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One day on a Canadian lake, a cob (male swan) and a pen (female swan) are saved by a boy named Sam from a fox. Sam is allowed to watch the swans' cygnets (baby swans) hatch, and it is discovered that one of them is mute. Instead of chirping to greet him, the mute cygnet pulls Sam's shoelace. Awww. Thus begins an Odd Friendship between swan and boy.

The story focuses on the swan, named Louis, and his efforts to overcome his handicap. Sam takes Louis to school so the bird can learn to read and write, and Louis's father steals a brass trumpet to give his son a voice. Louis feels guilty about the theft, so at Sam's suggestion he takes several jobs across America to pay for the trumpet. Adventures are had by all.

If you can get past the Fridge Logic, it's Better Than It Sounds.

There is an animated film adaptation by the director of The Swan Princess, but it was much criticized for poor character design.

Compare to E.B. White's more famous novel, Charlotte's Web.

Tropes used in The Trumpet of the Swan include:
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