NCERT Solution for Class 10 English : First Flight – Poem 9 The Tale of Custard the Dragon

NCERT solution is important for student to cover entire chapter. NCERT solution Poem will help the student to understand the answers of Intext questions and Exercise Questions.

Thinking about the Poem

Question.1. Who are the characters in this poem? List them with their pet names.
Answer. Following are the characters of the poem:
(i) A little girl named Belinda.
(ii) A little black kitten whose name is Ink.
(iii) A little grey mouse named Blink.
(iv) A dog named Mustard because he is yellow in colour.
(v) A coward dragon whose name is Custard.

Question.2. Why did Custard cry for a nice safe cage? Why is the dragon called “cowardly dragon”?
Answer. Custard cries for a safe cage because he is a coward. He is called cowardly dragon because other characters are defined to be very brave in the following manner:
(i) Belinda is described to be as brave as a barrel full of bears
(ii) Ink and Blink can chase lions down the stairs
(iii) Mustard was as brave as a tiger in rage.

Question.3. “Belinda tickled him, she tickled him unmerciful…” Why?
Answer. Belinda tickled him unmerciful because Custard, the dragon was a coward. He always demanded a safe cage. That is why all of them made fun of him.

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 used many poetic devices to enhance the beauty of the poem. Like, to create rhyme with ‘Belinda’, he used the word ‘winda’ instead of ‘window’.
Other such rhyming words are ‘household’ used with ‘mouseholed’ and ‘wagon’ with ‘dragon’. Not only this, he also uses poetic device of repetition for example the word ‘little’ is used many times to describe her house and her pets. There is also the use of poetic device of refrain because we can see the repetition of line “And her realio, trulio little pet dragon” in many stanzas.

Question.5. Read stanza three again to know how the poet describes the appearance of the dragon?
Answer. The looks of the dragon are explained in a way that it has big sharp teeth and spikes on top. This means its skin is pointed on the top. On the lower part it has scales which are bony plates meant to protect the skin. His mouth has been compared to a fireplace because it is assumed that the dragons can release fire from the mouth. Even his nose is compared to a chimney which is used to pass out the smoke. His feet are like a sharp knife i.e. a dagger.

Question.6. Can you find out the rhyme scheme of two or three stanzas of the poem?
Answer. Rhyme scheme of the second and third stanza 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. Following are the words used to give us picture or image:
(i) Mouth like a fireplace
(ii) Chimney for nose
(iii) Barrel full of bears
(iv) Brave as a tiger in the rage
(v) He went at the pirate like a robin at a worm

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 poem. All the characters have names which rhyme with each other. They all are defined to be very brave except the dragon. But in reality the dragon proves to be the real hero. When they are attacked by the pirate, the dragon gulps him. Though all the other characters were not brave enough to handle the pirate but still they define themselves as more powerful than the dragon after the incident is handled by the dragon alone, though, the dragon was defined as a coward by the poet right from the beginning of the poem.

Question.9. This poem, in falled 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, called such songs and project.
Answer. Do it yourself