A CHILD'S VIEW OF LOSS
Children experience loss in many different ways and at hugely different levels. He or she may lose a doll, a friend, a home, a parent, innocence, a place at college, respect, ability to do things, health.
The ugly duckling, like many folktales popular with children, dramatises different losses. Loss of parent’s love, of sibling love, loss of respect, loss of self-confidence, self-esteem.
Yes there is a seemingly ‘happy’ ending. He finds that he is not a failure, but a different kind of success.
So that’s okay then, is it? Mum and Dad love him then because? It would be interesting to write a story or poem about the Ugly Duckling reflecting on his life when old. What does he think of his treatment as the misfit, the ‘other’, the runt, the ‘different’ one? Has he ever recovered ‘inside’?
Or the story could be a meeting between the Swan as he is now, and one of his aging, perhaps dying, parents.