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The Ugly Ducklings

The Ugly Ducklings

Daily Prompt: Flip Flop
Photographers, artists, poets: show us TRANSITION.

The story of The Ugly Duckling (a young swan) by Hans Christian Andersen is well-known and loved across the world. Today I went to see how the beautiful cygnets on the Basingstoke Canal in West Byfleet are getting on.

This literary fairy tale is often seen as being a metaphor for personal transformation, in particular the transition from childhood through to adolescence and into adulthood.

This was a story that I very much took to heart as a child as I was badly bullied at school. I was, in some respects, the opposite to the Ugly Duckling being too short and rather sickly.

The story succeeded in helping me to believe that I would eventually transition into that beautiful swan and would find my place in the world.

It’s only when you reach adulthood you realise that the true moral of the story is, perhaps, that this youngster was always beautiful! Maybe I was always beautiful too.

I look at these gorgeous little bundles of silvery down and wonder how anyone could possibly refer to one as being ugly. I have to wonder what it really is that drives one child to bully another, with either name calling or violence.

Times of change, transition can be very hard. Being different, though, is actually completely normal!

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Vainglorious Cob

Vainglorious Cob

The Mute Swans on the canal are full of pomp at the moment. Hopefully the pair I watched today will be preparing their nest soon!

They would normally breed and lay their eggs sometime between March and May.

I shall keep an eye on them over the next few months and see if they do manage to raise a clutch. It would be quite lovely to photograph the whole family growing up.

Although the cob here was very puffed up and showing off he wasn’t in any way aggressive, so perhaps he’ll let me close enough to get some nice images of the cygnets.