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.
The poem 'The Duck and the Kangaroo' by Edward Lear is categorised as a nonsense poem. Poems that belong to this particular genre are mostly humorous. But it does not completely pertain to comic relief as it can discuss a serious theme using simple language and coined meaningless words. The entire poem is about an encounter between a duck and a Kangaroo. It is written in a simple format as it starts with a conversation between the two. The duck lives in a pond and gets to see a kangaroo. It initiates the conversation and starts by paying compliments to the kangaroo. The duck is mesmerised by the fact that the kangaroo can hop from one place to another. The duck cannot hop, nor can it fly  high in the sky. This in-between situation makes the duck wonder what it might be to live as a kangaroo. Since the duck cannot transform itself, it wants to experience the same feel the kangaroo gets as it hops around the world.
A duck
The instance is also very similar to situations faced by human beings, where one is not completely satisfied by the position that one holds in life. They tend to look at people with more comforts or talent and wish to live a life similar to them. But rather than being jealous and plotting against them, one can just choose to maintain a cordial relationship with them or ask for help. The duck exclaims 'good gracious' as it is unbelievable for it that an animal can hop both in water and land. It can barely hop on land and praises the kangaroo for hopping on both fields and water. From its perspective, the kangaroo is enjoying life to the fullest. The kangaroo hops as if it would never stop, moving from one place to another.
A kangaroo
The duck found his own life to be boring as it was confined to the pond and did not have any chance of exploring beyond it. He calls the pond nasty for this reason and makes a request to the kangaroo. He asks if he could accompany the kangaroo and explore the world in an even better way. The duck longs to move away from the pond and have fun travelling together with the kangaroo. Exploring the world becomes more interesting when one has good company. The kangaroo already has experience of having visited new places and can therefore enlighten the duck. The duck wants to go to the world beyond the routine. It also wonders how nice it would be if it could hop like the kangaroo since it is sceptical if they could get along despite the differences.
Words with difficult meaning:
HopMove by jumping one foot
NastyVery bad or unpleasant
ComplimentAn expression of praise or admiration
ScepticalHaving doubts with regards to a topic
CordialVery friendly
RoutineActions or habits regularly followed
Humorous Very funny and comical
National Council of Educational Research and Training (2006). Beehive. The Duck and the Kangaroo  - Edward Lear (pp.94-96). Published at the Publication Division by the Secretary, National Council of Educational Research and Training, Sri Aurobindo Marg, New Delhi.