© 2014 Lynsey

You’re not a swan

You know, sometimes the ugly duckling grows up to be … a duck.

I was raised on the Hans Christian Andersen stories. My uncle’s name was Chris (Andersen) and for a while there I guess we kids wanted to believe that our family and H.C. Andersen were related. Alas, no. Turns out Andersen is Danish for Smith.

The romantic impression is that H.C. Andersen wrote the Ugly Duckling story as a reflection of his own dowdy early years, and later he’d achieved success and fame as an author. It’s a story of dreams coming true, of metamorphosis, of becoming one’s true self over time. It’s a lovely story.

The part that Andersen doesn’t elaborate on is how he laboured away at his writing, honing his story telling arts. The ugly duckling does nothing in terms of making change, he is simply transformed over time to be the beautiful swan he always was.

They’re not called ‘fairy tales’ for nothing.

The world goes around on the efforts of ugly ducklings who grow up to be just ducks who get on with doing what it takes. The average, invisible people who turn up and get on with the job, and get it done with the minimum of fuss. Never going to be celebrated or famous, beautiful, or successful in the current shallow models of success. But they are beautiful in themselves, and they take pride in what they do. What they do is important and valuable. Hooray for the ducks, I say. Let the beautiful ones swan off.


08. Every day choose to bring about change.
13. Every day be better than you were the day before.
27. Every day pain is a sign of growing.