The Ugly Duckling is an old fairy tale written by Danish author and Christian Hans Christian Anderson. All of his tales are enchanting. Some have happy endings. Some have bittersweeet endings.
The Ugly Duckling ends happy, but it sure starts out sad.
You see, an ugly little bird is born at the farm. No one is sure where he came from and everyone makes fun of him. He wanders away from the farm to live with ducks and geese, but they are scattered by a hunter. As, you can guess, he moves place to place, but never fits in.
Of course, you and I both know that he's an "ugly" duckling because he's not a duckling at all. He grows up to be a graceful, beautiful swan to his own delight and the complete shock of the other animals.
To the typical preschooler who hasn't yet felt this way, this enchanting story reveals a sad hero that we can have compassion on and root for until the glorious ending when our little outcast is an elegant swan.
Another message from author Hans Christian Anderson is that underneath every ugly duckling, lurks a swan. That is a good message to pass on to the next generation.
Since the 1800's when this charming story was written, it has delighted children and adults who love happy endings. Your children will love this delightful tale.