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The San Francisco call. [volume] (San Francisco [Calif.]) 1895-1913, October 20, 1907, Image 18

Image and text provided by University of California, Riverside; Riverside, CA

Persistent link: https://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn85066387/1907-10-20/ed-1/seq-18/

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BENEATH the branches' of some burdock* bushes,
on the hank of a winding creek, sat an old duck
on her nest hatching her young ones. By and by, one
cjwr cracked. -and then another. "Chick, chick, chick."
wsrs'heard as the little heads peeped out of the shclh,
to be greeted with Uic "quack, quack" of the old mother
"Are you all here, my dears?" she asked, as she
arose from her nest. Xo, there lay the largest egg of
all unhatched. She sat down again on the egg just as
an old duck waddled up to call on her.
"How arc you getting along?" she asked.
"They are all hatched l»ut one, and it is so big
it will not break,", she replied.
"Depend upon it," said her visitor, "it is a turkey
rgg. aiuJ you'll have trouble, for, turkeys can't swim."
IN THE evening he reached a little hut all tumbled
down and dirty. He crept through the half-open
door into a dark little room where an old woman sat.
She lived here alone with her tom-cat and pet hen.
The cot she called her-little son. He purred and put
up his back if you rubbed him from his head to his
tail, but sparks fl.ew if you rubbed, him the other way.
The hen had short legs, so they called her "Chickling
Short-legs." i
In the morning when they saw the duckling Tom
began to purr and the hen to cluck.
"What is the matter?" said the woman, "for she
could not see well, and thought the duckling was a
fat duck that had lost her way."
"Oh, that is a fine catch," said she vrhen Tom told
her. "Now, we can have all the duck eggs we want
to eat"
The poor uirlv duckling, who 'had been the lasWo
leave his s!icll was beaten and pushed and made. a. fot^l
of by the hens^as well as the-rlucks. ".Even' the turkev
• -' \u25a0 * - - .\u25a0'-'. \u25a0 '-' >\ *
cock puffed himself up and swooped down on him,
\u25a0gobbling and getting red in'tue face. Tlie poor duckr
ling was very unhappy, and every day things grew
worse and worse for him. He was even chased'about
by his sisters, who said: '/.,
"1 wish Uic cat would catch you!" ,
The ducks bit him, the hens beat him. and the gir?
who fed the poultry kicked; him away ..with her foot.
So he ran- away and flew aver the hedge. Even the
little birds who saw him were 1 - frightened, and he
tliouglit * it' was because he was so ugly. The '. poor
duckling-, however,*; closed his eyes and ran away
faster and faster until he came to a great meadow.
THE winter came, and it was so cold that he had
to swim about -to keep from freezing. , The ,
pond froze over all except 'one small opening in the
ice where he swam around. But this grew smaller and
\u25a0 smaller and finally The duckling was frozen fast in 'the-;
ice, and there the next morning a man found him and J
carried him home. The children wanted to play with
-him, but the chickling thought they were going, to hurt
him, ancT in his terror, he jumped right into the milk '\u25a0-
pail. The farmer's wife;; clapped her, hands, : arid 'the/
children laughed arid screamed, and knocked each other
down trying to catch him.' THe duckling flew out of
the open door. ;. \u25a0 ; "
.'' • He had a bad "time after that all winter long, arid 1 :
bow : be lived through the -cold winter nobody knows, v
At last the warm spring:camej and/ much to hi^sur-,;
prise, the duckling found that his wings were' so strong -
ihat he could fly swiftly throuori the air with ease.
A T LAST the biff effir broke. "Tweet, tweet,"
and out crept a young one. but so very big and
ugly that the mother, duck thought, he* must lie a young :
. "I shall soon see," she said, to herself,, "whether'
he is or not. when he gpes.into the water."
The next day. she sprang into the creek with a
splash, and one^duckling after another sprang iv after
her. Even the big ugly, one was swimming, too, and
"No turkey could swim like that, 1 ' she 1 - tliouglit.
"'Quack, quack, conic with'me and I will take you .
to the barnyaifl so that all the chickens, ducks and
"Look there, how ugly that one. duck is," said tiie
ducks, and one flew' at him.- \
'. * 6. -
r T~\HE duckling, for . so they, thought he was,
\u25a0 all winter with the old. woman and her
cat and hen; but one fine day in the 'springtime, long*,
ing for a nice swim in the Water, he went down to
the brook and swam far away from the home of the
old woman and her pets. But in the autumn when it
grew very cold, the poor duckling had a bad lime.
One morning he saw a flock of beautiful swans come
out of a thicket -nearby, and a feeling came over the
poor ugly duckling that he loved tkose beautiful white
birds as he had never loved anything before. Ah! how
he longed to go with them, but he felt ashamed even
to let theni see how_ugly he was,; and while he ; w*«
thinking this away they flew without seeing him.
\u25a04. . •
T| E LAV down in the reeds nntit morning, whc:i
. Uirec wild geese* came by.
"You arc ugly, but we Dke you. Come with us,^
they said to him. Just at that moment hsng T . birrt^!
'.\u25a0\u25a0\u25a0--. j -
went a gun, and the three gzese fell down" dead. Bang I
bangT and all the other wild geese in the meadow flew,
np. The huntsmen were lying; all around the Cicadas
tiding' in (he reeds;
What a fright the poor duckling was in, especially
when a big dog- ran up with his tongue hanging out
of his moutli. He showed his sharp teeth, but happily;
Ik turned away from the duckling.
•"Oh, I'm glad T am so ngly, for even a dag will
hot bite me," said the duckling; and he lav still until
the buDcts of the huntsmen no more whistled through"
tbc reeds, tod then turned axay t a fsst 89 lie could.
ONE day he flew into a beautiful large garden.
There, swimming aroond jm a lake* he saw,
the graceful white swans be had seen before, and whom
he loved so much. .. He yeas very sad, though, when be
'mw; these beautiful creatures, for he^ thought of him
aelf as very ugly.
"Better be killed by them/* Be thought, "than be
beaten by ducks, hens, women snd children." So he
flew into the water. and swam toward the bcautifui
white swans.
'MOnly kill me/ said the poor creatnrc, and • tie
bowed his head on a level with the water. But what
did he see in the. dear water? \u25a0' Beneath him, as if in ft
looking-glass, he saw his Own image* No longer wai
he a dark gVay ugly. |>ird. He had grown to be. a
beautiful white^swihl
o.v'He wasvvery glad now, for he knew that all hia
sufferings were over. So he shook his» feathers, and
stretched his. slender gracefuTiieefc and ,7«u fcappjj
ever after* ~

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