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The Ugly Duckling

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The ugly duckling has become a swan.

The Ugly Duckling is a literary fairy tale by Hans Christian Andersen. Andersen once remarked that the tale was his autobiography. He took more time than usual perfecting this story.

It was first published in Copenhagen, Denmark, in the first book of the first collection of Andersen's New Fairy Tales in November 1843. It is one of the best known fairy tales in the world.

Story[edit | edit source]

The ugly duckling is chased away by a big duck

A homely little bird is hatched in a barnyard. He wants to make friends with the other birds, but they think him ugly so they physically and verbally abuse him. Even his mother thinks him an odd little creature. He is so unhappy, he runs away.

He finds a home with an old woman. Her cat and hen dislike him so he runs away again. He is frightened when hunters shoot the wild ducks. Winter comes. A kind farmer takes the duckling home, but his noisy children frighten the bird so he runs away again.

Spring arrives. The duckling has survived the winter with great hardship. He sees several beautiful swans on a pond. He swims toward them, hoping they will kill him. To his surprise, they welcome him; he has become one of them - a beautiful swan.


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