NCERT Solutions for Class 10 English First Flight The Tale of Custard The Dragon (Poem)
Q 1. Who are the characters in this poem? List them with their pet names.
ANS: Belinda who lives in a white house, a little black kitten, a little grey mouse, a little yellow dog, and, a little pet dragon. Belinda called the kitten as Ink; Mouse as Blink; Dog as Mustard and Dragon as Custard.
Q 2. Why did Custard cry for a nice safe cage? Why is the dragon called a “cowardly dragon”?
ANS: Custard always cried for a nice, safe cage as he was a coward. Other pets of Belinda were brave and Custard only wanted to stay away from what he feared; hence, he only wanted a safe cage to feel protected. This is why Belinda called him a “cowardly dragon”.
Q 3. “Belinda tickled him, she tickled him unmerciful…” Why?
ANS: Belinda just wanted others to laugh at the dragon and show the dragon’s cowardice; hence, she tickled him without mercy.
Q 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?
ANS: The poem contains lots of poetic devices which are visible to us. There is a use of Personification, where the author has compared Mustard with a tiger. The poetic device that has been used over and over again is rhyming, like, right-bright, age-cage, etc. Apart from all these poetic devices, there are many more poetic devices, like simile, metaphor, etc., that have contributed to making the poem creatively enriched.
Q 5. Read stanza three again to know how the poet describes the appearance of the dragon.
ANS: In the following way, the poet has described the appearance of the dragon:
- Big sharp teeth
- Spikes on top of its body
- Scales as his skin
- Mouth as a fireplace
- Nose as chimney
- Toes as sharp daggers
Q 6. Can you find out the rhyme scheme of two or three stanzas of the poem?
Answer: The rhyme scheme is “aabb”.
Q 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?
ANS: Writers sometimes refrain from using direct statements about their thoughts and conveying meaning. They use imagery, metaphor, simile, and personification and leave it to the readers to decode the hidden meaning which also generates active participation of readers. It also makes the writings open to different interpretations. For example: ‘snorting like an engine’, ‘as brave as a lion’, etc.
Q 8. Do you find The Tale of Custard the Dragon to be a serious or light-hearted poem? Give reasons to support your answer.
ANS: The poem, ‘The Tale of Custard the Dragon’, has a very light-hearted tone from my point of view. Not only does the poem have a comic side rather it is creatively enriched with lots of poetic devices. The wrong spelling of window as ‘Winda’ to rhyme with Belinda gives a comic tone. The poem also has a hidden message in it “Don’t judge a book by its cover”. From the very beginning of the poem, it has been shown that the dragon is the scary cat. Everyone being the brave one made fun of him.
Belinda tickles him mercifully to let everyone laugh at his cowardice. On the contrary, when the pirate attacks them, it is the dragon who charges at him and eats him. Hence, at the end of the, play he proved himself to be the bravest of them all. Overall, the poem is humorous, and dramatic, and has a pinch of irony and a hidden message or moral in it.
Q 9. This poem, in ballad form, tells a story. Have you come across any such modern song or lyric that tells a story? If you know one, tell it to the class. Collect such songs as a project.
ANS: Do it yourself
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