There was a big commotion on the farm: Mama Duck’s chicks were hatching.

One by one, they began to leave. Mama Duck was so excited about her adorable ducklings that she didn’t notice that one of her eggs, the largest of all, remained intact.

Within a few hours, the last egg began to hatch. Mama Duck, all the chicks and the animals on the farm, were waiting to meet the little one who was late in being born. Suddenly, a very cheerful little duck came out of the shell. When everyone saw it they were surprised, this duckling was not small or yellow and it was not covered with soft feathers either. This little duck was big, gray and instead of the expected squawk, every time it spoke it sounded like an old bugle.

Although no one said anything, they all thought the same thing: “This duckling is too ugly.”

Days passed and all the farm animals made fun of him. The ugly duckling felt very sad and ran away from the farm one night to find a new home.

The ugly duckling wandered deep into the forest and when he was about to give up, he found the home of a humble old woman who lived with a cat and a chicken. The duckling stayed with them for a while, but since he was not happy, he soon left.

Come winter, the poor ugly duckling almost froze. Fortunately, a peasant took him home to live with his wife and children. But the duckling was terrified of the children, who were screaming and jumping all the time, and again escaped, spending the winter in a marshy pond.

Finally, spring came. The ugly duckling saw a family of swans swimming in the pond and wanted to get closer to them. But he remembered how everyone made fun of him and hung his head in shame. When he looked at his reflection in the water he was amazed. He was not an ugly duckling, but a handsome young swan. Now he knew why he looked so different from his brothers and sisters. They were ducklings, but he was a swan! Happy, he swam towards his family.