The Ugly Duckling Story To Inspire The Toddlers


The Ugly Duckling Bedtime Story To Inspire The Toddlers With Pictures


The Ugly Duckling Short Bedtime Story For Little Children: This story is considered one of the most famous stories for kids written by Hans Christian Andersen. This classic story introduces kids to the importance of struggle and hardships in life. Not only the children but adults can also learn some great lessons from this wonderful story. We have given the original and full version of this story here, hope you all like it.

The Ugly Duckling Story For Kids

Story of A Mother Duck Who Was Waiting For Her Chickens

It was lovely summer weather in the country. The wheat was yellow, the oats were green, the hay was stacked up in the green meadows, and the stork paraded about on his long red legs, talking in Egyptian, which language he had learned from his mother. The fields and meadows were skirted by thick woods, and a deep lake lay in the midst of the woods. Yes; it was indeed beautiful in the country!

The sunshine fell warmly on a pleasant old farmhouse, surrounded by a deep river, and from the walls down to the water’s edge there grew large burdock leaves, so high that children could stand upright among them without being seen. This place was as wild as the thickest part of the wood, and on that account, a Duck had chosen to make her nest there.

She was sitting on her eggs; but the pleasure she had felt at first was now almost gone, because she had been there so long, and had so few visitors, for the other Ducks preferred swimming on the river to sitting among the burdock leaves gossiping with her. At last, the eggs cracked one after another, “Chick, chick!” All the eggs were alive, and one little head after another peered forth.

“Quack, quack!” said the Duck, and all got up as well as they could. They peeped about from under the green leaves; and as green is good for the eyes, their mother allowed them to look as long as they pleased. “How large the world is!” said the young ducks, for they found their new abode very different from their former narrow one in the eggshells.

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The Old Duck And Her Doubt About The Larger Egg

“Do you imagine this to be the whole of the world?” said the mother. “It extends far beyond the other side of the garden in the pastor’s field, but I have never been there. Are you all here?” And then she got up. “No, not all, for the largest egg is still here. How long will this last? I am so weary of it!” And then she sat down again.

“Well, and how are you getting on?” asked an old Duck, who had come to pay her a visit. “This one egg keeps me so long,” said the mother. “It will not break. But you should see the others! They are the prettiest little Ducklings I have seen in all my days. They are all like their father, who is so unkind, he has not been to visit me once!”

“Let me see the egg that will not break,” said the old Duck. “I have no doubt it is a turkey’s egg. I was cheated in the same way once myself, and I had such trouble with the young ones; for they were afraid of the water, and I could not get them there. I called and scolded, but it was all of no use. But let me see the egg—ah, yes! to be sure, that is a turkey’s egg. Leave it where it is and teach the other little ones to swim.”

“I will sit on it a little longer,” said the Duck. “I have been sitting so long, that I may as well spend the harvest here.”

“Please yourself,” said the old duck, and she went away.

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Story of Mother Duck & Her Love For Little Duckling

At last, the large egg broke, and a young one crept forth crying, “Chick! chick!” It was very large and ugly. The duck stared at it and exclaimed, “It is very large and not at all like the others. I wonder if it really is a turkey. We shall soon find it out, however when we go to the water. It must go into the water, though I push it in myself.”

The next day there was delightful weather, and the sun shone warmly upon the green leaves when Mother Duck with all her family went down to the river. Plump she went into the water. “Quack! quack!” cried she, and one duckling after another jumped in. The water closed over their heads, but all came up again and swam together quite easily. Their legs moved without effort. All were there, even the ugly grey one.

“No; it is not a turkey,” said the old Duck; “only see how prettily it moves its legs, how upright it holds itself! It is my own child. It is also really very pretty when you look more closely at it. Quack! quack! now come with me, I will take you into the world and introduce you in the duck-yards. But keep close to me, or someone may tread on you; and, above all, beware of the Cat.”

When they reached the farmyard, there was a great disturbance, two families were fighting for an eel’s head, which, after all, was carried off by the cat. “See, my children, that is the way of the world,” said the Mother Duck, wiping her beak, for she, too, was fond of eels. “Now use your legs,” said she, “keep together, and bow to the old Duck you see yonder.

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Amazing Story of Mother Duck & Ugly Duckling With Images

Why Other Ducks Did Not Welcome The Ugly Duckling

She is the most distinguished of all the fowls present and is of Spanish blood, which accounts for her dignified appearance and manners. And look, she has a red rag on her leg! That is considered extremely handsome and is the greatest honor a Duck can have. Don’t turn your feet inwards; a well-educated Duckling always keeps his legs far apart, like his father and mother, just so—look! Now bow your necks, and say, ‘Quack.'”

