NCERT Solutions for Class 10 English First Flight Chapter 10 The Tale of Custard the Dragon

Page No 132:

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 black kitten, a little grey mouse, a little yellow dog, a little pet dragon and a pirate.

 

Character

Pet name

Kitten

Ink

Mouse

Blink

Dog

Mustard

Dragon

Custard

 

Question 2:

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

Belinda 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.

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 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’.

Question 6:

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

Answer:

The rhyme scheme of each stanza of this 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 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.

The Tale of Custard the Dragon Extra Questions and Answers Class 10 English First Flight

Extract Based Questions [3 Marks each]

Read the following extracts carefully and answer the questions that follow.
Question 1.
With a little black kitten and a little gray mouse, And a little yellow dog and a little red wagon, And a realio, trulio, little pet dragon.
(a) Where did Belinda live?
(b) How many pets did she have?
(c) Which word in the stanza means “carriage”?
(d) Whose young one known as a ‘kitten’?
Answer:
(a) Belinda lived in a little white house.
(b) She had four pets, a kitten, a mouse, a dog and a dragon.
(c) The word is ‘Wagon’.
(d) A cat’s young one is known as a kitten.

Question 2.
Now the name of the litde black kitten was Ink, And the little gray mouse, she called her Blink, And the little yellow dog was sharp as Mustard,
But the dragon was a coward, and she called him Custard.
(a) What is the colour of Belinda’s dog?
(b) What were the kitten and the mouse called?
(c) Which word is the stanza means “fear easily”?
(d) ‘Blink’ here is the name of a mouse but what actually the word means?
Answer:
(a) Belinda’s dog is yellow as mustard.
(b) The Kitten was called Ink and the mouse was called Blink by Belinda.
(c) The word is ‘Coward’.
(d) The word ‘blink’ means to shut and open eyes frequendy in quick succession.

Question 3.
Custard the dragon had big sharp teeth, And spikes on top of him and scales underneath, Mouth like a fireplace, chimney for a nose, And realio, trulio, daggers on his toes.
(a) What did the dragon look like?
(b) Why is the dragon’s mouth called a chimney?
(c) Which word in the stanza means the same as “a small sword”?
(d) Find from the passage a word which means a structure through which smoke or steam is carried up away from a fire.
Answer:
(a) The Dragon had spikes on top and scale underneath. His mouth was like a fireplace and nose was like a chimney. He looked dangerous as his toes looked like daggers.
(b) Dragons can spit fire, therefore Custard’s mouth has been called a fireplace.
(c) The word is ‘Dagger’.
(d) The word is ‘Chimney’.

Question 4.
Belinda was as brave as a barrel full of bears, And Ink and Blink chased lions down the stairs, Mustard was as brave as a tiger in a rage, But Custard cried for a nice safe cage.
(a) How brave were the Kitten and the mouse?
(b) Why did Custard cry for a nice safe cage?
(c) Which word is similar to “anger”?
(d) Which figure of speech has been used in the first and the third line of the passage.
Answer:
(a) The kitten and the mouse were so brave that they could scare away lions.
(b) Custard cried for a nice safe cage because he was a coward.
(c) The word is ‘Rage’.
(d) Figure of speech used in first and third line is Simile.

Question 5.
Belinda tickled him, she tickled him unmerciful, Ink, Blink and Mustard, they rudely called him Percival, They all sat laughing in the little red wagon At the realio, trulio, cowardly dragon.
(a) Why did everyone laugh?
(b) What did the other three pet call the dragon?
(c) What does realio, trulio mean?
(d) Give the synonym of ‘un merciful’.
Answer:
(a) Everyone laughed at the Dragon because Belinda tickled him unmerciful.
(b) The other three pet, Ink, Blink and Mustard rudely called Custard Percival.
(c) Realio, trulio actually mean really and truly. The words have been changed by the poet so as to give rhythm to the poem.
(d) The synonym of‘un merciful’ is ‘merciless’.

Question 6.
Belinda giggled till she shook the house, And Blink said Week!, which is giggling for a mouse, Ink and Mustard rudely asked his age, When Custard cried for a nice safe cage.
(a) What did shake the house?
(b) How did the mouse giggle?
(c) Write the antonym for giggle.
(d) Find the antonym of the word ‘insecure’ from the passage.
Answer:
(a) Belinda giggled so hard that it shook the house.
(b) The giggling sound of mouse is ‘week’.
(c) The word is ‘Cry’.
(d) The antonym of insecure is ‘Safe’.

