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The Ugly Duckling - Mistreated because He was Different

Updated on August 9, 2013

The mother duck sits patiently on the eggs waiting for the arrival of her ducklings. Finally the eggs begin to hatch all but one. It is larger than the other eggs and she presumes it to be a turkey egg and chooses to sit longer and wait for it to hatch. Her only problem with a baby turkey is that turkeys do not swim or go into the water. The large egg hatches and the duckling or baby turkey is large and ugly. When the mother duck leads the babies to the water she is delighted to see that the odd duckling is not a turkey because he swims very well.

After the swim the mother duck leads the ducklings to the farmyard and what happens next is appaling.

Family and Friends Mistreat

Upon entrance into the farmyard, the other ducks insulted the ugly duckling. They did not do it discretely. They spoke right out and called him ugly and made him very aware of the fact that he was not wanted. One duck flew over and bit him and said that he did it because the ugly duckling was so big and ugly. It was said that the other ducklings were pretty but not that one. The chickens and turkeys said horrible things about the ugly duckling. Day after day this abuse continued. Even his brothers and sisters were mean to him. The ugly duckling's mother felt so bad for him and wished that he was far away from this.

The ugly duckling was hurt and felt terrible. He had not done anything to anyone. He too had already noticed that he was different and the other animals of the farmyard used his differences to bully and mistreat him.

Is This A Reality For Many Children Today?

Yes, this is a reality for children today. It is not new but it seems to be more rampant today. The ugly duckling like many children was bullied.


talking about someone,

spreading rumors,

leaving someone out on purpose,

and attacking someone by hitting or yelling at them

are all forms of bullying.

Kids Who Are Different Feel

Just like the ugly duckling, kids who are different and mistreated feel:

  • different
  • powerless
  • unpopular
  • and alone.

They also feel

  • sad
  • lonely
  • nervous
  • and sick.

Website With Good Info on Bullying

is a good source for parents and children on bullying.

The End of a Thing Can be Far Better Than Its Beginning

In the story of the Ugly Duckling, the duckling does leave home and endures many unfortunate experiences.

In the words of Hans Christian Anderson, the author of the Ugly Duckling,

"It would be too sad to describe all the misery that the duckling had to endure during that harsh winter. When the sun finally began to get warm again, he was lying among the reeds in the marsh. The larks sang. It was a glorious spring.

Suddenly the duckling spread his wings, which beat more strongly than before and carried him swiftly away. Before he knew it he found himself in a large garden, where apple trees were in bloom and the fragrant lilacs bent their long green branches down to the winding streams. It was so beautiful here in all the freshness of spring!

And traight ahead, out of the thicket, came three splendid white birds like the ones he had seen last autumn. They rustled their feathers and swam so lightly on the water. The duckling recognized them and was overcome with a strange excitement.

I will fly to those royal birds! It doesn't matter if they bite me or drive me away; I just want to be with them for a moment. They are so beautiful.

And he flew out onto the water and swam toward the magnificent creatures. When they saw him, they rushed to him with outstretched wings.

It's all right, said the duckling. You can bite me if you want. I don't mind, and he bent hsi head down to the water and waited for them.

But what did he see in the clear water? It had to be his own reflection - there was no question about that. But why wasn't he seeing a clumsy, ugly, dark-gray bird reflected in the water? It was impossible, it was too good to be true, but what was reflected in the water was the image of one of those glorious birds! Could it be? He looked again, and the image was still in front of him, looking back at him from the water. It must be him. How incredible! How wonderful! How grateful he felt!

He was just like those gorgeous creatures swimming toward him. He was one of them. At last he belonged."

In Conclusion


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    • kidscrafts profile image

      kidscrafts 4 years ago from Ottawa, Canada

      The Ugly Duckling is such a great story! I loved to read it to kids when I was at school with younger children... and the funny thing is that if you read it with expression you can see their faces change and have compassion for the little duckling!

      Thanks for sharing!

      Have a great weekend!