Tuesday, April 21, 2009

The Ugly Duckling and the Beautiful Swan

Wow! It's so warm and cosy under Mama's wing

Proud Mama! 12 cute little ducklings in a row!

The above pictures of mother duck and ducklings brought back memories of four people who are etched in my memory.

Ever since I was in Primary Five , I was already on the plump side. I was quite chubby and sometimes people wanted to pinch me on my cheeks.

Hence, when I returned home with a trophy for coming in first for the 50 metres sprint at my
school Sports Day, papa was dumbfounded! "Did my little duckling win this trophy?" papa asked.

Once Mama was angry with me and called me her "ugly duckling". Immediately Papa came to my aid and proudly asserted. "Ugly duckling" or not, she is still my lovely daughter and I love this ugly duckling."

Wow! Those words often rang in my ears during my time of discouragement! They were words that made me feel the love of papa. They were words that gave me comfort and confidence and made me stand tall, albeit my short height and less than pretty looks. They were words that made me feel safe, secure and strong.

Later I participated in the 100 metres x 4 and our team came in first.! Our Physical Education teacher had wanted me to train in the school team, but I did not really enjoy sports as much as I was extremely keen on my studies and enjoyed reading story books. I was a voracious reader and never had enough of reading. Hence a scholar I became, but never a sports woman!

I was once travelling in Great Britain and stayed with a good friend, Karen and her husband, David. Karen is a childhood friend from Penang and she married, David, an Irish gentleman. David is a wonderful husband but he has a very quick temper. It was interesting that during my two weeks' stay with the family, he began to show signs of mellowing towards the end of my stay. I had shared with him how papa had mentioned that a great man is one who can control his lust and temper. A wonderful husband and father, his only weakness was his quick temper.

Once David drove his family and I around the beautiful countryside of England. Suddenly I spotted a mother duck with her brood of eight ducklings swimming on the river. What intrigued me was the only black duckling amongst the other seven white ducklings. It reminded me of the story of the ugly duckling. Hence, I shared with the family how mama often called me the ugly duckling.

Suddenly, David said, "Don't worry Choo. Don't forget the ugly duckling later turned into a beautiful swan!

"But the problem is that this ugly duckling still remains plain and has never grown into a beautiful swan", I retorted.

"But to me, she is a beautiful swan, and if I were a bachelor, I would want to marry this beautiful swan!" said David.

Karen nodded her head and said, "Choo, to the world you and I may be ugly ducklings, but to the people who love us, we are both beautiful swans!" What a unique way of looking at things. How true that when we love someone, we minimise his faults, and maximise his traits. Beauty indeed lies in the eyes of the beholder!

Wouldn't it be lovely if you and I try to minimise the faults and maximise the traits of people around us, so that the ugly duckling may be made to feel like a beautiful swan?

No comments: