This week’s fairy tale is The Ugly Duckling, a very well known and loved fairy tale. It was nice to explore the original version, which I don’t recall ever doing!
The story starts with a mother duck’s eggs hatching. One of the ducklings is seen to be ugly in the eyes of other birds and animals. The poor duckling gets so much abuse from them! 😦 The duckling wanders far away from his home and lives with some wild ducks and geese until hunters kill the flocks. The duckling then finds home with an old woman but even there her cat and hen tease him until he again, leaves home. Poor thing!
The duckling sees a flock of wild swans who are migrating. He’s desperate to join them, but can’t because he’s too young and can’t fly. In the winter, a farmer finds him freezing. The farmer takes him in, but the farmer’s house is far too loud for the duckling and once again he leaves. The duckling spends a winter alone in the outdoors- cold and miserable. Spring arrives and a flock of swans arrive.
The ugly duckling throws himself at the flock of swans deciding it’s better to be killed by beautiful birds than have another lonely season full of ugliness and misery. He is surprised to see the swans welcome him and it is only when he sees his reflection that he realises he has grown into a beautiful swan himself. He joins his new family and finally begins to feel accepted and loved.
I know that this story has been adapted so many times, but the original shows that the ugly duckling suffered for a long time with feeling unwanted and ugly! Sad times!