Tuesday, 10 June 2008

"The Ugly Duckling," by Hans Christian Anderson In the midst of the sunshine there stood an old manor house that had a deep moat around it. In this wilderness of leaves, which was as dense as the forests itself, a duck sat on her nest, hatching her ducklings. At last the eggshells began to crack. "Peep, peep!" said the little things, as all the ducklings but one poked out their heads. The duck looked at the intact egg. "It takes a long time with that one egg," said the duck on the nest. "It won't crack, but look at the others. They are the cutest little ducklings I've ever seen. They look exactly like their father, the wretch! He hasn't come to see me at all." The summer months passed. At last the big egg did crack. "Peep," said the young one, and out he tumbled, but he was so big and ugly. The duck took a look at him. "That's a frightfully big duckling," she said. "He doesn't look the least like the others. Into the water he shall go, even if I have to shove him in myself." So off went the duckling. He swam on the water, and dived down in it, but still he was slighted by every living creature because of his ugliness. Autumn came on. The leaves in the forest turned yellow and brown. The wind took them and whirled them about. The heavens looked cold as the low clouds hung heavy with snow and hail. It made one shiver to think of it. Pity the poor little duckling! Then from the thicket before him came three lovely white swans. They ruffled their feathers and swam lightly in the stream. The duckling recognized these noble creatures, and a strange feeling of sadness came upon him. "I shall fly near these royal birds, and they will peck me to bits because I, who am so very ugly, dare to go near them. But I don't care. Better be killed by them than to be nipped by the ducks, pecked by the hens, kicked about by the hen-yard girl, or suffer such misery in winter." So he flew into the water and swam toward the splendid swans. They saw him, and swept down upon him with their rustling feathers raised. "Kill me!" said the poor creature, and he bowed his head down over the water to wait for death. But what did he see there, mirrored in the clear stream? He beheld his own image, and it was no longer the reflection of a clumsy, dirty, gray bird, ugly and offensive. He himself was a swan! Being born in a duck yard does not matter, if only you are hatched from a swan's egg. Thus ennobled, he lit into the air with the elegance expected of his kind and drifted majestically until ... AMERICA! FUCK YEAH! MCDONALD'S! THE INTERNET! SLAVERY! FUCK YEAH! *Photos courtesy of Kelly Munday.

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