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The Ugly Duckling facts for kids

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"The Ugly Duckling"
Duckling 03.jpg
Author Hans Christian Andersen
Translator Mary Howitt
Charles Boner
Country Denmark
Language Danish
Genre(s) Literary fairy tale
Publication type Fairy tale collection
Publisher C. A. Reitzel
Publication date 1844

"The Ugly Duckling" is a literary fairy tale by Hans Christian Andersen. Andersen lavished great care on this story, spending a year perfecting it. It was first published in 1844 with "The Angel", "The Sweethearts", and "The Nightingale" in New Fairy Tales. The critics liked these stories. Andersen considered the story "a reflection of my own life." The moral of the tale: "it does not matter if you were born in a duck yard if you have lain in a swan's egg." The tale has been adapted to various media such as animated movies.


A mother duck hatches six pretty little ducklings. A seventh bird is hatched. He is homely. The other ducks abuse him. He runs away. He is given a home by an old woman. Her cat and hen do not like him. He runs away again. Winter comes and a kind farmer gives him a home. The little bird almost dies. Spring comes. The "ugly duckling" has grown into a beautiful swan. The other swans welcome him as their own. They bow to him. He is happy for the first time in his life.

  • Wullschlager, Jackie. 2000. Hans Christian Andersen. Knopf.

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