The ugly duckling is an old folk tale that is an 'evergreen' story. It has several layers of story to it. It will help children of all ages to:
- gain self-confidence
- recognise things can change for the better
- overcome bullying
- understand that love is a very powerful emotion
The ugly duckling lived quite close to where you live today. But it was a long time ago by a lake where a mummy duck sat minding her three pale greenish-blue eggs. She was very contented and almost going to sleep. Mummy duck was drowsy when something made her open her eyed wide with surprise. Floating towards her was an egg. It was a darker than her eggs and bigger as well. Mummy duck looked around lake to see if she could see where it had come from. There were no other ducks around.
So she jumped into the water and put the egg under her wing and brought it back to her nest. Then sat on it with her own. She adopted the egg and loved it every bit as much as her own. It did not bother her that it was lager and darker. It was now her precious egg.
Her three eggs all hatched but the big darker one did not. Some of mummy duck's friends came to see the egg. They all thought she was silly sitting on a big ugly egg that was not hers. One of her friends said "It's a turkey's egg. Turkeys are nothing but trouble and can't even swim". Another said, "Spend your time and effort on your own fluffy yellow ducklings that have hatched". Even her best friend told her "Forget that big ugly egg. It was all wet and will probably not hatch at all."
Their remarks upset mummy duck. But was determined to follow her natural mother duck instincts. So she looked after her ducklings and she kept sitting on the egg until it hatched . It was not a turkey. It was but a big grey ducking with the wrong coloured feet.
Mummy duck went for a swim with her beautiful brood. Three fluffy yellow ducklings and the big gangly grey one. Her friends continued to make horrible and snide remarks about her strange and ugly baby. She ignored them as they were cruel and unkind to her and her family. Mummy duck nurtured brood with devotion and love in her heart.
She kept loving them all, giving them all the same love and attention. As time went by. Her big dark ducking got bigger and bigger. He knew he was loved but often he felt like an outsider by everyone except his family. His big, dark and ugly appearance made others ignore him or taunt him. The other ducklings said horrible comments or called him names. Sometimes they would surround him as a gang and peck him or hit him with their wings. All the other ducklings had grown up so much faster than him.
As soon as he could fly he left home. He flew to another land far, far away. And one autumn day was swimming in a lake and he spotted a magnificent lady swan. She was swimming with elegance it made his lonely sad heart sink. "If only I could be just a little bit like her. he thought.
Like people when ducklings are sad they look down. He looked down into the water and it shocked him. He had not looked into the water for a long time as he did not want to see how ugly he was. There was a reflection of himself. He could not believe what he was seeing - he was no longer that ugly duckling. He was a swan and quite handsome too.
He swam over to the elegant lady swan expecting to be told to go away as you are a freak and so ugly. He was so happy when she asked him to swim with her and
then they flew off to start their own family.
He never forgot his mummy duck and went back to see her with his own brood of 'ugly ducklings'. Mummy duck still loved him and her new grandchildren 'ugly ducklings'. After this all the ducks and swans agreed to get on with each other.
This is why even to this day you will see swans and ducks feeding together and living happily side-by-side.
We can see the ugly duckling in our self. But he transformed into a beautiful swan. We all can do the same. we all grow and change as we get older. The swan realised he was not ugly, (mummy duck always believed he was handsome). When we are ready we can be like the ugly duckling. And let go of any emotional hangovers of ugliness from the past. We might have felt like an ugly duckling, at least to ourselves. But by ignoring the name callers. Then finding the best within our self we become transformed into a wonderful new swan.
It is our choice to be fully and completely alive. Full of love for our self and others or sad and lonely. Take a few moments to relax. And let this story of the ugly duckling transformed into a beautiful swan inspire and guide you. Allow yourself to be the swan.