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  • Took him a while -- lots of flapping wings, splashing, the swak swak swak of feathers beating water, tremendous honking (watch me watch me watch me!).

    But he finally got airborne, rising so slowly into the sky that it seemed he'd fall back to earth. Big-bellied, he glided, but awkwardly, trying to balance his goose weight in the blue sky, so different from the caress of the pond.

    Then, suddenly, he got it! His wings stopped rocking against the updrafts, his belly stabilized him, and he flew away, huge but graceful.

    No longer the awkward duckling.
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