The clouds hung heavy with hail and snowflakes, and on the fence stood the raven and cried, for sheer
cold, "Ow! ow!" Yes, the very thought was enough to make one freeze. The poor duckling had anything but a nice time of it.
One evening the sun went down gloriously, and forth from
a large grove came a whole flock of lovely large birds. The duckling had never seen anything so beautiful; they were dazzlingly white with long, supple, graceful necks: they were swans. They uttered a strange cry, spr
ead out their splendid wings, and flew away from the cold fields to warmer lands and open lakes. They rose so high, so high, that the ugly little duckling felt quite queer. It turned round in the water like a wheel, st
retched its neck after them high in the air, and uttered such a loud and odd shriek that it was frightened at its own voice. Oh! it could not forget the beautiful birds, the happy birds, and as soon as it had lost sight of them altogeth
er, it ducked right down to the bottom, and when it came up again it was quite beside itself. It knew not the name of the birds, or whither they were flying, yet it loved them as it had never loved anything before. It
envied them not one bit. How could it presume to wish for such loveliness! It would have been only too glad if they had suffered it to go with them, the poor ugly creature.
winter grew so cold, so cold, the duckling had to keep swimming on the water to prevent it from freezing altogether. But every night the hole in which it swam became smaller and smaller; it froze so that the whole crust of ice crackled
again and the duckling had to use its legs continually so that the water might not close up.
云层沉重地载着冰雹和雪花，低低地悬着。鸟鸦停栖在篱笆上，冻得只管鸣叫：「咕！咕！」 是的，只要想想这情景，就会觉得寒冷了。 这可怜的小鸭，的确没有太多美好的时刻。
一天晚上，当太阳壮丽的沉落下去时，一群漂亮的大鸟从灌木丛里飞出来。 小鸭从来没见过这样美丽的东西，他们洁白无瑕，脖子又长又细柔，这就是天鹅。 他们发出一种奇怪的叫声，展开美丽的翅膀，从寒冷的地带飞向暖和的地方，飞向不结冰的湖面上。 他们飞得那么的高，丑小鸭心里有一种说不出的兴奋。 他在水上像车轮般不停地转动着，把自己的脖子昂然地向他们伸着，发出一种响亮的怪叫声，连他自己也害怕起来。 啊！他永远也忘不了这些美丽又快乐的鸟儿。他看不见他们的时候，就沉入水底；但是当他再浮到水面上来的时候，却感到非常空虚。 他不知道这些鸟儿的名字，也不知道他们要飞向那里。不过他喜欢他们，好象他从来还没有爱过什么东西似的！ 他并不嫉妒它们。 他怎能奢望有它们那样美丽呢？ 只要其它的鸭子准许它跟他们生活在一起，他就心满意足了，可怜的丑弃儿！