“There are some people who live in a dream world, and there are some who face reality; and then there are those who turn one into the other.” – Douglas H. Everett

They say you can tell a lot about a person by discovering their favorite childhood fairy tale.

One of my all-time favorite stories was “The Ugly Duckling.”  What does that tell you about me?

I didn’t fit in much as a kid, and I still often feel like I don’t fit in.

As I watch the classic Disney cartoon, I can’t help but notice the Ugly Duckling has four “normal” siblings — as I do.  One more thing we have in common.

The Ugly Duckling — 1939 Oscar Winner

In the end, The Ugly Duckling finds his real family and learns that he is not an “ugly duckling” at all but rather a “beautiful swan.”  I’m still working on realizing this in a consistent and meaningful way in my own life.

Maybe when you see a swan you see a big, beautiful white bird floating on a pond.  When I see a swan I see a magical creature who brings hope of dreams fulfilled.  That’s one way God speaks to me — through the metaphors of animal totems.

swan totem

“In your dark night you may learn a secret hidden from modern people generally: the truth of things can only be expressed aesthetically – in story, picture, film, dance, music. Only when ideas are poetic do they reach the depths and express the reality.” — Thomas Moore, Ph.D.

I’m struggling through some challenging stuff right now in the duck yard of life.  Swan medicine helps keep me focused on my dreams instead of getting caught up in the day-to-day mud fights and pecking.


But calm, white calm, was born into a swan.”

– Elizabeth Coatsworth


(Animal Speak by Ted Andrews)


My photo, Dreamer, was shot in Monticello, MN where hundreds of migrating trumpeter swans appear annually from mid-December through the end of February.    


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70 Responses to “dreamer”

  1. Clarence

    And what if I have no favorite childhood story?

    “Ugly Duckling” makes me wonder if it’s really about inner beauty, because the appearance is salient, but rather finding a place where how I look and how I am is okay to the birds around me. And what happens when I don’t find the flock?



  2. Linda

    Hi, Clarence! ~

    Personally, I never associated The Ugly Duckling with “inner beauty” but rather with finding the TRUE ME!

    I think of Beauty and the Beast as the fairy tale associated with “inner beauty.” Also, there’s a Native American version of Cinderella that I love called “The Rough-Face Girl” http://www.amazon.com/Rough-Face-Girl-Rafe-Martin/dp/0698116267 about “inner beauty”! Great stories with a little different emphasis.

    “What happens when I don’t find the flock?” is a great question and I’m not sure I know the answer YET …

    The artwork you linked is lovely! Thank you!!


  3. Jamie

    At first I thought about the Ugly Duckling to Swan as inner beauty, but the more I learned about it’s author, Hans Christian Andersen, the more I realized the transformation was real and could shine on the outside as well. I also began seeing a set of “magical” traits that ugly ducklings carried because of the unique things that happened to them as children and young adults. To Clarence who wrote above “What if I don’t find the flock?” I will tell you that I searched for years looking for my Swans. But I did stay in an unusual town called Lily Dale (NY) where Swans are a totem and where they were found even on the hotel’s wallpaper. If ever there were Swans in one place, it was there (so I visit often). Nevertheless, I think most of them are still “out there” somewhere, waiting to be found. Remember that before you can find them, they have to know you are looking. (I’m looking.)


  4. Dangerous Linda

    Hi, Jamie! ~

    Intrigued by your reference to Lily Dale and I will look into a visit there, next time I head east — sounds sort of magical!

    I’m happy that we connected as we obviously have lots in common

    Thank you for visiting and sharing, both here and on FB! XO


  5. Lisa Brandel

    The ugly duckling was one of my fave child stories when I was growing up. It symbolized to me, being an outsider and the discovery of the real person, the search for people like me…it took some time and doing but I feel very swan like now. Beautiful post my dear! <3


  6. leah

    I’ve always loved the story of the ugly duckling. To me it’s a story of hope and self-discovery. And yes, of finding my flock. These days I call it finding my tribe. Coming from a broken home I learned early on that family can be flawed and how easy it is to take on the flaws of family as my own identity.

