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The Duck and the Kangaroo by Edward Lear

Said the Duck to the Kangaroo,
‘Good gracious! how you hop!
Over the fields and the water too,
As if you never would stop!
My life is a bore in this nasty pond,
And I long to go out in the world beyond!
I wish I could hop like you!’
Said the Duck to the Kangaroo.

‘Please give me a ride on your back!’
Said the Duck to the Kangaroo.
‘I would sit quite still, and say nothing but “Quack,”
The whole of the long day through!
And we’d go to the Dee, and the Jelly Bo Lee,
Over the land, and over the sea;—
Please take me a ride! O do!’
Said the Duck to the Kangaroo.

Said the Kangaroo to the Duck,
‘This requires some little reflection;
Perhaps on the whole it might bring me luck,
And there seems but one objection,
Which is, if you’ll let me speak so bold,
Your feet are unpleasantly wet and cold,
And would probably give me the roo-
Matiz!’ said the Kangaroo.

Said the Duck, ‘As I sate on the rocks,
I have thought over that completely,
And I bought four pairs of worsted socks
Which fit my web-feet neatly.
And to keep out the cold I’ve bought a cloak,
And every day a cigar I’ll smoke,
All to follow my own dear true
Love of a Kangaroo!’

Said the Kangaroo, ‘I’m ready!
All in the moonlight pale;
But to balance me well, dear Duck, sit steady!
And quite at the end of my tail!’
So away they went with a hop and a bound,
And they hopped the whole world three times round;
And who so happy,—O who,
As the Duck and the Kangaroo?.

Short Summary

The Duck and the Kangaroo were good friends. The Duck wanted to go on a long pleasure trip. She asked the Kangaroo to let her sit on his back. She was feeling bored in her dirty pond. She wished she too could hop like the Kangaroo.

The Kangaroo gladly granted the request. But he put two conditions. Firstly, the Duck would sit at the end of his tail. Secondly, she would sit still. The Duck accepted both the conditions. She further assured his friend that her wet and cold feet would not give him rheumatism, because she had bought four pairs of woollen socks and a gown.

Together they set out happily on a world tour. They were the happiest pair.


The poem describes the conversation of a duck and a kangaroo. The duck asks the kangaroo how he hops over the land and the water. She tells the Kangaroo that her life has become boring in the nasty pond. The duck expresses his desire to go through the world.

She asks the kangaroo to give a ride on his back. She assures him that he will sit quietly for the whole day while riding the kangaroo. She says that they will go to Dee and Jelly Bo Lee walking over the land and the sea.

Then the kangaroo tells the duck that it will bring him some luck. But he says that he has one objection in it. The wet and cold feet of the duck might give him roomatiz.

At this the duck says that she will wear worsted socks in his feet and wear a cloak to avoid cold. She further says that he will smoke a cigar also to fight with cold.

Then the kangaroo says that he is ready to give the duck a ride. The kangaroo requests the duck to sit at the end of his tail to maintain his balance. After that they hopped round the world three times. The duck and the kangaroo felt very happy after that.

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