The Ugly Duckling


This is The Ugly Duckling famous fairy tale to read for kids. Huge burdock leaves grew so tall in a sunny area near a wonderful old farmhouse near a deep river. It was like a secret paradise, and a mother duck sat on her nest, patiently awaiting the birth of her babies.

The other ducks liked to swim in the river rather than speak with the mother duck behind the large burdock leaves. The eggs, however, began to crack one by one, and out came lively little creatures, each raising its head and chirping, “Peep, peep!” The mother duck reacted with a happy “Quack, quack,” and the rest of the ducks followed in, quacking as loudly as their small voices could manage.

The mother duck let them look around as much as they pleased because she believed that green was good for their eyes. The baby ducklings were amazed by the large world they saw beyond their shells. “How big the world is!” they wondered when they discovered how much more space there was now than when they were inside their eggs.

“Do you think this is the whole world?” the mother asked them with a twinkle in her eye. “Wait until you see the garden; it spreads all the way to the parson’s field. But I’ve never visited so far. Are you all out?” She asked, rising from her nest. “Oh no, not yet!” she shouted, noticing one egg that had not yet cracked. “How long is this going to take? I’m getting quite tired,” she sighed, sitting down again on the nest.

Just then, an old duck paid her a visit. “How are you getting on?” the visitor asked.

“One egg hasn’t cracked yet,” the mother duck replied. “I wonder how much longer this will go on. I’m getting tired of it.”

“Let me see that egg that won’t crack,” said the old duck. “I believe it’s a turkey egg. I remember once cracking some, and despite my best efforts, the little ones got scared of the water. They wouldn’t come in, no matter how much quacking and clucking they did. Let me look at it.”

The mother duck was a bit unsure but agreed to the check. “Yes, that’s a turkey’s egg,” declared the old duck. “Leave it be and teach the other little ones to swim.”

The mother duck thought for a moment. “I think I’ll sit on it a little while longer,” she decided. “A few more days won’t hurt.”

“Suit yourself,” replied the old duck before taking her leave.

Finally, the big egg cracked open, and out came a young one, crying, “Peep, peep!” It was large and quite ugly. The mother duck looked at it in surprise. “It’s so big and unlike the others. I wonder if it really is a turkey. We’ll find out for sure when we go to the water. It must learn to swim, even if I have to push it in myself.”

The next day brought calm weather with bright sunshine, and the mother duck decided it was time to introduce her little ones to the water. She jumped into the river with a sound, quacking, “Quack, quack!” One by one, the little ducklings followed her, jumping into the water and learning to swim with their tiny legs swimming under them. Even the large and ugly duckling was in the water, swimming away.

The mother duck was pleased. “Oh, that can’t be a turkey. Look how well it uses its legs. It must be one of mine, and it’s not as ugly as I thought. In fact, it’s rather handsome, especially if you look at it the right way. Quack, quack! Come along now; I’ll take you to meet the other creatures in the farmyard. Just stick close to me, and watch out for the cat!”

When they reached the farmyard, there was quite a noise. Two duck families were arguing over an eel’s head, which was eventually grasped by the cat.

“You see, children, that’s how the world works,” the mother duck stated, sharpening her beak because she wanted the eel’s head.

“Now, be polite and bow your heads to that old duck over there. She’s the oldest of them all. It’s a great honor, and we must all be careful not to lose her. Did you see a red flag on her leg? Because of this, everyone, including humans and other animals, recognizes her. Don’t turn your toes now, and remember to spread your feet apart like your father and I do. Bend your neck and shout, ‘Quack.'”

The little ducklings followed their mother’s instructions and practiced their quacks while the old duck with the red flag stood proudly by. “These ducklings are quite lovely,” said the old duck, “but that one over there is rather strange-looking. We don’t need it around here.”

The mother duck protected her unusual baby. “Oh, that’s impossible, Your Grace,” she replied. “It may not be as pretty, but it has a kind heart, and it swims as well as the others, if not better. I believe it will grow up to be handsome and perhaps a bit smaller. It took a while to crack, you see, so its figure isn’t quite right yet.”

She lovingly kissed the little duckling’s neck and smoothed its feathers. “It’s a drake, after all, not that it matters much. I think it will grow up strong and capable of taking care of itself.”

The other ducks were doubtful. “The other ducklings are graceful, but that one is so strange,” they said. “We don’t want it to be here.”

“The others are pretty enough,” said the old duck with the red flag. “Now, settle down and make yourselves at home. And if you happen to find another eel’s head, bring it to me.”

So, the little ducklings made themselves comfortable. However, the poor, ugly duckling didn’t quite fit in, and his appearance was often the subject of mockery. “It’s too big and ugly,” they would say.

Even the turkey cock was going red in her face with anger. The poor duckling wasn’t happy, as he didn’t know where to go. He’d been laughed at and rejected for his appearance, and now he was being pushed away from the farmyard.

One evening, as the sun set, a beautiful flock of swans came from the nearby bushes. The duckling had never seen them before, their beautiful necks curving and their white feathers shining brightly.

They opened their stunning wings, and they gave an unusual cry. The ugly duckling watched them with a strange desire in his heart as they rose higher and higher into the sky.

“I’ll fly to those beautiful swans,” he decided, “and they will probably kill me because I’m so ugly and scared to approach them. But it doesn’t matter; it’s better to be killed by them than suffer with the ducks, be attacked by hens, and be pushed around by the poultry girl.”

And so he flew towards the swans, expecting the worst. But when they saw him, they came up to him with spread wings, rather than attacking him as he had feared. They welcomed him with warmth and grace, bowing their heads to him.

The ugly duckling couldn’t believe it. He felt ashamed and hidden his head under his wing. “Could this really be happening?” he wondered. He was so happy, yet not at all proud. He had been mistreated because of his looks, and now they were praising him for his beauty. The sun shone warmly, and the duckling, rustling his feathers, curved his slender neck and cried joyfully, “I never dreamed of such happiness when I was an ugly duckling!”

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