    I began searching for my tribe when I was around nine, and since then my tribe has grown to include many amazing people. These people have shown me a better way and helped me to see the swan’s imaged reflected back when I look in the mirror.
    This is a beautiful post Linda, and you my dear lady are a beautiful swan.


  7. Dangerous Linda

    Hi, Lisa! ~

    You seem very swan-like to me, too.

    I wrote this post last year at this time. Today I couldn’t find my voice, and this post from the past resonated with my current feelings so I re-posted it. Felt kind of like a cop-out.

    Now, reading comments from you and Leah, I realize how powerful this input from other swans is for my life right now. So, the timing of the post is more perfect than I could have known.

    What a wonderful gift — Thank you for all that you are! XOXO


  8. jim

    Linda I am always made to think when I visit your site.. I am guessing many of us feel like the ugly duckling when were young. It takes finding someone who tells says you are a swan to change that feeling!!


  9. Martha Orlando

    I loved this story as a child. I always felt so sorry for the little “ugly” duckling, hated that he was picked on and ostracized. It was always a relief when he turns out to be the most beautiful bird of all . . .
    And, the swan totem definitely fits you, Linda – a beautiful lady, inside and out!
    Thanks for this marvelous post!


  10. jan

    I always had a “thing” for Rudolf and the Misfit toys, Rudolf was chastised because he had a special talent, different from the other reindeer, the toys were rejected because the were broken or damaged in some way. I identified truly with this although they had to find a group of “people” like themselves before they could look at themselves differently, they did it and realized their value individually. Isn’t that what support groups are about, finding people we have things in common with then healing from there?

    The ‘Ugly Duckling” resonates with me as well, but Rudolf is the one that got me. I agree you are a beautiful swan. Your photo is absolutely gorgeous. I hope your challenges are all met and defeated as I know you will manage with dignity and love.


  11. Dangerous Linda

    Hi, Leah! ~

    Flock. Tribe. Community. I’ve been thinking a lot about this lately!

    After experiencing recent upheaval within a couple of my own important communities, I’m asking myself, again, how to strike a balance between expressing my individuality and getting along, fitting in with a group. Even a group of ‘rugged individualists’ seems to expect a certain amount of conformity from it’s members, which is ironic — haha!

    Thank you for your kind and nurturing words. XOXOX


  12. Luchi Smiles

    All I can remember is watching Tom and Jerry over and over again, I just loved it, can’t count how many times I watched it as a child, a million times maybe. I guess that’s why I was that very quiet girl who does a lot of mischief in the house

    The story of the “ugly swan” shows that, even when you look in the mirrow and see yourself as the beautiful swan, not finding your family or not having a family makes you an unhappy swan.


  13. Debra

    As many fairy tales are, The Ugly Duckling is filled with spiritual reality. I wrote my own story called “Rooting for the Ugly Ducklings,” which I may share in a near-future blog post.
    The fact that this was your favorite childhood fairy tale says that you learned empathy and kindness, that you are able to identify with those who have never fit in or found their place in this world. I recall that you also shared with me a video link of the island of misfits. Remember? Linda, you are such an inspiration; and thank you for being my friend. What a rare jewel you are!


  14. Dangerous Linda

    Hi, Jim! ~

    I hope people are nudged to think in my midst, please tell me it was fun, too???

    What you say is true: “…many of us feel like the ugly duckling when were young. It takes finding someone who says you are a swan to change that feeling!!”

    I would add that it takes a SWAN to tell someone they are a SWAN to change that feeling…

    Finally, I have some of that in my life, between my sweetheart and good friends. But, the ducklings still distract me with their racket sometimes — working on how to deal with that in a healthy way.

    Thank you for visiting and sharing your supportive comments! XO


  15. Jessica

    Wow..great post. I used to always love the story of The Ugly Duckling too…I can definitely relate to that one. An inspiring tale! Loved the quotes.


  16. rimly

    OMG when I read “The Ugly Duckling” my heart skipped a beat. I have always identified with the ugly duckling. I remember when I was a kid, one of the girls called me the ugly duckling. I came home crying and I remember my cousin brother was there and he consoled me saying ” You are my duckling and one day you will turn into a swan”. I have felt like a misfit all my life and felt ugly for so many years. But today I feel that I have become somewhat of a swan, someone who is compassionate and sensitive towards others and accepting of other’s flaws. So I guess the swan is definitely my totem animal. Thank you for sharing this my friend.



