The Ugly Duckling

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NARRATOR: Once upon a time on an old farm, there was a duck family, and Mother Duck had been sitting on a clutch of new eggs.



MOTHER DUCK: It was about time that my eggs hatch!.  1,2,3,4,5,6 ducklings I have!.



NARRATOR: But something was not right.



MOTHER DUCK: Mmmm, that egg didn`t hatch, and it is bigger than the rest.  I don`t remember laying that seventh egg.  I wonder how it got here?.   Or did I count the eggs wrongly?.



NARRATOR: But before she had time to think about it, the last egg finally hatched. A strange looking duckling with gray feathers that should have been yellow gazed at a worried mother. The ducklings grew quickly, but Mother Duck had a secret worry.



MOTHER DUCK: I can’t understand how this ugly duckling can be one of mine!.



NARRATOR: The gray duckling certainly wasn’t pretty, and since he ate far more than his brothers, he was outgrowing them. As the days went by, the poor ugly duckling became more and more unhappy. His brothers didn’t want to play with him.



SIX BROTHERS: Stay away from us!.  We don´t want to play with you.  You are so ugly, you are not one of us!.



NARRATOR: And all the farmyard folks simply laughed at him.



PIG, COW, GOAT: Ha, ha, ha, you look so funny!. Where did you come from?.  Did you get lost?. Stay away from us, you don´t belong here.



NARRATOR: He felt sad and lonely, while Mother Duck did her best to console him.



MOTHER DUCK: Poor little ugly duckling!.  Why are you so different from the others?.



NARRATOR: And the ugly duckling felt worse than ever. He secretly wept at night. He felt nobody wanted him.



UGLY DUCKLING: Nobody loves me, they all tease me!.  Why am I different from my brothers?.  Why?.



NARRATOR: Then one day, at sunrise, he ran away from the farmyard. He stopped at a pond and began to question all the other birds.



UGLY DUCKLING: Do you know of any ducklings with gray feathers like mine?.



NARRATOR: But everyone shook their heads in scorn.



BIRDS: We don’t know anyone as ugly as you.



NARRATOR: The ugly duckling was not discouraged, and so he kept asking questions. He went to another pond, where a pair of large geese gave him the same answer.



UGLY DUCKLING: Do you know of any ducklings with gray feathers like mine?.



GEESE: We don’t know anyone as ugly as you. Don’t stay here!.  Go away!.  It’s dangerous. There are men with guns around here!.



NARRATOR: The duckling was sorry he had ever left the farmyard. Then one day, he reached an old countrywoman’s cottage. Thinking he was a stray goose, she caught him.



OLD WOMAN: I’ll put this in a hutch. I hope it’s a female and lays plenty of eggs!.



NARRATOR: Said the old woman, whose eyesight was poor. But the ugly duckling laid not a single egg. The hen kept frightening him.



HEN: Just wait!.  If you don’t lay eggs, the old woman will pop you into the pot!.



NARRATOR: And the cat said.



CAT: Hee!. Hee!. I hope the woman cooks you, then I can gnaw at your bones!.



NARRATOR: The poor ugly duckling was so scared that he lost his appetite, though the old woman kept stuffing him with food and grumbling.



OLD WOMAN: If you won’t lay eggs, at least hurry up and  get fat!.



UGLY DUCKLING: I hope someone would love me!.



NARRATOR: Then one night, finding the door open, he escaped. Once again he was all alone. He fled as far away as he could, and at dawn, he found himself in a thick bed of reeds.



UGLY DUCKLING: If nobody wants me, I’ll hid here forever.



NARRATOR: There was plenty of food, and the duckling began to feel a little happier, though he was lonely. One day at sunrise, he saw a flight of beautiful birds wing overhead. White, with long slender necks, yellow beaks and large wings, they were migrating south.



UGLY DUCKLING: If only I could look like them, just for a day!.



NARRATOR: Winter came and the water in the reed bed froze. The poor duckling left home to seek food in the snow. He dropped exhausted to the ground, but a farmer found him and put him in his big jacket pocket.



FARMER: I’ll take him home to my children. They’ll look after him. Poor thing, he’s frozen!.



NARRATOR: The duckling was showered with kindly care at the farmer’s house. In this way, the ugly duckling was able to survive the bitterly cold winter.  However, by springtime, was all grown up.



FARMER: I’ll set him free by the pond!.



NARRATOR: That was when the duckling saw himself mirrored in the water.



UGLY DUCKLING: Goodness, how I’ve changed. I hardly recognize myself!.



NARRATOR: The flight of swans winged north again and glided on to the pond. When the duckling saw them, he realized he was one of their kind, and soon made friends.



SWANS: We’re swans like you!. Where have you been hiding?.


UGLY DUCKLING: It’s a long story.



NARRATOR: Now, he swam majestically with his fellow swans. One day, he heard children on the river bank exclaim…



CHILDREN: Look at that young swan!.  He’s the finest of them all!.



NARRATOR: And he was very happy.






Author:  Hans Christian Andersen



Adapted by:  K I D S I N C O


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