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Tuesday, 25 July 2017

The Agony of The Ugly Duckling

I loved The Ugly Duckling story as a child. Today, I admire it on so many levels. Many people criticise it as the ugly duckling has no part to play in its transformation. After all, nature did everything; what did the poor bird do? Wait for the usual course of nature. But that’s the whole point of the story, isn’t it?

The ugly duckling never existed, not in the real sense of the word. It was never a duckling; it was always a swan. The only way a tiny swan would seem odd, clumsy, and ill-favoured was trying to fit it into attributes of a duck. All its variations made it unacceptable as a model duck. If the little bird had been brought up as a swan, no one would’ve termed it ugly. The little swans are supposed to look like that, act like that. The ugly duckling had a horrible time, because everyone perceived it a duck.

Ugly duckling

The irony is that though the ugly duckling doesn’t actually exist, it exists everywhere in the world around us. It exists in our mind, and outlook. In fact, it is so much imbibed in our DNA, that our society is full of ugly ducklings. But, instead of blossoming into magnificent swans, they mature into beautiful ducks.
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