And they did as they were told. But the other Ducks, who were in the yard, looked at them and said aloud, “Just see! Now we have another brood as if there were not enough of us already. And fie! how ugly that one is. We will not endure it.” And immediately one of the Ducks flew at him and bit him in the neck.

“Leave him alone,” said the mother. “He is doing no one any harm.”

“Yes, but he is so large and so strange-looking, and therefore he shall be teased,” said the others.

“Those are fine children that our good mother has,” said the old Duck with the red rag on her leg. “All are pretty except one, and that has not turned out well; I almost wish it could be hatched over again.”

“That cannot be, please your Highness,” said the mother. “Certainly he is not handsome, but he is a very good child, and swims as well as the others, indeed, rather better. I think he will grow like the others all in good time, and perhaps will look smaller. He stayed so long in the eggshell, that is the cause of the difference.”

Poor Duckling Was Humiliated By Everyone Including Siblings

And she scratched the Duckling’s neck and stroked his whole body. “Besides,” added she, “he is a Drake. I think he will be very strong, so it does not matter so much. He will fight his way through.” The Turkey-cock marched up to the Duckling quite red with passion. “The other Ducks are very pretty,” said the old Duck. “Pray to make yourselves at home, and if you find an eel’s head you can bring it to me.”

So they made themselves at home. But the poor little Duckling, who had come last out of its eggshell, and who was so ugly, was bitten, pecked, and teased by both Ducks and Hens. “It is so large!” said they all. And the Turkey-cock, who had come into the world with spurs on, and therefore fancied he was an emperor, puffed himself up like a ship in full sail, and marched up to the Duckling quite red with passion.

The poor little duckling scarcely knew what to do. He was quite distressed, because he was so ugly, and because he was the jest of the poultry yard. So it went on from day to day till it got worse and worse. The poor duckling was scorned by every one; even his brothers and sisters were unkind to him.

They would say, “Ah, you ugly creature, I wish the cat would get you,” and his mother said she wished he had never been born. The ducks pecked him, the chickens beat him, and the girl who fed the poultry kicked him with her feet. So at last he ran away, frightening the little birds in the hedge as he flew over the palings.

Why Ugly Duckling Joined The Company of Wild Ducks

“They are afraid of me because I am ugly,” he said. So he closed his eyes, and flew still farther, until he came out on a large moor, inhabited by wild ducks. Here he remained the whole night, feeling very tired and sorrowful. In the morning, when the wild ducks rose in the air, they stared at their new comrade. “What sort of a duck are you?” they all said, coming round him.

The little Duckling turned himself in all directions and greeted them as politely as possible but he did not reply to their question. “You are exceedingly ugly,” said the wild ducks, “but that will not matter if you do not want to marry one of our family.” Poor thing! never thought of marrying; all he wanted was permission to lie among the rushes and drink some of the water on the moor.

After he had been on the moor two days, there came two wild geese, or rather Ganders, for they had not been out of the egg long, and were very saucy. “Listen, friend,” said one of them to the duckling, “you are so ugly, that we like you very well.

Will you go with us, and become a bird of passage? Not far from here is another moor, in which there are some pretty wild geese, all unmarried. It is a chance for you to get a wife; you may be lucky, ugly as you are.”


Wonderful Story of Poor Ugly Duckling, Cat, And The Hen

Poor Duckling And His Narrow Escape From A Great Danger

Bang! a gun went off all at once, and both Wild Geese were stretched dead among the reeds; the water became red with blood. Bang! a gun went off again. Whole flocks of Wild Geese flew up from among the reeds, and another report followed. There was a grand hunting party. The hunters lay in ambush all around; some were even sitting in the trees, whose huge branches stretched far over the moor.

The blue smoke rose through the thick trees like a mist and was dispersed as it fell over the water. The hounds splashed about in the mud, the reeds and rushes bent in all directions. How they terrified the poor duckling! He turned away his head to hide it under his wing, and in a moment a most formidable-looking Dog stood close to him, his tongue hanging out of his mouth, his eyes sparkling fearfully.

He opened wide his jaws at the sight of our Duckling, showing him his sharp white teeth, and then, splash, splash! he went into the water without touching him, “Oh,” sighed the duckling, “how thankful I am for being so ugly; even a dog will not bite me.” And so he lay quite still, though the shooting continued among the reeds, and gun after gun was fired over him.

