One day, a mother duck felt her eggs begin to shake. One by one, the eggs cracked open.Eight yellow ducklings poked out their heads.
“Peep, peep,” they said.“Quack, quack!” said Mother Duck.But one egg did not crack—one very big egg.
Mother Duck sat on the big egg for a few more days. Finally, it cracked open. Out popped a big bird.“Oh!” said Mother Duck. “You do not look like my other ducklings, but I am your mother, andI love you.”
The little yellow ducklings made fun of the new bird.“You do not look like us,” they said and “You are big and gray. You are an ugly duckling.”
This made the new bird very sad.“You do not look like my other ducklings,”said Mother Duck, “but I am your mother, And I love you”.
The ugly duckling looked for someone to play with. He went to the farm pond.“Will you swim with me?” he asked.“No,” said the ducklings. “You are too ugly.”“No,” said the frogs and turtles. “You are an ugly duckling”.
Then he tried the farmyard.“Will you play with me?” he asked.“No, no,” said the horses. “You are too ugly.”“No,” said the pigs, and they laughed at him. The sad, ugly duckling went back to the farm pond.
“No one will play with me,” he said to Mother Duck. “I am too ugly.”“You do not look like the other ducklings,”said Mother Duck, “but I am your mother,and I love you.”But the ugly duckling was not happy. So he flew away.
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Time passed, and the ugly duckling grew up.His wings were wider.His neck was longer.His feathers had turned white.He had changed, but he did not know it.
Then one day, two big white birds flew over the pond.“What beautiful birds!” thought the ugly duckling. “I hope they stop to visit.I am lonely.” The birds flew lower and lower and landed int he pond with a splash.
Hello,” said the ugly duckling. “Who are you?”“We are swans,” said the big white birds,“just like you.”“I am not a swan,” said the ugly duckling.“I am an ugly duckling.” The swans laughed. “Look down at the water,”they said. “What do you see?”.
The ugly duckling looked down at the water.“You are right!” he cried. “I am a beautiful swan!”.
The ugly duckling was very happy to be a beautiful swan. He flew off at once to visit the farm.“Hello,” he said. “Do you remember me?”“No!” said the ducks.“No, no!” said the frogs and turtles.“We’ve never seen you before,”sniffed the horses and pigs.
“I am the ugly duckling!” cried the swan. All the animals said, “You are too beautiful to be the ugly duckling.”“I grew up to be a beautiful swan,”he said. All the animals were happy to be with such a beautiful bird.
Then the swan saw Mother Duck.“Hello! I am your ugly duckling,” he said. Mother Duck did not care if he was a duckling or a swan. She said, “You do not look like my other ducklings, but I am your mother, and I love you.”
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