The Ugly Duckling by Ruth Hobart

This little duckling is different from the other ducklings. Everyone laughs at him, animals and humans alike, and only his mum loves him. But when spring comes, he sees his reflection in the water, and… what a change has taken place!

- Ruth Hobart

Mummy duck has got

one… two… three… four… five… six… seven eggs!

Six little white eggs and… a big grey egg!


One little yellow duckling!

Crack! crack! 

Two, three little yellow ducklings!

Crack! crack! Crack! 

Four, five, six little yellow ducklings!

'One, two, three, four, five, six little yellow ducklings,' says Mummy duck.

'But one egg is different. It's big! It's grey!'


'Mummy! He's big!' says a little duckling.

'Mummy! He's grey!' says another little duckling. 

'Mummy! He's ugly!' says another little duckling.

'Yes, he's different,' says Mummy duck, 'but he's your brother!'

Mummy duck and the seven little ducklings are at the pond.


One, two, three little ducklings go into the water.


The water's lovely!' say the ducklings.


The big grey duckling goes into the water!


The water's lovely,' says the big grey duckling.

It's summer.

Mummy duck and the ducklings go to the farm.

'Hello,' says Mummy duck. 

'Here are my seven little ducklings'.

'No, NOT seven little ducklings!' says the old chicken. 

'Six little yellow ducklings ... and 

one big, grey, ugly duckling!'

'You're a big duckling!' says the cow.

'You 're a grey duckling!' says the dog.

'You're an ugly duckling!' says the horse.

'You're a big, grey, ugly duckling!' says the cat.

'Ha! Ha! Ha! Look at the Ugly Duckling,' says a rabbit.

'Ugly Duckling, go away! ' say the animals, 

'Ugly Duckling, go away!'

The Ugly Duckling is sad.

The Ugly Duckling goes away from the farm.

'Hello,' say the frogs. 'Who are you?

'Hello, frogs,' says the Ugly Duckling. 

'I'm the Ugly Duckling.'

'Oh! You're big ... and grey ... and ugly!' say the frogs.

'Ugly Duckling, go away!' say the frogs, 'Ugly Duckling, go away!'

It's autumn.

The Ugly Duckling is sad and tired.

He goes into a house.

'Hello, old lady,' he says, 'Hello, dog. Hello, cat.'

'Who are you?' says the old lady.

'I'm the Ugly Duckling,' says the Ugly Duckling.

'Oh! You 're big ' says the old lady.

'Oh! You're grey!' says the dog.

'Oh! You're ugly! ' says the cat.

'Ugly Duckling, go away! Ugly Duckling, go away!'

It’s winter.

The Ugly Duckling is cold and tired.

He goes into a farmhouse.

‘He’s ugly!’ say the children.

Yes, he’s ugly. But he’s cold and tired,’ says the farmer. 

‘Let’s give him some milk.’

‘Let’s play with the Ugly Duckling,’ say the children.

‘No! Let me go!’ says the Ugly Duckling.

SPLASH! He goes into the milk!

The Ugly Duckling goes away.

He's very sad.

He goes to a river.

He hides.

He hides all winter.

It's spring.

'What a beautiful swan!' says a swan.

'A beautiful swan? ... Where?' says the Ugly Duckling.

'You're the beautiful swan!' says another swan.

'No, I'm not a swan! I'm an ugly duckling!' says the Ugly Duckling.

'No, you're not an ugly duckling. 

You 're a swan. A beautiful swan!' say the swans. 

'Look in the water!' 'Oh, yes! I'm a swan!' says the Ugly Duckling, 

'I'm a beautiful white swan!'

The Ugly Duckling isn't sad. He's happy!

He isn't different.

He isn't grey.

And he isn't an ugly duckling! 

He's a beautiful white swan!

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