The noise did not cease till late in the day, but even then the poor young thing did not dare to move. He waited quietly for several hours, and then, after looking carefully around him, hurried away from the moor as fast as he could. He ran over fields and meadows, though the wind was so high that he had some difficulty in moving.

How Ugly Duckling Reached Into The Little Cottage

Towards evening, he reached a poor little cottage that seemed ready to fall and only remained standing because it could not decide on which side to fall first. The storm continued so violently, that the duckling could go no farther. He sat down by the cottage, and then he noticed that the door was not quite closed in consequence of one of the hinges having given way.

There was therefore a narrow opening near the bottom large enough for him to slip through, which he did very quietly, and got a shelter for the night. In this cottage lived an old woman, with her Tom-cat and her Hen. The Cat, whom she called her little son, knew how to set up his back and purr.

Indeed, he could even throw out sparks when stroked the wrong way. The hen had very short legs, and was therefore called “Chickie Short-legs.” She laid very good eggs, and the old woman loved her as her own child. In the morning, the strange visitor was discovered, and the tom cat began to mew, and the hen to cackle.

“What is the noise about?” asked the old woman, looking around the room but her eyes were not very good, so she took the young Duckling to be a fat Duck who had lost her way. “Oh what a prize!” she exclaimed, “I shall now have Duck’s eggs if it is not a Drake. I must wait and see.”

And so the Duckling was kept on trial for three weeks, but there were no eggs. Now the Tom Cat was the master of the house, and the Hen was the mistress, and they always used to say, “We and the world,” for they imagined themselves to be not only the half of the world but also by far the better half.

How The Cat And Hen Made Duckling’s Life Miserable

The Duckling thought that others might hold a different opinion on the subject but that the Hen would not listen to such doubts.

“Can you lay eggs?” she asked.

“No,” said the duckling.

“Well, then, hold your tongue.”

And the Cat said, “Can you set up your back? Can you purr?”


“Well, then, you have no right to express an opinion when sensible people are speaking.”

So the Duckling sat alone in a corner and felt very miserable. However, he happened to think of the fresh air and bright sunshine, and these thoughts gave him such a strong desire to swim again, that he could not help telling it to the Hen.

“What an absurd idea,” said the Hen. “You have nothing to do, and therefore brood over these fancies. Either lay eggs or purr, then you will forget them.”

“But it is so delicious to swim!” said the Duckling. “So delicious when the waters close over your head, and you plunge to the bottom!”

Why They Expelled Poor Duckling From The Cottage

“Well, that is a queer sort of pleasure,” said the Hen. “I think you must be crazy. Not to speak of myself, ask the Cat—he is the most sensible animal I know—whether he would like to swim, or to plunge to the bottom of the water. Ask our mistress, the old woman—there is no one in the world wiser than she. Do you think she would take pleasure in swimming and in the waters closing over her head?”

“You do not understand me,” said the Duckling.

“What! we do not understand you? So you think yourself wiser than the Cat and the old woman, not to speak of myself? Do not fancy any such thing, child; but be thankful for all the kindness that has been shown you. Are you not lodged in a warm room, and in a society from which you may learn something. But you are a simpleton, and your company is not very agreeable.

Believe me, I speak only for your own good. I may tell you unpleasant truths, but that is proof of my friendship. I advise you, therefore, to lay eggs, and learn to purr as quickly as possible.”

“I believe I must go out into the world again,” said the duckling.

“Well, go,” answered the Hen.

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Short Story of Ugly Duckling & His Struggle For The Existence

What Did Ugly Duckling Experience In A Short Happy Time

So the duckling left the cottage, and soon found water on which it could swim and dive, but was avoided by all other animals, because of its ugly appearance. Autumn came, and the leaves in the forest turned orange and gold. Then, as winter approached, the wind caught them as they fell and whirled them in the cold air. The clouds, heavy with hail and snowflakes, hung low in the sky, and the raven stood on the ferns crying, “Croak, croak.”

It made one shiver with cold to look at him. The poor Duckling was certainly not very comfortable. One evening, just as the sun set amid radiant clouds, there came a large flock of beautiful birds out of the bushes. The Duckling had never seen anything so beautiful before.

They were swans, and they curved their graceful necks, while their soft plumage showed with dazzling whiteness. They uttered a singular cry, as they spread their glorious wings and flew away from those cold regions to warmer countries across the open sea. As they flew higher and higher in the air, the ugly little duckling felt quite a strange sensation as he watched them.