  17. Dangerous Linda

    Dear Martha,

    Your description of your fondness for tale of The Ugly Duckling is sweet, and yet I think I can tell that it didn’t resonate with you on a personal level. In other words, you didn’t see yourself as the ugly duckling, like many of us did…

    I’m really curious to know what YOUR favorite fairy tale was? Care to share? Pretty please???

    Thank you for all that you are! Xoxox


  18. melissa

    I thought fairytales were only for children but I never outgrew them. A favorite Filipino journalist gave them a whole new meaning and from that time on, I was made to think deeply of them. I could resonate very well with the story. My SD would often say, “Sing… sing out your whole life”… That way, I could feel everything in it and change some sad melodies into beautiful chords… the duckling into a swan… This is the stuff we’re really made of.

    Dream on ~ you’re so capable of making them into a reality

    P.S. it’s the real me


  19. Savira

    The Ugly Duckling or vice of our inner wisdom… lives in each one of us in some form or the other ( well that is what I think)… we do emerge in the end brighter…stronger…wiser… etc. Trusting that when do find ourself it is not the physical attributes but more the internal traits that shine through…
    Yet at the same time that ‘ugly duckling’/teacher within syndrome does not vanish… it is always encouraging us to seek deeper.


  20. Janaki Nagaraj

    When young, I loved fairy tales…not just one, but liked them all. The good vs evil sort of a thing. I liked love stories then as I do now. I am more of a dreamer. I do like the story of Ugly Duckling and at some point of time associated with it as I was not good looking.
    To be very frank I never look at these tales from the spiritual/reflective point of view.


  21. Dangerous Linda

    hi, jan! ~

    i L-O-V-E-D the island of misfit toys and i wanted to live there! the crazy thing is that many of them were not even broken or weird — they were SPECIAL! like a train with square wheels or a bird who could swim — haha!

    you are right, it’s a similar myth to ‘the ugly duckling’ which resonates with me, too.

    thank you for sharing your wisdom, and for your kind & loving comments! XOXOX


  22. Dangerous Linda

    Hi, Luchi! ~

    Tom & Jerry? I was a little too sensitive to watch them beating each other up — haha!

    I want to ask you what you loved about Tom & Jerry? That cartoon obviously delighted many children, as it did you

    Were you mischievous? That’s why you’re so funny today!!

    Thank you for visiting and sharing yourself and your stories! XOXOX


  23. sulekha

    Beautiful post, brings back memories of my childhood. I loved fairy tales and had so many favorites, though not The Ugly Duckling. I loved the sleeping beauty, Cinderella…but I was a shy kid and always wondered whether I would ever be popular or accepted and in a way felt like the duckling, an outsider, different. But different is good, I know that now Lovely post, got me thinking.


  24. Lynne Watts

    Really an interesting post and I suspect we could learn a lot about ourselves and others if we related our favorite story as a kid… or perhaps with more modern day adults, their favorite movie or cartoon. My favorite was Goldilocks and the Three Bears…. why? because I am ALWAYS trying to make things ‘just right’. I know… I’m trying to get over it and relax about that.

    In any case, I think that you have in so many ways become a beautiful swan: your obvious creative talent in writing and photography, your ability to share your inner struggles and to grow from them, your compassion for others on similar journeys. I think you have embraced the Dr. Seuss quote: “Why fit in when you were made to stand out!?”


  25. Bongo

    The ugly duckling is one of my favorites…..I still don’t feel as if I fit in either..and I certainly don’t feel like a swan….I hope your “duck yard”is calming down or lining up so to speak….As always…XOXOXOXOOXO


  26. Luchi Smiles

    Hi Linda,
    Well, I needed to deal with my two brothers because they gave me a tough time. We were like the Tom and Jerry, I thought myself the clever mouse. Yes, I was mischievous, I made holes in their pants (thank God for our qualified seamstress…Mom, I gave her a lot of work to do :D), I threw one pair of their shoes on top of the roof, I did a lot of things to them I don’t want to mention here.

