Only when the day was far advanced and all was still again did the poor duckling dare to get u
p. It waited many hours longer before it looked about, and then hastened away from the fen as fast as it could. It ran over marsh and meadow, but there was such a wind that it could hardly get along.
Towards evening, it reached a broken-down little cottage. The poor creature was so wretched that it could not make up its mind as to which side it would fall, and so remained standing. It then perceived tha
t the door was off one of its hinges and hung so loosely that it could peep into the room through the crack.
Here dwelt an old woman with her cat and her hen. The cat, whom she called Sonny, could s
hoot up his back and purr; he could even throw out sparks, but you had to stroke his fur the wrong way first. The hen had stumpy little legs and was therefore called Chicky-short- legs; it laid good eggs and the old woman loved it as if
it had been her child.
Next morning they perceived the strange duckling and the cat began to purr and the hen to cluck.
"Well I never!" said the old woman, and looked all about
her. But her eyesight was not very good, so she fancied that the duckling was a fat duck which had lost its way. "Why, this is a rare good find!" said she; "now perhaps I can have ducks' eggs too. We
must wait a bit and see."
天将暗的时候，四周终于安静了下来。可是这只可怜的小鸭还是不敢站起来。 他等了好几个钟头，才敢向周遭望一眼。于是他便急忙跑出这块沼泽地，拼命地跑。 向原野上跑，向牧场上跑。这时正好卷起了一阵狂风，让他跑起来更加的困难。
屋子里有一个老太婆，她有一只猫儿和母鸡。 老太婆把这只猫儿叫「宝宝」。他能把背拱得高耸，发出喵喵的叫声来，身上还能摩擦出火花，不过要他这样做，就得倒摸他的毛。 母鸡的腿又短又小，因此她叫她「短腿鸡」。她生下的蛋很好，所以老太婆爱她像自己的亲生孩子一般。
「这是怎么一回事？」老太婆说，并向四周瞧着。 不过她的眼睛有点昏花，所以以为小鸭是一只肥鸭，因迷了路才跑到她这儿来了。 「哦！运气真好！」她说：「现在我可以有鸭蛋了。 希望他不是一只公鸭才好，我们得弄个明白！」