The Tale of Custard the Dragon (Poem) | Question and Answers
NCERT | Class 10 | English | First Flight
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.
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 and was scared very easily. It is called “cowardly dragon” because everyone else in the house is very brave. Belinda was as brave as a barrel full of bears, Ink and Blink can chase lions and Mustard is as brave as an angry tiger. While the dragon is the only one, who fears a lot and looks for a nice safe cage for himself.
Question 3 “Belinda tickled him, she tickled him unmerciful…” Why?
Answer Belinda tickled the dragon unmerciful because it was very frightened and cried for a safe cage. They all laughed at it as it was a coward.
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 In the entire poem, the poet has use similes. Apart from that he also used repetition. For example: The repetitive use of the word little in first stanza. In the seventh stanza poet has made use of incorrect spelling as a poetic device to preserve the rhyme scheme of the poem. He had chosen winda instead of window as it rhyme with Belinda. He also used alliteration in the poem. For example in tenth stanza, custard had clashed his tail with a clatter and a clank.
Question 5 Read stanza three again to know how the poet describes the appearance of the dragon.
Answer The poet describes that the dragon has big sharp teeth, spikes on its top, scales below its body and daggers on his toes. The poet compared his mouth with a fireplace and nose with chimney. They can harm anyone but it is very coward and always wanted to be in a safe cage.
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 Some such images used in the poem are ‘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 light-hearted and funny poem. The names of all the characters are very funny and rhyming. 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. 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. However when the pirates came to their small house, all of them were engulfed in fear and hid themselves.