DLTK's Crafts for Kids
The Ugly Duckling

Our storyteller Delia tells us the story of the Ugly Duckling, a duck that feels like he doesn't belong anywhere due to his unique looks... until he finds his himself home in a place he never expected to belong!

Image of the storyteller telling the story of The Ugly Duckling.

The Ugly Duckling

© Written by Tasha Guenther and illustrated by Leanne Guenther Fairy tale based on the original tale by Hans Christian Andersen Dramturge Delia

Once a mother duck. One day, while she was sitting on her eggs she felt them start to move beneath her.


She was filled with happiness, when one by one, each of the eggs began to open. The mother duck was so excited to teach each of her ducklings how to be a duck.

Unfortunately, one egg was still left to hatch.

This egg was larger than the others. So the mother duck and her ducklings waited for two days and two nights, impatiently.

“I want to go to the pond, Mother,” whined one of the ducklings.
“Let’s go! Let’s go!” Demanded the other two ducklings.
But the mother duck had promised herself that she would treat each of her ducklings the same. So they waited.

On the third day, the large egg began to vibrate and shake. And suddenly: CRAAAAACK!!!

From out of the large egg popped a strange looking bird, that didn’t look much like a duck. His siblings thought:
his beak is too long,
his feathers are too scruffy,
his face is too ugly!

Nonetheless, the mother duck had promised herself that she would love each of her ducks the same.

She led her children into the pond and to teach each duckling how to be a proper duck. She taught them how to quack.
Each duckling quacked.
The ugly duckling quacked.


The nearby ducks in the pond began to laugh at the ugly duckling. Everywhere the mother duck and her children went, other ducks would laugh at the ugly duckling.

One evening, as all of the ducks in the pond had gone to sleep, the ugly duckling decided that it was time for him to leave.

He didn’t want to be in a place where he wasn’t welcome. So the little ugly duckling ran away.

He waddled far away from the pond.

He waddled through the small marsh plants and the large river reeds. He approached a new pond that was filled with different ducks.

“Hello there!” the ugly duckling said as he swam up to a new family of ducks.
“Who are you?” said the mother duck.
“What are you?” said the father duck.
“You sure are ugly!” said the baby ducks.
The family of ducks laughed and the ugly duckling waddled off once more.

Next the ugly duckling came to an even bigger pond with a family of geese in it.
“Hello there!” the ugly ducking said as he swam up to the family of geese.

“Who are you?” said the mama goose.
“What are you?” said the father goose.

“You sure are ugly!” said the goslings.
Before the duckling could waddle off- the geese surrounded him - the father goose said, “Though you are strange looking you are welcome to live with us!”

The ugly duckling couldn’t be happier.
Many days and nights passed and the ugly duckling began to feel a part of the family. Until…

A hunter and his hound approached the pond.
The hunter began firing shots and the dog began barking. The dog ran up to the ugly ducking and said: “What are you?”
The ugly duckling hung his head in shame and decided to waddle off once more.

He was growing larger; his feathers were coming in, but he was too hungry and weak to fly. So the ugly duckling made his way to a small house for shelter.

In the morning was the ugly duckling awoke to human chatter.
“What is it?” a woman asked.
“A duck, perhaps?” her husband said.
“Just what we’ve been needing!” the woman exclaimed.

They allowed the ugly ducking to live with them; hoping her would lay eggs for them. The farmer and his wife grew very fond of the ugly duckling, but the ugly duckling never laid any eggs for them. So they did not have room for the ugly duckling and they shooed him away once more.

The ugly duckling sadly waddled away. He waddled through now frozen marsh plants and large frozen river reeds.
Miraculously, the ugly duckling had survived the winter.

With spring, all the frost evaporated and he approached a crystal clear pond and saw the most beautiful birds he had ever seen in his entire life - swans.

He sat by the water’s edge, afraid to speak with them. He thought if he was too ugly to live with ducks, geese, or humans - he would never be pretty enough to live with swans.

Suddenly, a swan gracefully glided over to him and said: “My! You feathers have the nicest feathers I have ever seen in my entire life.”

Confused, the ugly duckling looked at his reflection in the water and gasped. To his surprise, he was not a duck at all! For he was a swan.

He entered the water and joined his new family.



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