An Ugly Duckling 醜小鴨

Scan10004I was that ugly child that even her mother couldn’t love.

Some years ago I read Knowledge of Angels by Jill Paton Walsh.  In it there was a passage about a girl who didn’t know that her looks were plain until her mother died.   A mother who always made her feel special and precious and yes, beautiful.  When I read that, I cried.

I didn’t know that I was not that ugly until I saw my reflection on the side panel of a well polished car.  I remember the moment: a day girl’s parents were picking me up from boarding school to spend a weekend with them.  As I approached their car my eyes were drawn to the image of a face with a lovely smile.  With a shock I realised that the face was mine and like a lightning it hit me: I’m not that ugly!

Yes, my complexion is dark, my forehead is too high, my nose is crooked, my hair is coarse and my eyes are crossed as my mother had pointed out to the skinny, strong willed child with a tongue that was too sharp to be becoming!  Yet, others had chosen to appreciate other qualities in me.  Why couldn’t she?

About Mary Tang

An urban orchardist everyday, a volunteer regularly, a poet sometimes and a blogger since March 2015. I travel when I can. Food is a constant.
This entry was posted in Memoir and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

13 Responses to An Ugly Duckling 醜小鴨

  1. gaiainaction says:

    Some little children have a difficult time of it, the only good side to that is that they will develop coping skills which will stand to them all their life long. Well this is only a little observation of mine.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. lynettedavis says:

    There’s nothing like that moment you discover the truth.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. taphian says:

    From my own experience I can tell you that there are some mothers who tell their daughters that they are ugly. Mine, too. I have not yet found out why they do it. Maybe they are jealous of our youth, maybe they hate themselves as a woman, I don’t know. But I know that this is something really mean that gave me a deep feeling of inferiority.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. mattb325 says:

    As trite as it sounds, I really only think that ugliness is on the inside. I always find it strange that any parent could make their own child feel less than loved :-(

    Liked by 1 person

  5. It’s never the child’s fault, yet she will always think it is

    Liked by 2 people

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