    I wasn’t the girly type. I played with boys, played with cars and not with dolls, played football, climbed trees, I climbed fences and shelves! I succeeded in pulling both down on different occassions….they fell on me, lucky to come out alive, the scars still remind me of it today. I used my dad’s shaving stick and ended up cutting myself (I still have the scar on my left cheek).
    I broke many glass dishes and my purnishment was me having my own special (plastic) dishes in blue colour
    I can remember spoiling my uncle’s audio cassettes, I didn’t know it was his school project. I believed in tit for tat.
    But hey!, that little girl changed! She is not a bad person today


  27. Andy

    Hello Linda.
    Growing up in the Caribbean, we didn’t watch much TV…we spent most of our playtime outside playing cricket or marbles, but when we were allowed to watch, I liked Tom & Jerry and Popeye.
    Enjoyable read. Thanks for sharing.


  28. Mary Hudak-Colllins

    Linda, I don’t remember having a favorite fairy tale as a child, and what was a favorite I’m not sure would qualify…’Rudolph’? LOL
    The Ugly Duckling represented more than finding the ‘real me’ in the end…it was of acceptance by others, even if you are different then them. I believe the story was two fold in the end. I believe that it is important to find others that have your same interests at heart. But, it is just as important to be accepted by others, even if you aren’t ‘just perfect’. This story reminds me of how my daughter has been cast out by other children because her speech is different. She is so very much the same as they are, they just have a hard time understanding her words. Thank you for posting this. It definitely wasn’t a ‘cop out’ ☺


  29. Dangerous Linda

    Hi, Debra! ~

    It is true that, “…many fairy tales are…filled with spiritual reality…” As are myths, legends and other forms of artwork. I am fascinated by, and passionate about, this concept — specifically the relationship between art, science (reality) and Spirit.

    Did you have a chance to visit the Island of Misfit Toys? They would LOVE you — haha! You could be their ‘mother’, like Wendy and the lost boys…

    Thank you for your kind words and friendship. I appreciate YOU! XOXOX

    PS I’m looking forward to reading “Rooting for the Ugly Ducklings”!


  30. Dangerous Linda

    @Jessica: Thanks for stopping by to say “Hi!” XO


  31. Dangerous Linda

    Hi, Rimly! ~

    Your comment, and others on this thread, have got me thinking…

    Do you think, maybe, artists are more likely to resonate with the story of ‘The Ugly Duckling’? Almost seems obvious now that I think of it — haha!

    Did you happen to watch the Disney video? The part where the beautiful mother swan reaches her wing around the ugly duckling and cuddles him always makes me cry. That’s what I want to do with Baby Girl Rimly! Thank you for all that you are!! XOXO


  32. Clarence

    Flock. Tribe. Oddly, even though I have definitely been the ugly duckling, the story didn’t hit me so strongly. I thought, great for the swan. It’s a swan. What does that have to do with me? I’m not a duck. I’m not a swan. Not even figuratively. Why am I learning this story, along with all the others that ARE NOT ABOUT ME?

    Sort of identify with the bridge analogy, but it’s a bridge that gets walked over, not always engaged.


  33. Patty

    The Ugly Duckling was always one of my favorites as I was growing up! Mostly because I could relate, I was such a nerd and often felt left out. Perhaps it had something to do with my shyness. Well anyway, I feel like a swan now!

    I have missed your totems, will there be more in the near future?


  34. Dangerous Linda

    Hi, The Real Melissa! ~

    One of your greatest qualities, and you have many, is your optimistic childlike outlook. You are like a really cute, deep, smart, child. So, I’m not surprised you still like fairy tales!

    Love this: “Sing… sing out your whole life”… Possibly the BEST advice EVER, right?

    Thank you for stopping by and sharing your wisdom! XOXO


  35. Dangerous Linda

    Hi, Savira! ~

    Deeper, deeper, deeper….

    Always more to learn. I’m happy to be on this learning life path with YOU!

    Thank you! XOXOXO


  36. Jenny Matlock

    I can relate to the Ugly Duckling. Unfortunatley my swan song still has kind of a molting theme going on.



