NCERT Solutions for Class 10 English The Tale of Custard The Dragon Poem

NCERT Solutions for CBSE Class 10 English Poem The Tale of Custard The Dragon are provided here. This poem is written by Ogden Nash and includes many questions that are important for exams. We have solved all the NCERT questions of the lesson with a detailed explanation that help students to complete their assignments & homework. We have provided NCERT Solutions for Class 10 English Poem The Tale of Custard The Dragon in PDF format so that you can download them for offline use.

Class 10 English Poem The Tale of Custard The Dragon NCERT Questions and Answers

Thinking about the poem

Question 1. Who are the characters in this poem? List them with their pet names.

Answer: The characters in this poem are Belinda, a little girl, and her pets: a little black kitten, a little grey mouse, a little yellow dog, a little pet dragon and a pirate.

CharactersPet name

Question 2. Why did Custard cry for a nice safe cage? Why is the dragon called “cowardly dragon”?

Answer: Custard cried for a nice, safe cage because it was a coward. It is called a ‘cowardly dragon’ because everybody else in the house was brave. Belinda was as brave as a barrel of bears. Ink and Blink are described as so brave that they could chase lions down the stairs and Mustard was as brave as a tiger in rage. Compared to them, Custard cried asking for a nice and safe cage, which is why it is called a coward.

Question 3. “Belinda tickled him, she tickled him unmerciful…” Why?

Answer: Tickling always works on people, who are a little softer. So, Belinda tickled the dragon unmerciful as it worked a lot on him. Despite being a dragon, a tickling could disturb him and this showed his cowardice on which everyone laughed.

Question 4. The poet has employed many poetic devices in the poem. For example “Clashed his tail like iron in a dungeon” – the poetic device here is a simile. Can you, with your partner, list some more such poetic devices used in the poem?

Answer: The poet has extensively used similes across the poem. One such simile was “mouth like a fireplace”. Also he has repetitively used the word ‘little’ in the first stanza to emphasize that everything in Belinda’s house including her pets were little in size. In the seventh stanza, the poet used an incorrect spelling as a poetic device such as ‘winda’ instead of ‘window’ that rhymes with Belinda’s name in the previous line. Furthermore, the poet has also used alliteration in the tenth stanza in the sentences “Clashed his tail” and “With a clatter and a clank”. In the eleventh stanza, the poet used the terms, “The pirate gaped” and “gulped some grog” as some of the poetic devices in the poem.

Question 5. Read stanza three again to know how the poet describes the appearance of the dragon.

Answer: The poet describes the appearance of the dragon, Custard as one which had big sharp teeth and spikes on top of its body and scales underneath. Its mouth was like a fireplace with a chimney-like nose and sharp dagger-like toes.

Question 6. Can you find out the rhyme scheme of two or three stanzas of the poem?

Answer: The rhyme scheme of the poem is ‘aabb’.

Question 7. Writers use words to give us a picture or image without actually saying what they mean. Can you trace some images used in the poem?

Answer: Writers always use such phrases and words that do not tell us directly about what they mean but always gives us an indication of the meaning. Such words or phrases are used to trigger our own imagination in painting the picture that they mean. Use of such images in the poem is the following: ‘mouth like a fireplace’, ‘chimney for a nose’, ‘brave as a barrel full of bears’, ‘brave as a tiger in a rage’, ‘went at the pirate like a robin at a worm’, etc.

Question 8. Do you find ‘The Tale of Custard the Dragon’ to be a serious or a light-hearted poem? Give reasons to support your answer.

Answer: ‘The Tale of Custard the Dragon’ is a very light and funny poem meant to be enjoyed by everyone. The way the poem has been written with a fix rhyme scheme, makes it very easy and enjoyable to read. The poet has even used wrong spelling to maintain the rhyme scheme. The features of Belinda and her pets described in the poem make it quite funny. Belinda’s bravery has been compared to a barrel full of bears, a liquid substance. All the tiny creatures such as the kitten and the mouse have been shown so brave that they can scare a lion and the dog’s bravery is like a tiger’s rage. The biggest of them all, the dragon is the only one, who has been shown as a coward and soft being, who looks for a cage for himself, which is very ironic, hence making the poem funny.