Andersen Fairy Tales, Andersen-Hans Christian

The Portuguese Duck

The Portuguese DuckThe Portuguese Duck

On a farm there were some ducks, and a couple of them were from Portugal, or Spain, but nobody really paid that close attention. They called the ducks Portuguese ducks. One of the ducklings lived and now lived on the farm. She thought a lot of herself.

One day a songbird fell out of the tree. The duck thought to help it out. She gave it a bath, which the songbird didn’t really need, but was thankful for anyway. The songbird soon got an earful about the duck. She thought she was so great. She talked about Portugal all the time. The domestic birds made fun of her.

The duck did shelter the songbird a little, but not very well. The bird had a hard time sleeping. It was told to be quiet when it sang. It tried to be nice to the duck. It gathered up corn for her, but she told it to go and give the corn to someone else. The Chinese chickens admired the Portuguese duck and also talked to the songbird.

The duck soon lost her patience and pecked the songbird on the head and it died. The duck blamed it on someone else and immediately all the birds began mourning the little songbird’s passing, but they were soon hungry and said that if one of their toys broke there would soon be another.


I would say that some people might be a little irritated if you said that Portugal and Spain were practically the same thing. They’re countries right next to each other, but they speak different languages. This means that they have strong national identities. If they didn’t have that strong sense of nation, they would speak the same language and have all the same customs. Portugal and Spain are not the same thing Hans.


These birds are all awful. They’re all full of themselves without any regard to anyone else. They want to appear educated and as if they’re helping one another out, but really, they’re only concerned about their own appearance. They are concerned about their own amusement and if someone troubles them, it’s better if that someone is not around.

I know a few people like this.

You can’t do anything about it. It’s best just not to be around those people. This poor songbird had no choice because he had fallen and broken his wing. He tried to make the best of a bad situation but ultimately he was murdered. He should have run as far as his little feet would have taken him.


I would say don’t be this duck, but the duck is never going to realize it’s wrong in any way. Don’t be around the duck.

Weigh In

Do you think the duck would have had more care for her own ducklings?

Do you imagine the wild birds had anymore sense than the domestic birds?


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