  37. Nelieta

    Red riding hood was my favourite story. I am sure the analysis will be really scary..lol! Great post Linda, you had me thinking for a while


  38. Dangerous Linda

    Hi, Janaki! ~

    It is interesting to me that many of these tales are told all over the world. The aspect of ‘good vs. evil’ which you mention is, of course, a universal theme. The truth is, one needn’t be consciously listening to fairy tales from a ‘spiritual/reflective point of view’ for them to have that impact.

    “Fairy tales are more than true; not because they tell us that dragons exist, but because they tell us that dragons can be beaten.” ― G.K. Chesterton

    Thank you for stopping by and sharing your ideas! XO


  39. Dangerous Linda

    Hi, Sulekha! ~

    My favorite Cinderella is ‘Rogers and Hammerstein’s Cinderella’, did you ever see it? Thank you for reminding me — this scene brought a smile to my face today:


    Different is good, right? Perhaps I will affirm this over and over on my prayer beads today, until I’m convinced XO


  40. Dangerous Linda

    Hi, Lynne! ~

    Love this: “My favorite was Goldilocks and the Three Bears…. why? because I am ALWAYS trying to make things ‘just right’. I know… I’m trying to get over it and relax about that.”

    Great share and insight — I feel like I know you better. And to know you is to love you

    I have printed this for my Vision Board: “You have become a beautiful swan: your obvious creative talent in writing and photography, your ability to share your inner struggles and to grow from them, your compassion for others on similar journeys.”

    Thank you for your kind and nurturing words — such a precious gift! XOXO


  41. Dangerous Linda

    Dear Bonnie, This is for you:

    Swan, by Mary Oliver

    Did you too see it, drifting, all night on the black river?
    Did you see it in the morning, rising into the silvery air,
    and armful of white blossoms,
    a perfect commotion of silk and linen as it leaned
    into the bondage of its wings” a snowbank, a bank of lilies,
    biting the air with its black beak?
    Did you hear it, fluting and whistling
    a shrill dark music, like the rain pelting the trees,
    like a waterfall
    knifing down the black ledges?
    And did you see it, finally, just under the clouds–
    a white cross streaming across the sky, its feet
    like black leaves, its wings like the stretching light of the river?
    And did you feel it, in your heart, how it pertained to everything?
    And have you too finally figured out what beauty is for?
    And have you changed your life?



  42. nikky44

    I have always been Cinderella in my childhood, and I’m still waiting for someone to come and save me


  43. nikky44

    Linda, for some reason, i can’t find how to subscribe to your blog?


  44. Dangerous Linda

    Hi, Andy! ~

    As a child, I spent much of play time outside, too. But, we didn’t play organized sports. I often would spend long days wondering in the woods or spreading a blanket on the ground under a big tree and reading all afternoon. Ahhhh! Paradise!!!

    Although, you didn’t watch T.V., you must have been a reader, right? How else could you become such a passionate and prolific writer???

    Thank you for visiting and spreading the LUV ;-x


  45. Dangerous Linda

    Hi, Mary! ~

    I just came from reading your comment on BP about your ‘too long comments’ — haha! No such thing! Personally, I really appreciate the conversations stimulated by blog posts even more than the posts themselves. Thank you for your authentic and thoughtful participation!

    Like you, I love Rudolph and especially the Island of Misfit Toys. You, your daughter and I would ALL fit in beautifully there, right? But, our task, like Rudolph and his friends, is to find our way in the ‘real world’ not just hide away on a secret island — isn’t that the message Santa gave them?

    Holding you and your daughter in my heart as you go through your process. Believe me when I say that I feel your pain. I also believe that everything turns out exactly the way it must in the end. And it’s all good.

    Thank you for all that you are, and for sharing yourself here in my world ;-x


  46. Portia Burton

    I love swans! I often go to the Richmond park only to see the swans!! Just looking at them have brought some nice poems to me! Dear Linda, I love your articles since they open some windows for me. Thank you.
    -Portia Burton


  47. Dangerous Linda

    Hi, Clarence! ~

    I know you loved stories as a child, because you are a prolific storyteller today. What stories did you love?