Question 7.
Suddenly, suddenly they heard a nasty sound, And Mustard growled, and they all looked around. Meowch! cried Ink, and Ooh! cried Belinda, For there was a pirate, climbing in the winda.
(a) Which poetic device is used in these lines?
(b) Why was everyone frightened?
(c) Which word in the stanza means “unpleasant”?
(d) What does a ‘nasty sound’ refer to?
Answer:
(a) In the first line, the poet has used repetition in ‘Suddenly, suddenly’.
(b) Everyone was frightened because a pirate was climbing up the window.
(c) The word is ‘Nasty’.
(d) A nasty sound refers to the entry of a pirate into the house.

Question 8.
Pistol in his left hand, pistol in his right, And he held in his teeth a cudass bright, His beard was black, one leg was wood; It was clear that the pirate meant no good.
(a) How many weapons was the pirate carrying?
(b) Describe the physical appearance of the pirate.
(c) What does cutlass mean?
(d) What is the rhyming scheme adopted in the stanza?
Answer:
(a) The pirate was carrying two pistols in each hand and a cutlass in his teeth.
(b) The pirate’s beard was black and he had one wooded leg. He looked very frightening.
(c) Cutlass is a small sword like weapon with a very sharp blade.
(d) The rhyme scheme adopted is aabb.

Question 9.
Belinda paled, and she cried, Help! Help! But Mustard fled with a terrified yelp, Ink trickled down to the bottom of the household, And little mouse Blink strategically mouseholed. [CBSE 2016]
(a) How did the people in the house react on seeing the pirate?
(b) Why did everyone cry for help?
(c) What does ‘mouseholed’ mean?
(d) Write the antonym of ‘bottom’.
Answer:
(a) Belinda became pale with fear and the Mustard fled the scene. Ink went to the bottom of the house and Blink vanished in a mouse hole. They all cried for help.
(b) Everyone cried for help because they all got frightened of the pirate.
(c) Mouseholed has been used by the poet to mean the hole made by the mouse in which it disappeared.
(d) The antonym of bottom is ‘brim’.

Question 10.
But up jumped Custard, snorting like an engine, Clashed his tail like irons in a dungeon, With a clatter and a clank and a jangling squirm He went at the pirate like a robin at a worm.
(a) Why did Custard jump?
(b) What sounds did Custard’s body make?
(c) What does dungeon mean?
(d) Find at least two words from the passage which are examples of onomatopaea (a figure of speech).
Answer:
(a) Custard jumped to fight the pirate.
(b) Custard’s tail clashed like irons in a dungeon and he moved with a clatter and a clank and a jangling squirm.
(c) Dungeon means an underground prison cell.
(d) Words are clattes, clank, jangling.

Question 11.
The pirate gaped at Belinda’s dragon, And gulped some grog from his pocket flagon, He fired two bullets but they didn’t hit, And Custard gobbled him, every bit.
(a) What did the pirate do on seeing the dragon?
(b) What did Custard do to the pirate?
(c) Which word means the same as “swallow”?
(d) Find from the passage a word which means a large bottle or similar container with a handle in which wine etc is sold or served.
Answer:
(a) The pirate gulped some wine from his bottle.
(b) Custard swallowed the pirate and left no trace of him.
(c) The word is ‘Gobble’.
(d) The word is ‘flagon’.

Question 12.
Belinda embraced him, Mustard licked him, No one mourned for his pirate victim Ink and Blink in glee did gyrate Around the dragon that ate the pirate.
(a) What was everyone’s reaction after Custard gobbled the pirate?
(b) Why is the pirate called a victim here?
(c) What does gyrate mean?
(d) Give a synonym of the word ‘mourn’.
Answer:
(a) Everyone became happy and hugged Custard. Ink and Blink started to dance around him.
(b) The pirate is called a victim because he suffered death at the hands of Custard as he ate him up.
(c) Gyrate stands for circular movements.
(d) A synonym of the word mourn is ‘Lament’.

Short Answer Type Questions [2 Marks each]

Question 1.
Where did Belinda live and with whom?
Answer:
Belinda lived in a little white house with her four pets and a wagon. She had a black kitten named Ink, a grey mouse named Blink, a yellow dog named Mustard and a coward dragon named Custard.

Question 2.
What did Custard look like? [CBSE 2016]
Answer:
Custard looked really dangerous with spikes on his top and scales underneath. His mouth was like a fireplace and nose like a chimney. His toes looked like daggers.

Question 3.
Did Custard match his physical appearance?
Answer:
No. Custard barely matched his appearance as he looked ferocious but he actually was a coward. He always cried for a nice and safe cage and everyone laughed at him for his cowardice.

Question 4.
Describe the bravery of everyone in the house.
Answer:
Belinda was as brave as a barrel full of bears. Ink and Blink were brave enough to chase lions away. Mustard’s bravery was like a tiger’s rage. It was only Custard, who was a coward, everyone else was very brave.

