Here is part II of the ugly duckling's story:
A few days later, the other ducklings were playing on the farm. They wouldn't let the ugly duckling join in any of the games. For a while, the little duckling sat all alone.
Then he got an idea. "I'll practice my swimming!" he said to himself.
The ugly duckling went to the pond and swam and swam and swam. When he stopped, he was very tired. Then he looked around. The ugly duckling had no idea where he was!
What was that noise? A big hunting dog was right there scouting out the area! The ugly duckling tried to make himself as small as possible. He was so afraid to move that he stayed in the water all night.
When morning came, the ugly duckling was sure the dog had gone away. The baby duck was still lost, and now he was hungry, too. He was also a little bit scared. The duckling knew he needed to do something.
I'll just have to try to find something to eat," said the ugly duckling. He hopped out of the pond and looked around. There was a farm down the road. He waddled closer to take a look. Near the farmhouse he saw a woman. "Peep," said the duckling.
The woman said, "You look hungry. Come get something to eat." When they got inside the house, the ugly duckling saw a cat and a pet hen. The cat and hen stared right at the ugly duckling. The duckling stared at the floor.
The duckling couldn't lay eggs like the hen or purr like the cat. They picked on him because he was different. After a few days, the duckling remembered how much he liked to be in the fresh air and how much he missed swimming in the water. One night he quietly left the house.
The duckling waddled farther down the road and soon found a lake where other wild ducks lived. In this lake the duckling could dive to the bottom and pop back up again to float.
All the swimming helped him to grow bigger and stronger. Still, none of the wild ducks who lived there would even talk to him because they thought he was too ugly.
Soon the seasons changed. It was fall now. The leaves turned colors, and the air got cooler. The duckling found that the water was getting colder, too.
One evening, just at sunset, a flock of beautiful birds flew overhead. Their feathers were shiny white, and they had long, graceful necks. The birds were flying south to find a warmer place to live for the winter.
The ugly duckling stretched his neck as far as he could to look at the beautiful birds. He felt sad as he watched them. Soon he was shivering, and he felt very lonely.
Discover this story's conclusion on the next page.
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