  48. Dangerous Linda

    Hi, Patty! ~

    You are definitely a swan! It’s funny that you mention your ‘shyness’ because I vaguely remember that about you from the past, but it’s been so long since I’ve noticed that I’d forgotten! I don’t think it’s just because I know you, either. Mommyhood is bringing out the brass in you

    I’ve just come through a bit of a ‘dark night of the soul’ with my fine art work, trying to figure out what I’m doing and where I’m going next. I’m happy to say that my animal totems will continue to play an integral role in my featured body of work: ‘through the eyes of the magical child’.

    Thank you for visiting and joining the conversation! XOXOX

    PS Now that Spring has sprung must be time for a play date???


  49. Dangerous Linda

    Hi, Jenny, Nelieta & Nikky! ~ Great to see you! Thank you for popping by to say “Hi!” XO

    @Jenny: I can relate to the ‘molting theme’, I think! Me, too! haha! Hang in there, Sister-Girl!

    @Nelieta: I always thought Little Red Riding Hood was a very scary story! And great variety in the tellings, too! Like, did Grandma actually get eaten or not? If she did, was the wolf cut open and she released from his belly? Ewwwww!!!!

    Mr. C and I are hooked on a new T.V show called ‘Once Upon a Time’ and it happens that last week they aired the episode on Little Red Riding Hood with an amazing twist! I loved it! I wonder if you would like it??? http://onceuponatimeabc.net/little-red-riding-hood-spoiler/

    @Nikky: What I’ve discovered about ‘finding my prince’ is that I had to save myself first — good luck

    To ‘follow’ my blog click the appropriate icon under the bold heading ‘FOLLOW ME’ on the upper left of this page, right under the mission statement. Or ‘like’ me at https://www.facebook.com/DangerousLinda


  50. Alejandro

    One cartoon film that comes to mind is Brother Bear,, which one am I? watch it please and tell me as I know which…

    you ugly duckling you! lol



  51. Amy

    Your self-portrait is amazing… so much depth and character!

    I admire your insight…

    I did not have, nor do I have a favorite… it makes me sad. I find the timing of reading this quite unbelievable. I guess maybe I’m at a place where I can process it. I’m kind of at that re-inventing me stage. I think it is time I found my favorite fairy-tale.


  52. Dangerous Linda

    Hi, Portia! ~

    Welcome to my world!

    I’m not surprised the swan is your totem because of their connection to poetry and the Faerie realm

    Very happy surprise to see you here, please come back soon!

    Thank YOU! XO


  53. Dangerous Linda


    the most charming grumpy bear in the room — thank you for stopping by, sir ;-x

    love this video of you and little amelie:


  54. Dangerous Linda

    Hi, Amy! ~

    Interesting that you use the words ‘character’ and ‘depth’ to describe my self-portrait — I appreciate the compliment, and also noticing that those are the words I find myself associating with you lately, too. I’m enjoying getting to know you through our various cyber-communities. Really, really enjoying

    Wondering what your favorite Fairy Tale(s) will be — So EXCITING! I can’t even guess! Here are some of my other faves for your incubating pleasure: ‘Princess and the Pea’, ‘The Emperor’s New Clothes’, ‘Three Billy Goats Gruff’, ‘The Rough-Face Girl’ http://www.amazon.com/Rough-Face-Girl-Rafe-Martin/dp/0698116267

    Also, I wanted to share this quote from Albert Einstein so you can feel confident teaching Fairy Tales to your kids as part of their home-school curriculum (*wink*), “If you want your children to be intelligent, read them fairy tales. If you want them to be more intelligent, read them more fairy tales.”

    Enjoy! Looking forward to updates as you become more and more in touch with the child within you! XOXOX


  55. Amy

    I am really enjoying getting to know you too!

    I’m wondering which one I’ll pick… I really enjoy reading personally and to my kids as well, it did not occur to me until now, but I don’t think I’ve read them very many fairy tales. My youngest daughter love princess stories, so I read Snow White and Cinderella and my oldest loves Velveteen Rabbit. I’m going to go through the kids movie collection and books tomorrow and take count of what we have.