Question 5.
Was everyone really as brave as they claimed?
Answer:
Belinda and her three pets, excluding Custard, were very proud of their bravery but they were not really brave. It was only Custard, who had the courage to face the pirate so he was the real brave.

Question 6.
What did everyone do when the pirate came?
Answer:
When the pirate came, Belinda cried for help and became pale with fear. Mustard ran away with a terrified cry and Ink trickled to the bottom of the house while Blink disappeared in his mouse hole. Custard jumped in front of the Pirate to fight him.

Question 7.
How did Custard face the pirate?
Answer:
Custard jumped in front of the pirate to fight him. The pirate fired two bullets at him but missed both of them. Then Custard gobbled whole of the pirate and left no trace of him.

Question 8.
‘But Custard cried for a nice safe cage. ’ Who is Custard? Why did he cry for a ‘nice safe cage’? [CBSE 2014]
Answer:
Custard is Belinda’s pet Dragon. He cried for a nice safe cage because he was a coward, who feared easily and looked for comfort and safety of himself.

Question 9.
How did everyone react after Custard ate the pirate?
Answer:
Belinda embraced Custard because he had saved everyone by killing the pirate. Mustard licked him to show his affection while Ink and Blink started dancing around Custard out of happiness.

Question 10.
How did the other three pet boast of their bravery?
Answer:
After Mustard, Ink and Blink fled on seeing the pirate, it was Custard, who fought him and killed him. The other pets soon made excuses for their cowardice and said that they would have been twice and thrice as brave as Custard.

Question 11.
Did Custard accept his cowardice and their bravery?
Answer:
Yes, Custard seemed like a really humble animal as even after killing the pirate he accepted that he is a coward and everyone else is braver than him

Long Answer (Value Based) Type Questions [8 Marks each]

Question 1.
The dragon, custard was considered a coward. The humble dragon proved his bravery in adversity. Analyse that certain qualities like bravery and courage are situational and spontaneous. Express your views with reference to the poem.
Answer:
Custard’s humbleness won every reader’s heart as he showed true bravery and did not boast like Belinda and her other pets. Everyone boasted of their bravery but when they faced real danger, it was only Custard, who had the courage to face it. And he proved his bravery by not running away and facing the pirate and killing him. Qualities like bravery and courage can only be tested when someone is actually put in a dangerous situation. Therefore, these qualities are situational as becomes clear from Custard’s example. Custard looked for comfort all the time but this did not mean that he was a coward.

Question 2.
Do you think that one should be made fun of because of their’preferences and choices in life? Explain in the context of Custard, the dragon.
Answer:
It is not right to make fun of anyone on the basis of their life style and their choices. Custard, the dragon, always wanted comfort and safety for him and therefore always cried for a nice safe cage. Belinda and other pets of the house made fun of him because they thought that he was a coward. Custard proved that just because he likes comfort, he is not a coward. In fact, he was the only one, who had the courage to face the pirate and kill him.

MCQ Questions for Class 10 English First Flight Poem 10 The Tale of Custard the Dragon with Answers

Question 1.
Who mourned over the death of the pirate?
(a) Blink
(b) Custard
(c) Ink
(d) None

Answer

Answer: (d) None


Question 2.
What did the dragon cry for?
(a) Because he was hurt.
(b) For a new mouse
(c) For a nice safe cage.
(d) None of the Above

Answer

Answer: (c) For a nice safe cage.


Question 3.
Who was called cowardly?
(a) Blink
(b) Custard
(c) Ink
(d) Rither

Answer

Answer: (b) Custard


Question 4.
Who was Mustard?
(a) Belinda’s little yellow rat.
(b) Belinda’s little yellow mouse.
(c) Belinda’s little yellow dog.
(d) Belinda’s little grey dragon.

Answer

Answer: (c) Belinda’s little yellow dog.


Question 5.
Where did Belinda live?
(a) in a little white house
(b) in a little yellow house
(c) in a little grey house
(d) in a little pink house

Answer

Answer: (a) in a little white house


Question 6.
What did Custard do to the pirate?
(a) ate him
(b) scared him away
(c) held him hostage
(d) None of these

Answer

Answer: (a) ate him


Question 7.
Who did Belinda used to tease?
(a) kitten
(b) mouse
(c) dragon
(d) dog

Answer

Answer: (c) dragon


Question 8.
What all does the dragon possess?
(a) big sharp teeth
(b) spikes on top of him
(c) sharp toes
(d) All of the above

Answer

Answer: (d) All of the above


Question 9.
Who is described as the most timid of all?
(a) kitten
(b) mouse
(c) dragon
(d) dog

Answer

Answer: (c) dragon


Question 10.
What was the name of the black kitten?
(a) Custard
(b) ink
(c) blink
(d) mustard

Answer

Answer: (b) ink