Once upon a time in a forest, there was a mother duck who had laid 4 eggs. She was eagerly awaiting for them to hatch and hence she sat on them to warm them up. After a few days, the eggs began to shake and crack and 3 ducklings came out. The mother duck saw that all 3 of them were very beautiful and so she was very happy. The 4th egg however was as it is and the mother was waiting for it to hatch too. However, when the 4th egg hatched, the little one which came out was ugly according to the mother duck and the 3 other siblings. All 4 of them shunned him for being ugly and they treated him as if he was an outsider. The ugly duckling then left his home one day and ran away.
The duckling ran and ran until he came upon a house where an old lady was sitting inside with her cat and hen. The old lady noticed the duckling too and asked him to come closer, but upon seeing that he was ugly, she screamed and she chased the duckling away. The duckling went away feeling disappointed, but in a corner of his heart, he still had hope that someone would find him to be beautiful. As he roamed, he eventually came across a pond and happily jumped into it, he forgot his sorrows for a short time. But winter was round the corner and soon the pond froze and the duck felt very cold too. But a kind farmer happened to pass by and he took the duckling to his home.
The farmer made sure the duckling got warmth and food and after winter had passed, he took the duckling to where he had found him in the first place. The duckling felt grateful and went on his way. Like this, time passed and he grew into an adult. As he was swimming in the pond one day, he saw a ballet of swans heading towards him. By chance, he happened to look at his own reflection in the river and saw that his appearance was similar to the swans who were approaching. The swans too saw him and welcomed him into their family. They explained to him that he too was a part of them and at birth, his egg had been lost and ever since then, they could not find him. The ugly duckling was now a graceful swan and with his family, he lived happily ever after!