    I watch my kids and see how creative they are and how their imaginations take them places… my youngest loves to play out her imagination, while my oldest loves to put pencil to paper and draw.

    I’m just not sure about me… I am excited about finding out what I want!

    I just used the Albert Einstein quote the other day… it is so very true!


  56. Tameka (@Tamstarz)

    Hmmm, this post makes me want to hug you for some reason. For that matter, I think everyone should have a hug. Even though fairy-tales always have a moral lesson, they make me feel melancholy. I’m sure my childhood had something to do with how I view fairy-tales.

    I do remember the Ugly Duckling and I always got mad when I saw it on TV or read the story. I always root for the underdog and dislike cruelty of any kind. But I think the fairy-tale that I most related to was Thumbelina. I loved it because her name started with a T like mine and she was little. I was always considered the runt of all my friends and I have always been picky about dating! LOL! Good old Thumbelina found her Prince in the end though and she didn’t have to settle. She waited until she found someone she would be happy with.

    Now that I think about it, some did consider Thumbelina to be an ugly duckling of sorts. her small stature was make fun of. As others have said I think we all go through an awkward stage and wonder where we fit in. I’d like to believe that we are all swans in the end. Linda, you definitely are a beautiful swan so whatever is going on now will pass and all will be well.

    Hugs and light to you!


  57. Susan Deborah

    Thanks for this thoughtful post, Linda. In India, though we are exposed to fairy-tales, they were not something that we could relate to because they were very Western and Eurocentric. So, I did not really connect to any fairy-tale. But I have read the story of the ugly duckling and did not even give a second thought to it, then. I guess I was fed with a lot of Biblical stories which left me wondering. I was thinking how a snake could actually talk (The Eden one!) and how water could fill the earth just like that.
    You are quite right in saying that the stories that we identify with have a bearing on our personality. I liked your interpretation of the fairy-tale of ugly duckling. Sometimes I wish that we wouldn’t feed our children with fairy-tales as they cause huge damage (in some cases) to the psyche of children. Some time ago, a certain picture by Alex Norgia was doing the rounds. I am attaching the same with my comment.

    Thanks Linda for the inner probing.

    Joy always,


  58. Dangerous Linda

    Hi, Tameka! ~

    Grateful to accept your cyber-hug!

    Thumbelina was also a favorite Fairy Tale of mine! When I was a little older I loved ‘The Borrowers’ books — did you read those? To this day I’m still mesmerized by the idea of magical spirits and miniature beings!

    As it happens, I’ve been out cavorting with Devas, Faeries and Elves of all sorts these past few days, and I hope to have a little video to show you of my adventures with the little people soon…

    Have fun on your Florida adventure — bring back stories and pictures!!! XO


  59. Dangerous Linda

    Hi, Susan Deborah! ~

    I’m puzzled by your statement: “In India, though we are exposed to fairy-tales, they were not something that we could relate to because they were very Western and Eurocentric.” Perhaps you don’t call them “Fairy Tales” — certainly you have “children’s stories about magical and imaginary beings and lands”, right? That is the definition of a Fairy Tale.

    Perhaps you may recognize one or two of these: http://www.bharatadesam.com/literature/indian_fairy_tales/indian_fairy_tales.php

    From your description of your childhood questions about Bible stories, I’m guessing that you were a very analytical child — haha! I’ve noticed this in you as an adult, too. I have observed your literal interpretation of what I would characterize as innuendo or metaphor… I find this intriguing …

    As a young mother, I had concerns such as those you express about the dangers of sharing Fairy Tales with children. Through research and experience, I’ve come to a different perspective, although I respect your POV.

    The photo attached to your comment made me laugh, uncomfortably — hah!

    Thank you for visiting and sharing your wisdom! XO


  60. Alpana Jaiswal

    Loved it Linda,and The Ugly Duckling has always been a favorite.
    I grew up with fairy tales and always dreamed of a perfect romantic life..nothing worked like that,infact I was told that I live in a fool’s paradise. There is always something very appealing about fairy tales. We all want to believe that Cinderellas can become princesses, and that men can become White Knights, saving damsels in distress.
    I wish something came true.


  61. Manisha Bhatia

    Quite positive thoughts Linda!



