the ugly duckling

so, in a #world before #smart, there was this #swan who gave birth and #completely didn’t #notice. in that same #world, there was a #duck, curiously enough, giving birth in the same lake at the same time. can you #imagine the noise that was to be heard that morning with the honking and quacking and the father birds trying desperately not to get seen edging away in search of television sets and motoring magazines? i assure you, there were feathers to be seen flying and water churned to near boiling #point. that being said, six ##ducklings and seven #signets entered the #world that day, almost as wet and sticky as the day they were conceived. this, of course, being a #world before #smart, is a #world without counting. we shall ignore those numbers in exactly the same manner as their mothers.

in all the commotion, there was not for an instant #noticed that a large alsatian had been watching from the #sidelines and decided that, yes, indeed, as he was a dog and #signets are slightly tastier than chocolate truffles, the smallest of them would be second breakfast. he was not expecting all of the pecking, however, and as he scooped up signet seven (not, at this particular #point in time the name of a pop rock band but that is not to say such a thing will never occur or has not yet occurred and been forgotten, which, in the #world of pop rock, is far more likely a thing), confusion erupted. rufus (as all dogs cannot possibly be called pluto or things would become rather confusing for dwarf planets and canines alike) ran in the direction of the newly-minted ##ducklings and, when tail happened to become the target of succinct biting of a truly unpleasing and asexual nature, dropped seven after six — the sixth offspring of the aforementioned #duck, that is, leaving fur and a minimal trail of blood in his wake, exiting the scene without even concerning himself with which #side of the stage he was on, #completely devoid of being chased by a bear.

speaking of stages, this one is now set for a very curious dispute regarding some interspecies #mating as the basis for a pair of brutal divorces. #smart, however, is required for paternity testing, much as it is required for basic counting skills and, as the latter is absent, the former must sadly be so and no cock-fights ensued.

#signets are #ugly. not in the “just have another beer” way of bar #mating on a college campus but in a truly hideous and sticky-feathered way that ##ducklings, often seen as the true definition of cute before kittens replaced them in the internet era, must be. ##swans are beautiful. beauty takes time. sometimes it takes time, two showers, a haircut, and a table of makeup. but in this case, it #simply takes time. time was not on seven’s #side. training was to begin at once. training being a codeword for sibling rivalry in a drowning-friendly environment.

of course, we can guess what happens to #poor seven. being the #ugly one of the lot, she is decidedly not her mother’s favorite. she is delighted with her ability to have slid the other six bundles of feathered cuteness from in#side her, well, herself, shall we say? the #family embarks on a series of learning exercises on how not to be a fucked up #duck, otherwise known as “go #duck yourself in five easy steps”.

swimming, diving, quacking, splashing, flying. of course, these are somewhat difficult for #poor seven, as you can #imagine. sadly, in this age of #poor self esteem for young girls, seven was branded a #duck-up, silently unwilling to wiggle while swimming and diving, quack in any form, splash as it hurt her wings in ways that her surrogate #family could not #imagine, and, well, i shall leave it to your imagination what happens when an underdeveloped signet attempts to fly. you would best #imagine a nosedive into the silt at the bottom of the #pond followed by vicious sibling laughter. but, as i said, i would leave it to you to decide.

this, of course, went on for a #completely indeterminate period of time (watches and clocks and other time-keeping devices, including mobile phones and car stereos, require not being in a #world before #smart).

it did happen to occur one day in that #pond, however, in the early adolescence of the thoroughly undermedicated and depressive seven that she stumbled upon a visiting young #swan from the #pond on the other #side of the forest. this was fortuitous. heidi, as that #swan can henceforth be known and, to the best of my knowledge, her actual name, given that it was stamped on a tag attached to her foot for no apparent reason, arrived and it was, as may be seen by any who bother to look, love at first honk. fortuitous, i say, as it is not customary for ##swans to pay visits to #duckling-infested waters and even less customary for ##swans to be slightly less straight than an italian country road. heidi, however, did and was.

being rather a bird and not in any way as anthropomorphic as the aforementioned tale would have you believe, heidi wasted no time in contemplation, questions of closets, coming out thereof, dates, asking out thereon, and asking permission of any sort. she #simply swam up to seven and began to make out with her, displaying a desire reminiscent of animals. wait, they are animals. scratch that. she demonstrated a perfectly natural desire both to kiss her target #swan and to silence the honking that is only possible when the bill is not covered by another. this is why #mating season among water birds is a blessing and a curse, one may say.

seven questioned many things at that moment, not the least of which was how she had managed to swim on a reflective surface and not #notice that she was not a #duck. she was, however, unable from that #point capable of thinking of herself as an #ugly #duck. #ugly #swan, perhaps, although it is difficult to tell as she was almost certainly indistinguishable from other ##swans in any but the most pedantic of manners.

to make a longer story short, seven gave up on finding her #family before that thought even entered her mind and followed heidi back to her #pond, leaving her adopted #duck siblings to mourn her absence, which they didn’t, as they #simply did not #notice that she had ever been there. newly implanted into her new #pond, depression ceased, kissing abounded, and the only thing missing from her life was some #signets of her own. that, however, does not appear to be all that much of a loss, given the genetic predisposition she would have toward losing children and the fun that could not help but be intra-gender #swan intercourse. it is, however, from my perspective, in closing, always nice to see it when the #duck-ups of our youth do not take away from the pleasures of our futures.

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