It was a lovely summer day in the country. Mother Duck sat on her eggs for a long time. After a while, one by one, ducklings came out of the eggs.
Ducklings: Peep, peep
Mother Duck: Quack, quack! Are you all out?
Duckling1: No, one egg is still here. Look how big it is!
At last, the big egg came open. This duckling was very big and very ugly!
MD: Oh,my!This duckling is big and different from the others. I wonder if it is a turkey. We will soon find out.
Mother Duck took her ducklings to the water. One after another, the little ducklings jumped in the water. The Ugly Duckling also jumped in the water and swam very well.
MD: Oh, he is not a turkey. Turkeys can’t swim. He is my child. Let’s go to the farmyard. But you must stay close to me and watch out for the cat.
Duck1:Look at that duckling! He looks so strange.
Duck2:He is so big and ugly. Go away!
MD: Please, leave him alone. He is not doing any harm.
But the ducks pecked the Ugly Duckling. All the animals in the farmyard bit him and pushed him, too.
Ducklings: I wish the cat would eat you!
MD: You should never have been born.
So the poor, little duckling was very sad. Finally, he ran away.
UD: Why does everyone hate me? Is it because I am so ugly? But I am really nice.
The Ugly Duckling met two wild ducks.
WD: What kind of duck are you? You are really ugly. But that’s OK, if you don’t marry one of our family.
Then the Ugly Duckling heard, “Pop, pop!” And the two wild ducks fell dead.
Just then, many hunting dogs appeared. The Ugly Duckling was very afraid. So, he tucked his head under his wing. A hunting dog sniffed the Ugly Duckling. “Sniff, sniff!”
Dogs: You are ugly!
And they went away without touching the Ugly Duckling.
UD: Oh, I am alive! No one wants me. Even dogs don’t want to bite me.
He felt lucky but, at the same time, he felt sad. The poor duckling waited for several hours, and then, ran away.
A storm began. The rain and lightning terrified the Ugly Duckling. He was so cold and wet! He ran and ran as he looked for shelter from the storm.
Finally, he arrived at a cottage. An old woman, a cat, and a hen lived in this cottage. He went inside.
UD: May I have some food?
Old Woman: Oh, what a prize! Is it a fat duck? Now, I can have duck’s eggs.
The old woman’s sight was very bad. So the duckling lived there for a few days. But the hen and the cat were mean to the duckling.
Hen: I can lay eggs. Can you do that?
Cat: I can catch a mouse. Can you do that?
Cat: Then, what can you do?
UD: I can swim.
Cat: Oh, no one should swim! You will surely drown!
UD: I won’t drown.
Cat and Hen: You are a big liar!
So the poor duckling left the cottage.
Soon, summer turned into fall. The Ugly Duckling swam in the pond. A group of swans flew over the duckling.
UD: What beautiful birds! I wish I could be like them.
The weather grew colder and colder. Now, winter came.
UD:I must swim and swim, or the pond will freeze around me.
But every night, the space became smaller and smaller. Finally, the pond froze, and the duckling couldn’t move any more.
Early in the morning, a farmer saw the frozen duckling.
Farmer: Oh, poor duckling! I’ll take you home to my wife and children.
The wife took care of the duckling. Soon, the duckling got well.
But the children wanted to play with the duckling.
Children: Come play with us! Come play with us!
The duckling was scared. The farmer’s wife and the children chased the duckling around the farm house. Finally, he ran out the door.
A beautiful spring came. The Ugly Duckling saw the butterflies dancing and heard the birds singing.
One day, his wings felt very strong. So, he flapped them against his sides and flew high into the sky.
UD: Wow, I can fly so high! What’s happened to me?
The Ugly Duckling saw a beautiful garden with a pond. He decided to rest there for a while.
UD: I want to stay with these beautiful birds. But, they will kill me because I am so ugly. At least, I will die happily, if I can be with them for a while.
So, he swam towards the swans. When the swans saw the young bird, they swam to him.
UD: Peck me, if you must!
And he bent his head down to the surface of the water. The Ugly Duckling saw a beautiful swan looking back at him in the water!
UD: Oh! Is that really me? I am a beautiful swan! I am not an ugly duckling after all!
The three swans welcomed the young swan.
Some children came to the pond and threw pieces of bread into the water.
Children: Look, there is another swan! This new one is the most beautiful of all.
The Ugly Duckling was so happy. He was more beautiful than he had ever hoped to be. And now, he knew where he belonged.