The Duck and The Kangaroo

The Duck and The Kangaroo by Edward Lear is a nonsensical poem. This poem does not make much sense but offers a wonderful opportunity of reading the language in poetry. This is a conversation between a fantastic duck and a friendly kangaroo. The Duck is asking the Kangaroo to give her a ride on his back. The Kangaroo is prepared but he needs some reflections. The Duck genuinely tells him everything, and then they take a trip around the world three times. Here is the complete summary of the poem “The Duck and The Kangaroo”:

This poem begins with a dialogue between the duck and the kangaroo. The duck is admiring the kangaroo for the way it hops. The duck is bored by her life in the pond. The duck then requests the kangaroo to give her a ride on his back. The duck also promised that nothing could be said except “Quack.” The duck wanted to see the whole world.

The kangaroo reflects on what the duck said and hopes it might bring him some luck. He had one objection, however. The kangaroo thought that the wet and cold feet of the duck could cause the kangaroo some trouble. It was likely for him to get unwell because of it.

The duck provides a simple solution to the issue posed by the kangaroo. The duck told him she had already purchased four pairs of socks and a cloak to keep the cold away. The duck also said that she would smoke a cigar everyday to keep herself warm. Hearing this, the kangaroo agrees with the idea of the duck and both of them rejoice. The kangaroo asked the duck to sit and balance him properly in a steady way. And then they went around to see the world in absolute happiness.

Questions and Answers

Short Answer Type Questions

Q. Why was the Duck fascinated by the Kangaroo’s hopping?

Ans. The Duck was fascinated by the hopping kangaroo because she couldn’t jump herself. She had to lead a dull life swimming in a nasty pond, so she praised the constant hopping of the Kangaroo over fields and bodies of water.

Q. Why did the Duck call the pond ‘nasty’?

Ans. The pond was called ‘nasty’ by the Duck because it was neither fascinating nor enjoyable. It made the life of the Duck boring, monotonous and devoid of excitement. The Duck did not like the pond because its life was confined by it.

Q. Where was the Duck’s home and what was her deep desire?

Ans. The home of The Duck was the ‘nasty’ pond that she considered dull and restrictive. She had a strong desire to explore the wide world beyond her restrictive and monotonous pond.

4. What did the Duck promise the Kangaroo and why?

Ans. The Duck promised the Kangaroo that if he took her around for a ride, she would fully cooperate with him. She would sit on his back very steadily and gently so that he would neither be disturbed nor lose his balance.

Q. What did the Duck wish to do after leaving her pond? What places did she wish to visit in particular? Was her wish fulfilled?

Ans. The Duck wished to explore the whole world. She wanted to go all over the land and the sea. She particularly wanted to visit the ‘Dee’ and ‘Jelly Bo Lee’. Her desire was finally fulfilled when the Kangaroo took her around the world three times.

6. What traits of the Duck’s character does the following line reveal?

Ans. I would sit quite still, and say nothing but ‘Quack’. This line demonstrates that the Duck is a very cooperative and thoughtful creature. She knows that if she were to make a noise or keep going, it will annoy and distract the Kangaroo. Therefore, she readily agrees to comply by being still and silent.

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Q. Who is the poet of the poem The Duck and the Kangaroo?
Ans. Edward Lear is the poet of the poem The Duck and the Kangaroo

Q. What is the main theme of the poem The Duck and the Kangaroo?
Ans. The poem “The Duck and the Kangaroo” is a non-sensical poem. But reading between the lines reveals that it simply deals with the sense of passion for adventure. Adventure makes life worth living and adds colour and joy to it.

The poem also deals with the theme of friendship. Friends who help others not only spread joy and happiness, but they also find happiness on their own. The duck is fascinated by the ability of the kangaroo to hop from one position to another. The duck is seen to have a very optimistic and appreciative character in the poem.

Rather than being jealous of Kangaroo’s talents, the duck compliments him and is eager to seek his help so that she can enjoy the world. The Kangaroo, too, is humble enough to be able to support the duck and give him a taste of the world outside the pond.

