"Nay, but I'll sit on it a bit longer all the same," said the duck; "I have sat so long alread
y, I may as well sit a few hours longer."
"As you like!" said the old duck, and she waddled off.
At last the big egg cracked. "Peep, peep!" said the fledgling a
s it wriggled out- he was so big and ugly. The duck looked at him.
"What a frightfully big duckling it is!" cried she; "none of the others is a bit like him! Surely, it can never be
a turkey chick! Well, we shall soon find out about that! Into the water he goes if I have to kick him in!"
Next day it was the most glorious weather; the sun shone on all the gree
n dock-leaves. The mother duck with all her family came down to the ditch. "Quick! quick!" cried she, and one duckling plunged into the water after the other; the water closed over their heads, but up they came again a
t once and floated so prettily; their legs went of themselves. The whole lot of them were in; even the ugly gray fledgling swam along with them.
"No, it is not turkey!" said the mother duck, "see how
nicely it uses its legs, how upright it holds itself! It is my own youngster! Now, really, when you come to look closely, it's quite pretty! Quick! quick! Come with me now and I will lead you into the
great world and present you to the duck-yard, but always keep close to me so that no one may tread upon you; and beware of the cat!"
最后这个大蛋裂开了。 「辟！辟！」新生的小家伙缓缓的爬出来，他真是又大又丑。 鸭妈妈瞧了他一眼。
「这只小鸭子大得吓人，」她说：「其它的鸭子没有一只像他。 但是他一点也不像小火鸡！ 好吧！我们马上就来试试看吧！ 他得到水里去，我踢也要把他踢下水去。」
第二天的天气非常暖和，阳光照在绿牛蒡上。 鸭妈妈带着所有的小鸭来到溪畔。 「呱！呱！」她叫着，于是小鸭子一只接着一只跳下水去。水高至他们头上，但是他们很快地又冒出来游得非常漂亮，他们的小腿很灵活地在水中划着。 他们全都在水里，而那丑陋的灰色小家伙也和他们在一起游。
「唔！他不是一只火鸡，」母鸭说：「你看他的腿划得多灵活，他游得多么平稳！ 他是我亲生的孩子！ 如果把他仔细一瞧，他还长得满可爱呢！ 呱！呱！跟我一块儿来吧！我带你们到广阔的世界去，把那个养鸭场介绍给你们认识。不过，你们得紧跟着我，不要让别人踩到你们；另外还得当心猫儿呢！」