Poem 10 The Tale of Custard the Dragon

Class 10 English Poem 10 The Tale of Custard the Dragon Questions and answers

Page No 132:

Question 1:

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


characters in this poem are Belinda, a little black kitten, a little
grey mouse, a little yellow dog, a little pet dragon and a pirate.



Pet name










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Question 2:

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


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

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Question 3:

tickled him, she tickled him unmerciful…” Why?


tickled the dragon unmercifully because it was very scared and cried
for a safe cage. They all laughed at it as it was a coward.

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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?


In the
entire poem, the poet has made extensive use of similes. Apart from
simile, another poetic device that has been used is repetition. For
example, the repetitive use of the word ‘little’ in the
first stanza to emphasise how everything from the house to Belinda to
her pets were all little. Also, in the seventh stanza, the poet has
made use of incorrect spelling as a poetic device to maintain the
rhyme scheme of the poem. He has chosen to write ‘winda’
instead of ‘window’ as ‘winda’ rhymes with
‘Belinda’, whereas ‘window’ does not. He has
also used alliteration in the poem. For example, in the tenth stanza,
Custard’ has ‘clashed’ his
tail with a ‘clatter’ and a ‘clank’.
Similarly, in stanza eleven, the pirate ‘gaped’ at
the dragon and ‘gulped’ some ‘grog’.

Page No 132:

Question 6:

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


The rhyme
scheme of each stanza of this poem is aabb.

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Question 7:

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


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.

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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.


Tale of Custard
the Dragon is a light-hearted poem. It is
almost a parody. The names of the pets of Belinda are all rhyming and
funny. Belinda has been compared to a barrel full of bears. The
kitten and mouse, both little, could chase lions down the stairs. The
little yellow dog was as brave as a tiger, while the dragon was a
coward and they all teased him. However, when the pirate came to
their little house, all of them were engulfed in fear and had hid
themselves. Ironically, the ‘cowardly’ dragon came to
their rescue and jumped snorting like an engine. It clashed its tail
and charged at the pirate like a robin at a worm and ate him up. Even
as everybody became happy to see the bravery of the dragon, they
again came back to glorifying themselves that they could have been
twice or thrice braver than the dragon. Finally, at the end of the
poem, the situation again came back to the other pets being brave and
the dragon being the coward.

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