He whirled himself in the water like a wheel, stretched out his neck towards them, and uttered such a loud and strange cry that it almost frightened himself. Ah! he could not forget them, those noble birds, those happy birds! And when at last they were out of his sight, he dived under the water and rose again almost beside himself with excitement.

Hardships & Challenges Were Still Chasing Poor Duckling

He knew not the names of these birds, nor where they had flown, but he felt towards them as he had never felt for any other bird in the world. The Duckling was not envious of these beautiful creatures but wished to be as lovely as they. Poor ugly creature, how gladly he would have lived even with the ducks had they only given him encouragement. The winter grew colder and colder.

He was obliged to swim about on the water to keep it from freezing, but every night the space on which he swam became smaller and smaller. At length it froze so hard that the crust of ice crackled as he moved, and the duckling had to paddle with his legs as well as he could, to prevent the water from freezing entirely.

He became exhausted at last and lay still and helpless, frozen fast in the ice. Early in the morning, a peasant, who was passing by, saw what had happened. He broke the ice in pieces with his wooden shoe and carried the duckling home to his wife. The warmth revived the poor little Duckling.

Poor Duckling Managed To Save His Life Hardly

But when the children wanted to play with him, the duckling thought they would do him some harm; so he started up in terror, fluttered into the milk pan, and splashed the milk about the room. Then the woman clapped her hands, which frightened him still more. He flew first into the pan where the butter was kept and then into the meal-tub, and out again.

What a condition he was in! The woman screamed, and struck at him with the tongs, the children laughed and screamed, and ran races with each other trying to catch him but luckily he escaped. The door stood open; the poor creature could just manage to slip out among the bushes and lie down quite exhausted in the newly fallen snow.

It would be too sad to tell all the trouble and misery which the poor little duckling had to suffer from the frost, and snow and storms of the hard winter. But when it had passed, he found himself lying one morning in a moor, amongst the reeds.

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The Story of A Duckling Who Got Success After Many Failures

Ugly Duckling And His Ardent Desire To Meet The Swans

The ugly duckling felt the warm sun shining, heard the lark singing, and saw that all around was beautiful spring. Then the young bird felt that his wings were strong, as he flapped them against his sides, and rose high into the air. They bore him onwards until he found himself in a large garden before he well knew how it had happened. The apple trees were in full blossom, and the fragrant elders bent their long green branches down to the stream which wound round a smooth lawn.

Everything looked beautiful, in the freshness of early spring. From a thicket close by came three beautiful white swans, rustling their feathers, and swimming lightly over the smooth water. The duckling knew the glorious creatures and felt more strangely unhappy than ever.

“I will fly to those royal birds,” he exclaimed, “and they will kill me, because I am so ugly, and dare to approach them. But it does not matter: better be killed by them than pecked by the ducks, beaten by the hens, kicked by the maiden who feeds the poultry, or starved with hunger in the winter.”

How Ugly Duckling Got To Know His True Identity

Then he flew into the water and swam towards the beautiful creatures. The moment they espied the stranger, they rushed to meet him with outstretched wings. “Kill me,” said the poor Duckling; and he bent his head down to the surface of the water, and awaited death. But what did he see in the clear water below?

He saw beneath him his own image; no longer a dark, gray bird, ugly and disagreeable to look at, but a graceful and beautiful swan. To be born in a duck’s nest, in a farmyard, is of no consequence to a bird, if it is hatched from a swan’s egg. And now the Duckling began to see the good of all the trouble he had been through.

He would never have known how happy he was if he had not first had all his sorrow and unhappiness to bear. The larger Swans swam round the newcomer, and stroked him with their beaks, as a welcome. Some little children were running about in the garden and they threw grain and bread into the water.

Finally, Poor Duckling Got What He Always Wanted

“See,” cried the youngest, “There is a new one;” and the rest were delighted, and ran to their father and mother, dancing and clapping their hands, and shouting joyously, “There is another swan come; a new one has arrived.” Then they threw more bread and cake into the water, and everyone said, “The new one is the most beautiful of all; he is so young and pretty.”

And the old swans bowed their heads before him. Then our shy Duckling felt quite ashamed and hid his head under his wing; for he did not know what to do. He was so happy, and yet not at all proud. He remembered how he had been persecuted and despised for his ugliness, and he now heard everyone say that he was the most beautiful of all beautiful birds.

Even the elder-tree bent down its bows into the water before him, and the sun shone warm and bright. Then he rustled his feathers, curved his slender neck, and cried joyfully, from the depths of his heart, “I never dreamed of such happiness as this, while I was an ugly duckling.

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