Because all the villagers have the same funny, sloping noses, and the people in general are typical playful Weinhaus look-alikes, Samson Svenson's alleged homeliness has to be taken on faith, and so does Kristin Karversdatter's supposedly unfeminine bulk. It's an endearing tale, though, and brightly told. Samson finds a duck egg, which hatches before he can cook it. The duck, taking Samson for its mother, perches on his shoulder, snuggles in his beard, and altogether gives him a love he's had before only from his mother. But it's Kristin Karversdatter, scattering corn, who gives the duck, little Catrail, ""a proper meal."" Next, she brings ""some leftover corn bread from last night's supper,"" and Samson, sampling it, is impressed. Then Little Cattail disappears, Kristin finds him (in the pond), and Samson notices her rosy cheeks--just as she's noticing his ""extraordinary blue eyes."" And so, inevitably, Cattail brings the two unmarriageables together. ""Most little ducks were lucky to have one wonderful Mother. Cattail now had two of them! And throughout his long and happy life, there was a warm, buttery corn bread every morning, just for him."" Gentle, kindly humor and snug, buttery love.