Even when he was an egg, Ollie knew he was different to the other ducklings.
For a start, his egg was slightly bluish whilst their's were pure brilliant white. Even more obvious, was the size. His egg filled the nest pushing his brothers and sisters to the edge of the nest.
Mother Duck loved them all equally, even though Ollie looked different. Where his brothers and sisters were fluffy and brown after they hatched, he was scrawny and white.
Ollie's feet were long and thin like a chicken, his neck was long like a swan, his wings were stubby and he was much, much taller than his brothers and sisters.
"Perhaps you will grow up to be a swan," said Mother Duck.
"Quack," said the other ducks. "That's a fairy tale. Perhaps Ollie is just an ugly duck, eh?"
One day, it was time for the ducks to have their first swimming lesson.
Mother Duck lined them up and took them across the farm and down to the pond.
Ollie kept over taking the other ducklings and had to keep waiting.
"Perhaps," said Mother Duck, kindly, "you will be a moor hen when you grow up."
The ducklings took to the water easily, bobbing around and following Mother Duck. Ollie stood in the deepest part of the pond, with the water barely coming up to his knees.
"He's no swan," said the other ducks on the pond. "He's no moor hen. He's just an ugly duck. Quack."
The ducklings bobbed around eating duck weed, while Ollie waded around and ate the weeds at the side of the pond.
"Perhaps," said Mother Duck, sounding puzzled, "you will grow up to be a heron."
This made the other ducks laugh. "He's no heron," they quacked. "He's no swan and he's no moor hen. He's just an ugly duck."
Ollie was a sad duckling. He climbed out of the water and watched his duckling brothers and sisters bob on the water a little tear rolling down each cheek.
As the months passed, all the ducklings grew. Ollie grew more.
"Perhaps," said Mother Duck, straining her neck to look up at her son, "you will grow up to be an eagle."
The other ducks fell about laughing. "He's no eagle," they quacked loudly. "He's no swan, he's no moor hen and he's no heron. He's just a very tall ugly duck."
Ollie could not take the teasing any more, and just before winter set in he left the nest and hid among the reeds.
Poor Ollie wasn't very good at hiding. Mother Duck was able to see him from anywhere, because he was taller than the reeds, he was taller than the grass, he was taller than hay bales.
"Perhaps," said Mother Duck, "you will grow up to be an albatross."
"Quack quack quack," said the other ducks. "He's no albatross, he's no swan, he's no moor hen, he's no heron and he's definitely no eagle. He is just a very very tall and ugly duck."
The snow came suddenly and covered the world in white.
The pond froze over, and the ducks went skating. Ollie's brothers and sisters were now chubby little ducks, joining in the fun.
Until the snow became too deep and Mother Duck cried: "My ducklings! They are missing!"
Ollie was the only one who could save them. His long, long legs strode through the deep snow and found all of his little brothers and sisters.
When spring came, the ducklings took their first flying lesson. One by one they took off unsteadily. Poor Ollie flapped his stubby wings and tried to follow them, but he was now far too big and his wings were far too little.
Mother Duck looked sadly at her son. "Perhaps," she said, "you have grown into a stork."
The other ducks were about to laugh when one of Ollie's very large feet landed on the biggest duck.
"I know I'm not a stork," he said. "Or a swan, or a goose, or a heron, or an eagle not even an albatross."
"Quack," said the duck being squashed. "What are you then?"
"I'm an ostrich you moron."