The poem is about finding friendships in the strangest of places. Here, the bond is established between two different animals, an aspirational duck and free-spirited kangaroo. The duck feels like is a prisoner in the only world it knows, its pond.
It harbours aspirations to explore and travel throughout the world and witness all its glory and beauty. Through the parable, the poet imagines the pain of a being who is caged and imprisoned and cannot enjoy the freedom of movement and intercourse.
Such limitations hamper one’s growth and development as individuals. Freedom is something that is valued by all beings, be it humans or animals.
The Duck and the Kangaroo Summary
The poem starts with lamentation by the duck who is stuck in the pond whereas the kangaroo is unhindered to roam about as per to heart’s content. The duck is mesmerized by an animal like kangaroo which not limited in terms of movement and can move around happily across the meadows and ponds.
It is jealous of the joy the kangaroo exhibits and uninspired by its own stagnant life. It dreams about being as free as the kangaroo.
In order to break the boredom, the duck asks the kangaroo for taking it as a company on its trips. It assures the kangaroo to be peaceful and relaxed throughout the journey on its back. It encourages its new friend to take it along on various travels to diverse lands and waters.
The kangaroo is filled with pride and excitement and replies politely. It wants to mull over it. He worries about the weight of the duck might be too much for the travel and leave it tired and weak. Also, the cold feet and body of the duck was a problem as the kangaroo was wary of getting a cold.
The duck understands the kangaroo’s worries and decides to get a few pair of socks to keep its feet fry and warm. It also decides to wear a warm blanket and carry cigars to keep itself warm. It makes all the necessary preparations to satisfy its friend’s doubts.
The kangaroo is honest to its words and leaves for the journey with the moonlit sky as their guide. The duck stuck fast and tightly to the kangaroo’s tail and they both journeyed across the world multiple times over. They were enjoying each other’s company immensely.