[featured-image single_newwindow=”false”]The Ugly Duckling. Illustrated by Vilhelm Pedersen. Written by Hans Christian Andersen[/featured-image]


The Parable of The Ugly Duckling

In the original version of The Ugly Duckling written by Hans Christian Andersen the bird was first believed to be a turkey by his mother who could plainly see he was different from her other children. However, since he could swim, he was judge to be a duck – an ugly duck.

Everyone he met tried to make him into something he wasn’t. They ridiculed him for possessing natural instincts that were different from theirs. They didn’t understand him. They didn’t know who he was. They didn’t know who he was created to be.

He wanted the freedom to swim and to fly. But according to the world, since he couldn’t purr or lay eggs, he was useless.

He wasn’t a turkey.
He wasn’t a duck.
He wasn’t a goose.
He wasn’t a cat.
And he wasn’t a hen.

He was useless.
He had no purpose.
No one wanted him around.

So, he secluded himself on a pond and avoided all the other birds. One day, a flock of swan swooped in. Oh he wished that he was as beautiful as them. He felt a connection with the swan, but he thought he was too ugly to join them. He stayed in the freezing pond while they flew to the sunny South. Bit by bit the water froze until he lost all freedom to swim. He barely survived the atrocities of winter.

But when summer arrived, the swans returned to the pond. He joined them thinking they would kill him, but they welcomed him. When he saw his reflection in the water, he realized who he really was – a beautiful swan.

Then he 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 had been persecuted and despised for his ugliness, and now he heard them say he was the most beautiful of all the 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.”

There’s ugly inside all of us. To varying degrees, we’ve all suffered pain and shame of some kind. But thank God we don’t have to live in misery. [shareable cite=”Bridgett Henson”]If we let Jesus remove the ugly, our true beauty can shine.[/shareable]

You’ll never satisfy this world. Don’t judge yourself by the expectation of others. Look into the reflection of the word of God, and see who you were created to be.

Stretch your neck out and cry joyfully unto the Lord. Even if you’ve never dreamed of such happiness, Jesus is waiting to transform your ugly past into a beautiful future. Let Him remake you into who you were created to be: a beautiful, precious child of God.


But by the grace of God I am what I am: ~ 1 Corinthians 15:10
He shall cover thee with his feathers, and under his wings shalt thou trust: ~ Psalm 91:4


Click here to read the complete, original manuscript of The Ugly Duckling.

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Bridgett Henson

I am a sinner saved by amazing grace. I use both written and spoken words to help kindred souls see their own beauty through God's eyes in hope that they will accept their Happily Ever After as provided by Jesus Christ. I've authored 3 books in The Whatever Series, and am a book coach with Empowered Publications.