  62. Dangerous Linda

    Dear Alpana,

    Your comment reminds me of a t-shirt I used to have with these words printed on it:

    “Sure, I live in my own little world…but, it’s O.K.! Everybody knows me here!”

    When I was a little girl we used to watch cartoons called “Fractured Fairy Tales” which sort of reinvented the stories and made them funny. Like the way they sometimes turn out in real life — haha!

    Fractured Fairy Tales: Sleeping Beauty http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gwibf6t7Scc

    Thank you for visiting and sharing! XOXO


  63. Dangerous Linda

    Hi, Mani! ~

    Thanks for stopping by to say “Hi!” — Please come back soon



  64. Brenda

    I never fit in – ever. During the early years, I’m sure I cried myself to sleep more times than I remember. I wasn’t blonde, or perky, or perfect. I had chocolate colored eyes, read a lot, listened to strange music, and my feet were huge. At some point, I stopped carrying about what people thought and like the swan flew with grace. I remember the story and often wondered if one day I would be beautiful like all the others…and then I realized I was always beautiful. So funny the evolution of a person. I hope you come through whatever is challenging you, Linda.


  65. Susan Deborah


    Glad to have this discourse here. Thanks for the platform. I guess there are many cultural aspects when I say that I did not associate with fairy-tales. Of course, we have several tales in India but they were stories we heard for pleasure and forgot them. Moreover, there was not one character which I could relate to. All the stories had a moral and then bang! they were forgotten. Single characters like Snow White/Cindrella/Ugly duckling and others were not there in the folk tales of India. They were more a collection of characters. And, when the word ‘fairy-tales’ were mentioned, it was only the Western ones; I never thought of any Indian tale while thinking of a fairy-tale. While looking at the pattern of tales in India and the States, I reckon that the tales in India were quite community-based while those in the West focussed on individuals – Snow White, Cindrella and the like. The Western tales also seemed to provide a romantic notion like finding the “right” man, etc. In the Indian tales, the stories generally talked of certain value system to adopt when one lived together as a society.

    “From your description of your childhood questions about Bible stories, I’m guessing that you were a very analytical child — haha! I’ve noticed this in you as an adult, too. I have observed your literal interpretation of what I would characterize as innuendo or metaphor… I find this intriguing …”

    Linda, now I realise about the metaphor part of the Creation story but as a child, I didn’t. The comment that even now (as an adult) I don’t differentiate between metaphors and literal interpretation, leaves me intrigued. I have to observe this in me and please do point out when you come across such instances in me, Linda. I cannot identify this trait by myself

    And, I also would be interested to know of your POV regarding fairy-tales and children.

    Thanks for the time, Linda.

    Joy always,


  66. Irene @ Inspiration From The Little Things

    Hi Linda When I was younger, I did my best to find a group I would fit in, but I never did. I always thought something was wrong with me that I couldn’t seem to fit in anywhere. But I realized that I didn’t really have to. This is me and I don’t have to be like anybody else. I am more able to embrace my individuality now because this is me and I cannot change it. I can only learn to accept it. And I am beautiful just the way I am… we are all beautiful just the way we are.

    Thank you for this beautiful post, Linda! Take care and God bless, beautiful swan!


  67. Kriti

    How very interesting! i didn’t fit either but somehow that didn’t always make me sad : ). I wonder what my totem is!!! Gotta think about it – my favorite fairy tale as a kid, however, was Beauty and the Beast … Could it be I am a beast???


  68. My Inner Chick

    “But calm, white calm, was born into a swan.”

    Oh, I love that sentence.

    Have a nice weekend. X


  69. Galen Pearl

    Thanks for pointing out this post to me. Swans. I remember seeing some at a tulip farm in the Netherlands. They were so beautiful swimming around on the pond. Just like your description of them. What a poignant connection to them in the story you told about your childhood. I never fit in either, and much of my young life, as well as my adult life, was spent trying so hard to belong.


  70. Dangerous Linda

    Hi, Galen! ~

    We have more in common than just the Ozarks, right?

    Thank you for stopping by and sharing a little bit about yourself — I’m enjoying getting to know you through your blog posts and comments! XO


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