the same. “This can’t be true,” he exclaimed.

“Why are you going so soon?” said one of the beautiful birds.

“Stay with us here, we will make great friends with you,” said another.

Then, the bird who used to be ugly knew what had happened. He was no longer an ugly gray bird that wobbled when he walked.

In a moment, all the swans flapped their wings and flew high into the sky. “Come with us, take the lead,” they said to him. So he flapped his wings fast and to his place in front of the whole flock. All his new friends flapped their wings behind him.

“Who is an ugly duckling now? Surely, not me,” he said as he glided through the sky.

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