Special Thanks to my Personal Faery Friend for the Button Art: Ye Olde Faery Shoppe
I am going to make a confession: I have never really cared for this week's selection, The Ugly Duckling written by Hans Christian Andersen! HOWEVER, I think I may have just changed my mind!! As I was reading Andersen's original tale, I came to realize that I have never read it before. I have read different versions and I have appreciated the moral of the story, but the story itself has never really struck a chord with me. I don't know why the longer version filled with more misery appeals to me. Maybe it is the stage of life that I am in? Maybe it is my better understanding of individuals (and myself!) because of what I do during my "day job?" Maybe it is because I am now a parent and have a whole different outlook on life? Maybe it is just because it was the original story told more for adults than for children? Maybe I just like more morbidity? Whatever the reason may be, The Ugly Duckling literally blossomed in my eyes on my latest read and has become one of my new favorites!
Every family tends to have a black sheep among them and the little duckling family is not an exception. This black sheep tends to be different from the rest of the crew. S/he tends to stand out because of these differences. S/he may even be a target of bullying. Afterall, even in the henyard it was said of the duckling, "He's big and he doesn't look like everyone else! And that's reason enough to beat him."
Just as in the case of the duckling, all we really want is to be accepted for who we are. Acceptance is important to each and everyone one of us. We want to fit in. We want to do more than survive. And, eventually, we do find this acceptance. We all blossom into our own version of the beautiful swan. It just takes a while and may be a long, hard journey. BUT, in the end, it is completely worth it!
For those of you who work with adolescents, the original version of The Ugly Duckling could be a great story to share and discuss with them. This tends to be some of the more difficult years. This is the time that those differences among us shine bright; yet, it is the time that this age group wants the differences to be dimmed because they want to be just like everyone else. I say . . . Let those differences shine! It is these times (hard they may be!) where we must accept and love ourselves so we may become the beauty in the future. Afterall, we must remember "Such happiness I did not dream of when I was the ugly duckling." I firmly believe that all of us can have this chance at happiness!
What message did you take away from The Ugly Duckling this week?
Friday, April 2nd: The Goose with the Golden Eggs by Aesop
Friday, April 9th: Little Red-Cap by Brothers Grimm (aka Little Red Riding Hood)
Friday, April 16th: New, modern version of a classic tale
Friday, April 23rd: The Butterfly by Hans Christian Andersen