Bedtime Stories: Ugly Duckling

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On a farm long ago, a Mama Duck sat on her nest. And no one comes to visit me. A Mama duck must keep her eggs warm till they hatch. At last, the eggs began to crack. One by one, yellow ducklings stepped out of their shells. We will go down to the lake for your very first swim. But one large egg was still in the nest. The next day, the big egg started to hatch. Out came a baby boy bird. But if one may say so, it was an odd-looking thing.

This bird was much bigger than others. He was not yellow at all - he was dark-gray from his head to his feet. And he walked with a funny wobble.

The Ugly Duckling Story (Bedtime Story for Kids)

One of the yellow ducklings pointed. He cannot be one of us!

Short story by Hans Christian Andersen

Your brother hatched from the very same nest as you did. We will go to the lake for your very first swim. He took the last spot in the line. Each yellow duck jumped in the river and swam behind Mama Duck. When it was his turn, the Ugly Duckling jumped in and started to paddle, too. When they left the water and started to play, the Ugly Duckling tried to play with his brothers and sisters, too.

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The Ugly Duckling Story - Bedtimeshortstories

We will not play with you! And you walk weird, too! When Mama Duck was close by, she would not let them talk in this way. But she was not always close by.


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You would do us a big favor if you just went away from here! He hung his head down low. That night, the Ugly Duckling flew over the farmyard fence. So at last he ran away, frightening the little birds in the hedge as he flew over the palings. So he flew still farther, until he came out on a large moor inhabited by wild ducks. Here he remained the whole night, feeling very sorrowful. In the morning, when the wild ducks rose in the air, they stared at their new comrade.

He bowed to them and was as polite as he could be, but he did not reply to their question. After he had been on the moor two days, there came two wild geese, or rather goslings, for they had not been out of the egg long, which accounts for their impertinence. Will you go with us and become a bird of passage? Not far from here is another moor, in which there are some wild geese, all of them unmarried. It is a chance for you to get a wife. You may make your fortune, ugly as you are.

The sound continued from every direction, for the sportsmen surrounded the moor, and some were even seated on branches of trees, overlooking the rushes. The blue smoke from the guns rose like clouds over the dark trees, and as it floated away across the water, a number of sporting dogs bounded in among the rushes, which bent beneath them wherever they went. How they terrified the poor duckling!

He turned away his head to hide it under his wing, and at the same moment a large, terrible dog passed quite near him. His jaws were open, his tongue hung from his mouth, and his eyes glared fearfully. It was late in the day before all became quiet, but even then the poor young thing did not dare to move. He waited quietly for several hours and then, after looking carefully around him, hastened away from the moor as fast as he could.

He ran over field and meadow till a storm arose, and he could hardly struggle against it. Towards evening he reached a poor little cottage that seemed ready to fall, and only seemed to remain standing because it could not decide on which side to fall first. The storm continued so violent that the duckling could go no farther.

He sat down by the cottage, and then he noticed that the door was not quite closed, in consequence of one of the hinges having given way. There was, therefore, a narrow opening near the bottom large enough for him to slip through, which he did very quietly, and got a shelter for the night.

The ugly duckling

Here, in this cottage, lived a woman, a cat, and a hen. In the morning the strange visitor was discovered; the cat began to purr and the hen to cluck. But her sight was not very good; therefore when she saw the duckling she thought it must be a fat duck that had strayed from home. I must wait and see. The duckling thought that others might hold a different opinion on the subject, but the hen would not listen to such doubts. So the duckling sat in a corner, feeling very low-spirited; but when the sunshine and the fresh air came into the room through the open door, he began to feel such a great longing for a swim that he could not help speaking of it.

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If you could purr or lay eggs, they would pass away. Ask our mistress, the old woman; there is no one in the world more clever than she is. Do you think she would relish swimming and letting the water close over her head? Who can understand you, I wonder? Do you consider yourself more clever than the cat or the old woman?

Are you not in a warm room and in society from which you may learn something? But you are a chatterer, and your company is not very agreeable. Believe me, I speak only for your good. I may tell you unpleasant truths, but that is a proof of my friendship. I advise you, therefore, to lay eggs and learn to purr as quickly as possible. Autumn came, and the leaves in the forest turned to orange and gold; then, as winter approached, the wind caught them as they fell and whirled them into the cold air.

All this was very sad for the poor little duckling. One evening, just as the sun was setting amid radiant clouds, there came a large flock of beautiful birds out of the bushes. The duckling had never seen any like them before. He spent his rest of his day and night crying all alone. He felt lonely and miserable but the ugly duckling was hopeful in his heart. Then, one day, the duckling saw a pond.

His eyes lit up in joy as he had seen water after so many days. The ugly duckling hopped of joy. He swam to his satisfaction. But his happiness was short lived. Winters was started and the cold wind had started to blow.

The Ugly Duckling

Due to the cold weather, the pond had frozen. A little while later, a kind farmer happen to pass that way. The farmer nursed the duckling and soon the bird was well. Then the farmer left the duckling in the pond. One morning, the duckling saw the beautiful swans around him. The duckling was ashamed of himself and bent his head low.