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A mother duck hatches her eggs and, while most of her ducklings are normal, one is gray, too large, and too clumsy to fit in among the others. Though she tries to accept him, the entire barnyard realizes that he simply does not belong and after a period of harassment he leaves (or is driven away) to fend for himself. He wanders for the entire summer and fall, for no one will take him in, and he nearly freezes to death in an icy pond. Though he is rescued by a human, he cannot live in captivity, and he goes back to the wild.
By the end of winter he is miraculously still alive. He comes to a pond in a park or garden, where beautiful white swans are swimming. He is drawn to their beauty, though he has no reason to think that they will treat him better than anyone else has. Still, he thinks, even if they kill him, he must approach them. To his surprise, the beautiful creatures welcome and accept him; gazing at his reflection, he sees that he too is a swan. The children declare that he is the most beautiful swan of them all, yet he isn't proud for a good heart is never proud. Because of all that he suffered he now appreciates his happiness so much more. "It doesn't matter that you were born in a duck yard, so long as you have lain inside a swan's egg."
2.5" x 1.5"
2.1" x 1.3"
1.8" x 1.3"
5.6" x 4.25"
7" x 5"
for this art work