Royal surgeons, swan guards and an ugly duckling…. If you think this story meets your usual fairytale standards… think again. This is not your average re-telling of the Ugly Ducking Story!
Welcome to the Crystal Palace at the Swan Kingdom. The Swan King and Queen have just announced that "the heir of the Kingdom of the Swan has finally, Ladies and Gentleman, arrived". But wait... The nest maid watching the newly laid egg accidentally sneezes and "any idiot knows that it is impossible to sneeze without doing one thing- closing your eyes!" Why, the swan egg has been stolen under the duress of a sneeze! How on earth will they find the egg?
Not to worry, Perilous Possum takes flight from his "eye in the Sky Dragonfly" in pursuit of the missing egg. While he races into oncoming traffic and sees Little Red Riding Hood, who seems to have lost her basket, and Goldilocks fighting crime with the biggest bowl of porridge, there seems to be no chance that Perilous will find the missing egg.
Meanwhile back at the palace, the Swan Queen is quickly deteriorating. Grieving over the loss of her unborn child, the Royal Surgeon fears that she will not live if they cannot find the egg.
While the palace is in utter catastrophe due to the missing egg and Perilous Possum continues the search in an attempt to locate the heir of the kingdom, the local ducks down at the stream are struggling to get through twenty-seven days of "sitting on your round bits" gestating. They too have newly hatched eggs and, in discovery of an unknown sixth egg that hatches, the baby ducks realise that "everyone's family has got to have someone who looks just totally gross and weird and ugly".
With the greatest of effort Ugly tries so hard to fit in with everybody else, but she is ordered by Darius Drake to leave the pond. Ugly does in order to save her family and grows and develops with nobody to help her. She is alone and while learning many lessons by the horrible wolf Jamison, who endeavours to eat her and accidentally breaks one of the three little pigs' houses. Ugly reaches a point of no return as winter settles in. It is while Ugly is sleeping that she freezes into the solid ice that sets in during the cold season. Until…
She is suddenly woken by Goldilocks and the three bears. Mind you, by now Ugly is not ugly! Ugly is now a "beautiful pearlescent swan". Realising this, Goldilocks takes Ugly back to the kingdom, just in time as the Swan King and Queen are about to relinquish the throne to Leaping Lizards on the anniversary of the missing egg. The kingdom has been saved and the Swan King announces to everyone that "today, is now, officially, the very best of times" at Swan Kingdom.
For information and excellent resources on Hans Christian Andersen, visit http://www.andersen.sdu.dk/index_e.html