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The Ugly Duckling Quotes

20 of the best book quotes from The Ugly Duckling
  1. #1
    “But what did he see in the clear stream below? His own image; no longer a dark, gray bird, ugly and disagreeable to look at, but a graceful and beautiful swan.”
  2. #2
    ″‘Oh,’ sighed the duckling, ‘how thankful I am for being so ugly; even a dog will not bite me.’ And so he lay quite still, while the shot rattled through the rushes, and gun after gun was fired over him.”
  3. #3
    “Early in the morning, a peasant, who was passing by, saw what had happened. He broke the ice in pieces with his wooden shoe, and carried the duckling home to his wife.”
  4. #4
    ″‘No, I declare, the largest egg lies there still. I wonder how long this is to last, I am quite tired of it;’ and she seated herself again on the nest.”
  5. #5
    “The winter grew colder and colder; he was obliged to swim about on the water to keep it from freezing, but every night the space on which he swam became smaller and smaller. At length it froze so hard that the ice in the water crackled as he moved, and the duckling had to paddle with his legs as well as he could, to keep the space from closing up. He became exhausted at last, and lay still and helpless, frozen fast in the ice.”
  6. #6
    “He now felt glad at having suffered sorrow and trouble, because it enabled him to enjoy so much better all the pleasure and happiness around him; for the great swans swam round the new-comer, and stroked his neck with their beaks, as a welcome.”
  7. #7
    “The poor little duckling did not know where to turn. How he grieved over his own ugliness, and how sad he was! The poor creature was mocked and laughed at by the whole henyard.”
  8. #8
    ″‘Oh,’ said the mother, ‘that is not a turkey; how well he uses his legs, and how upright he holds himself! He is my own child, and he is not so very ugly after all if you look at him properly.‘”
  9. #9
    ″‘Oh,’ said the mother, ‘that is not a turkey; how well he uses his legs, and how upright he holds himself! He is my own child, and he is not so very ugly after all if you look at him properly.‘”
  10. #10
    “At last the large egg broke, and a young one crept forth crying, ‘Peep, peep.’ It was very large and ugly.”

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  1. #11
    ″‘I believe I must go out into the world again,’ said the duckling.”
  2. #12
    ″‘I will fly to those royal birds,’ he exclaimed, ‘and they will kill me, because I am so ugly, and dare to approach them; but it does not matter: better be killed by them than pecked by the ducks, beaten by the hens, pushed about by the maiden who feeds the poultry, or starved with hunger in the winter.‘”
  3. #13
    ″‘The new one is the most beautiful of all; he is so young and pretty.’ And the old swans bowed their heads before him.”
  4. #14
    “The ducks pecked him, the chickens beat him, and the girl who fed the poultry kicked him with her feet. So at last he ran away, frightening the little birds in the hedge as he flew over the palings.”
  5. #15
    “Poor ugly creature, how gladly he would have lived even with the ducks had they only given him encouragement.”
  6. #16
    “It would be very sad, were I to relate all the misery and privations which the poor little duckling endured during the hard winter;”
  7. #17
    ″‘You don’t understand me,’ said the duckling.
    ‘We don’t understand you? Who can understand you, I wonder?‘”
  8. #18
    ″‘Can you raise your back, or purr, or throw out sparks?’ said the tom cat.

    ‘No.’
    ‘Then you have no right to express an opinion when sensible people are speaking.‘”
  9. #19
    ″‘Oh,’ said the mother, ‘that is not a turkey; how well he uses his legs, and how upright he holds himself! He is my own child, and he is not so very ugly after all if you look at him properly.‘”
  10. #20
    ″‘I never dreamed of such happiness as this, while I was an ugly duckling.‘”
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