Q. How does the Duck describe his own life?
Ans. The Duck describes that her own life in the pond is dull and boring and she wants to explore the entire world. She could make her dream come true if she could jump like the Kangaroo. The Duck is asking the Kangaroo for a ride on the back of the Kangaroo. The Duck says that she would sit still and silent and just quack all day.

Q. What are the poetic devices used in the poem The Duck and the Kangaroo?
Ans. Edward Lear makes use of several literary devices in ‘The Duck and the Kangaroo’. Some of them include personification, repetition, alliteration, inversion, and enjambment from The duck and the kangaroo

Examples from the poem :
Personification: the duck and the kangaroo are given person-like qualities.
Repetition: the line ‘Said the Duck to the Kangaroo’ is repeated.
Alliteration: ‘Good gracious’, etc.
Inversion: ‘As if you never would stop’.
Enjambment: It happens when the line is cut off before the natural stopping point. Enjambment pushes the reader down to the next line, and quickly the next. One must step forward in order to comfortably resolve a phrase or sentence. For example, a transition between lines 3 and 4 of the fourth stanza.

Q. What is the connection between duck and kangaroo?
Ans.The duck and the kangaroo share the bond of care, affection and understanding with each other. They both clearly understand each other’s problems. They talk boldly with each other, and they don’t mind each other’s words like the duck didn’t mind when the kangaroo pointed at the duck’s wet feet.

Q. What is dee and Jelly Bo Lee?
Ans. The dee and the jelly bo Lee from Edward Lear’s poem The Duck and the Kangaroo are fictional places without any relation to the real world. They are more like Australian slang. The duck is asserted that they will go to the Dee and the jelly bo lee.

Q. Who Cannot hop in the poem?
Ans. The duck can not hop in the poem.

Q. Why did the duck get bored in life?
Ans. The duck got bored because her life was confined to pond. She knew that the world was vast. She wished to explore the whole world So she requested kangaroo if he could help him to do so.

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Q. How did the kangaroo respond to her proposal?
Ans. The Kangaroo said he would have to think about this request. First, he raised an objection and then agreed to her request. He thought it might bring him some good luck.

Q. Why was the duck not happy with her life?
Ans. The duck wished to explore the entire world. She was unhappy because she had lived a limited and confined life in the pond. She knew there was a world beyond her pond. As soon as she saw a kangaroo hop near the pond, she asked him to take a ride. Interestingly enough, the kangaroo decided to grant the wish of the duck.

Q. What was kangaroo afraid of?
Ans. Kangaroo was afraid of the cold wet feet of duck and the sounds made by duck. He asked duck to be quiet during the ride.

Q. What was the duck’s wish?
Ans. As the Duck felt bored in the pond, she decided to see the world beyond. This encouraged her to ask the Kangaroo to let her ride on her back with a promise to sit still and silent on her tail end.

Q. Why does the duck praise kangaroo?

Ans. The duck praises the kangaroo for taking a ride on his back. Another explanation was that the Duck was tired of confining himself to the nasty pond. She was shocked to see that the Kangaroo was gracefully hopping through several unknown areas of the country. That’s why he praised the kangaroo.

Q. Why did the duck call the pond nasty?
Ans. The duck called the pond “nasty” because she felt his life was dull in the pond. Whereas, on the other hand, the kangaroo will jump across the fields and never stop. The duck decided to hope like a kangaroo.

Q. How did the kangaroo respond to the Ducks request instantly?

Ans. The Kangaroo did not respond instantly without thinking. The request required ‘a little reflection.’ He told the Duck, quite plainly, that her feet were unpleasantly wet and cold. The Duck told the Kangaroo that she had made all the appropriate arrangements to stay out of the wetness and the cold.

Q. Who was happy in the end and why?
Ans. Both of them, that is, the duck the kangaroo were happy. They were very happy at the end because they were successfully succeeded at the end.

