Inspirational Words of Wisdom

The New Duckling

There are people who try to be different for the sake of being different. In this poem, "The New Duckling," we see that this little bird wants to be something other than what he really is -- a duck!

Duckling Picture

Doesn't that sound so much like the teenagers of today? They are not content to be who and what they are; they wish to be "utterly other." And then end up being and looking like all the other teenagers who wish to be "different."

The moral of this poem is to just to be you, not someone you believe you should be (or who others think you should be!).

The New Duckling
by Alfred Noyes

"I want to be new," said the duckling.
"O ho!" said the wise old owl,
While the guinea-hen cluttered off chuckling
To tell all the rest of the fowl.

"I should like a more elegant figure,"
That child of a duck went on.
"I should like to grow bigger and bigger,
Until I could swallow a swan.

"I won't be the bond slave of habit,
I won't have these webs on my toes.
I want to run round like a rabbit,
A rabbit as red as a rose.

"I don't want to waddle like mother,
Or quack like my silly old dad.
I want to be utterly other,
And frightfully modern and mad."

"Do you know," said the turkey, "you're quacking!
There's a fox creeping up thro' the rye;
And, if you're not utterly lacking,
You'll make for that duck-pond. Good-bye!"
But the duckling was perky as perky.
"Take care of your stuffing!" he called.
(This was horribly rude to a turkey!)
"But you aren't a real turkey," he bawled.

"You're an Early-Victorian Sparrow!
A fox is more fun than a sheep!
I shall show that my mind is not narrow
And give him my feathers--to keep."

Now the curious end of this fable,
So far as the rest ascertained,
Though they searched from the barn to the stable,
Was that only his feathers remained.

So he wasn't the bond slave of habit,
And he didn't have webs on his toes;
And perhaps he runs round like a rabbit,
A rabbit as red as a rose.

~Alfred Noyes (1880 - 1958)

Noyes was an English poet and author born in the town of Wolverhamton, England.

He attended Exeter College in Oxford in 1898, but failed to earn a degree. Still, he went on to publish his first collection of poetry, "The Loom of Years", in 1902.

During his lifetime he wrote about sixty books, including poetry volumes, novels, and short stories; but he is best known for his collection of ballads found in "The Highwayman" (1906).

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