Feminist Rewriting Of ‘the Ugly Duckling’ Essay Example
Once upon a time down on an old farm, lived a duck family. As Mother Duck sat on a clutch of new eggs, she kept thinking of the wonderful ducklings that would pop out into the beautiful world around them, she forgot that she had a seventh egg also under her. When all the seven eggs hatched, she was surprised to see that the seventh duckling that she didn’t recollect being there was quite different from the other six ducklings. The Mother Duck wondered how the seventh egg came to be there, and how it was so different from the other six. “Did I count the eggs wrongly?” she pondered, as she looked in surprise at the seventh duckling. It had gray feathers that should have been yellow, and it was larger than the other six. As the ducklings grew quickly, the Mother Duck didn’t want to hurt the feeling of the seventh duck and kept her feelings to herself. As days passed by, the ducklings grew, and the seventh duckling began to show a difference in growth, and as she grew larger than her brothers, Mother Duck said to herself, “I still can’t understand how this rather different colored duckling can be mine!”
Even though the gray duckling wasn’t really pretty, and was made to eat separately by her brothers, she was definitely growing faster than the others, and was definitely smarter than them. This pleased Mother Duck immensely. She could see that her rather differently-colored daughter was not only growing up faster, but was also smart enough to fend for herself. As days passed, the six male white ducklings began to ignore the poor duckling, and refused to have her join them in play. They thought of her as being a liability to the family. Worse, as the strange-looking duckling began to become forlorn and scorned upon by her brothers, she was easily identified by farmyard folks who began to ridicule her. Upset, Mother Duck tried to console her, but it only made her feel even sadder, and she began to cry in silence. She began to think that nobody wanted her. “Why doesn’t anyone love me, why do they tease me? Is it my mistake if I’m different from my brothers?” She knew that her mother cared, but she didn’t have the time to be with her all the time, and so, one day, at sunrise, she ran away from the farmyard. She stopped at a pond where she saw a number of birds feeding, and asked them whether they had seen any ducklings with gray feathers like hers. They all looked at her and shook their heads in the negative.
“We haven’t seen any duckling as weird looking as you” they exclaimed, and began to go around searching for food. Saddened by this revelation, but not disheartened, the sad duckling walked away looking for other birds whom she could ask. When she reached another pond, she ran into a couple of geese who told him that they hadn’t seen any duckling that resembled her. Also, they told her to go away as there were hunters walking around looking to shoot birds like her. She was vulnerable, and being on her own meant that she was likely to get into more trouble than them. As she wandered off, she came to an old countrywoman’s cottage. Seeing the sad duckling, and taking it to be a stray goose, the old woman caught the duckling. She kept her in a room thinking that she would lay eggs, and when she didn’t, the old woman said, “If you don’t lay eggs, I will wring your neck and pop you into the pot!.” This was like saying that even if you don’t bring me the kind of money that others are, I know what I need to get that money out of you. As days passed, and the poor duckling wouldn’t lay eggs, and as she sensed her vulnerability and knew that her life was in danger, she had to escape.
Therefore, one night, after all had gone to sleep, and the old woman had forgotten to close the barn door, she slipped out of the farm without a sound. She was, after all, a smart duckling according to her mother. As she escaped, she ran into a marsh where there was ample water and food to feed on. She decided she would stay there until, one fine morning, she saw some migratory birds fly past her. On seeing them fly together, she thought aloud, “If only I could look like them for a day!” She still couldn’t forget her family, and was now becoming lonesome. Seasons passed, and the sad duckling wondered and wondered, until one day, a farmer found her exhausted and lying on the ground. He picked up the sad duckling and took her home, saying “I'll take him home to my children who will love this bird. They will have someone to play with, and they will look after it well.” Months passed by, and as the sad duckling became bigger, the farmer decided that it would be unwise to keep such a big bird at home, and so, he took her to a pond. When the sad duckling saw her reflection in the water, she was shocked; “Is this how I am? I didn’t realize that I was like them at all!” The migratory birds she saw as a young duckling were now at the pond. She was thrilled, and didn’t pause to think for a moment. They looked at her, and one of them asked her, “Where are you from?” Sheepishly, she said that it was a long story, and entered the pond to swim with the other swans. As she swan, a few children who were there at the pond exclaimed in delight; “Look at that young swan! She’s the finest of them all!” The young swan couldn’t hide her happiness.