Q. What did the duck decide daily?
Ans. The Duck purchased four pairs of worsted socks so that her cold and wet feet could be covered and shielded from the cold. She also purchased a cloak to keep the cold out. In addition, she wanted to smoke a cigar on a regular basis to spend her time.

Q. Why did the duck decide to smoke a cigar?
Ans. The duck decided to smoke a cigarette because the kangaroo was feeling cold by the duck’s cold feet.

Q. “This requires a little reflection”. What does the word reflection mean?
Ans This requires a little reflection means that it requires a little attention. the kangaroo says that he has no problem in carrying the duck though he has one objection. His feet are wet and cold due to which the kangaroo may catch a cold and suffer from rheumatism.

Q. What objection did the kangaroo have?
Ans. The Kangaroo considers the Duck’s offer greatly. But the objection of the kangaroo is the duck’s feet are so cold from water because the duck’s legs are cool from standard water which would problems the Kangaroo. which would trouble the Kangaroo if the Duck sat on his back for the ride.

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Q. What assurance does the duck give to the kangaroo?
Ans. The duck assures the kangaroo that he will not get the disease with duck’s wet feet because the duck has around 4 pairs of woollen socks and she is going to wear them before hopping on the kangaroo’s back.

Q. What values can you draw from the poem the duck and the kangaroo?
Ans. The significant values we infer from the poem are:
1. We should be frank and genuine and should tell the problem faced by us if we do some work as kangaroo said to duck that it may get a disease.
2. We should be brave and courageous to express ourselves wishes, likes, opinions as the Duck did.
3. We should not worry about our bad life in front, there is all good.

Q. What was the place where the kangaroo usually hopped?
Ans. The place where the kangaroo usually hoped was Australia.

Q. The Kangaroo does not want to catch ‘rheumatism’. Spot this word in stanza 3 and say why it is spelt differently. Why is it in two parts? Why does the second part begin with a capital letter?

Ans. The world ‘roo-Matiz’ is the alternative spelling of rheumatism. It is spelt differently so as to link it with the ‘roo’ that comes in the kangaroo. Rheumatism is associated with joint pains. Kangaroos are good at hopping, without taking into consideration the effect this would have on their body.

Long Answer Type Questions

Q.1. What apprehension did the Kangaroo have about the Duck’s proposed ride? How does he convey this apprehension? How does the Duck allay his fear?
Ans:-Kangaroo was susceptible to rheumatism, a condition that causes stiffness, inflammation, and pain in the joints. When the Duck asked him to take her on a ride, he was a little apprehensive and hesitant because her wet feet might raise the chances of his rheumatism. He was frank and outspoken, so he didn’t mince his words when conveying his apprehension to the Duck. However, before he objected to the Duck’s suggestion, he agreed that it could bring him good luck. Still, he thought the whole thing carefully and told the Duck strongly, but respectfully, that her feet were unpleasantly wet, which could possibly give him the ‘roo-Matiz.’ The wise and farsighted Duck, for her part, had already foreseen the challenge and kept four pairs of worsted woollen socks ready to keep her feet warm and dry.

Q.2. What values can you draw from the poem “The Duck and the Kangaroo”?
Ans:-The poem teaches us the virtues of kindness and modesty in winning and achieving happiness with our own friends. Those who are generous in understanding and appreciating others’ abilities benefit a lot in life. Good qualities that make you happy are admiration and politeness. Such characteristics help to make good friends and make life very happy and enjoyable. The Duck and the Kangaroo, all of which are very polite and courteous. The Duck respects the hopping skills of the Kangaroo and gives generous admiration. The Kangaroo’s heart wins this and he gives careful consideration to the request of the Duck. He places his objection in a rather friendly way and acknowledges the solution of the Duck humbly. Mutual respect and courtesy help them not only enjoy the company of each other but also satisfy the wish of the Duck to leave her dull pond and venture out into the whole world.

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