The Tale of Custard the Dragon – Important Questions

The Tale of Custard, the Dragon by Ogden Nash is a funny poem that tells the story of a little girl Belinda and her pets. Belinda lives with her little pets – a kitten, a mouse, a dog and a dragon, in her little house. Belinda and all her pets except the dragon have been described as very brave creatures. But the dragon is so coward that it is always looking for the safety of a cage.

Important Question and Answer

Q. Read the lines given below and answer the questions that follow:

Belinda paled, and she cried Help! Help!
But Mustard fled with terrified yelp,
Ink trickled down to the bottom of the household,
And little mouse Blink strategically mousehold.

  1. Who cried for help?
    (i) Mustard (ii) Ink (iii) Blink (iv) Belinda
  2. What did Mustard, Ink and Blink do?
    (i) ran away (ii) faced the pirate (iii) hid themselves (iv) saved Belinda
  3. Ink trickled down to the _______________ of the household.
    (i) top (ii) underneath (iii) bottom (iv) outer
  4. Name the rhyme scheme of the stanza.
    (i) aaab (ii) abab (iii) aabb (iv) abba

Answer

  1. Belinda
  2. ran away
  3. bottom
  4. aabb

Q. Read the lines given below and answer the questions that follow:

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.

  1. The pirate gaped at ‘Belinda’s
    (i) dog (ii) rat (iii) dragon (iv) cat
  2. How many bullets did he fire?
    (i) one (ii) four (iii) six (iv) two
  3. Who gobbled him every bit?
    (i) Blink (ii) Mustard (iii) Ink (iv) Custard
  4. Find the word from the passage which means same as ‘swallowed’.
    (i) gaped (ii) gobbled (iii) gulped (iv) flagon

Answer

  1. dragon
  2. two
  3. Custard
  4. gobbled

Q. Describe the appearance of the dragon.

Ans. Custard, the dragon had a formidable appearance, with sharp teeth, toes like daggers, spikes on back and scales on the belly. Its mouth was a fireplace and the nose was always fuming like a chimney. However, in sharp contrast to the appearance, his temperament was extremely timid.

Q. Do you find ‘The Tale of custard the Dragon’ to be a serious or a light-hearted comedy? Give reasons to support your answer.

Ans. ‘The Tale of Custard the Dragon’ is a humorous, light hearted poem as the characters display behavioural attributes, contrary to their appearance as well as nature. It is extremely funny to imagine a fierce looking dragon crying for a safe cage or mouse raging like a lion.

Q. Is there a hidden message that the poet is wishing to convey or do you think that entertainment is the sole purpose of writing this poem?

Ans. The interpretation of the message in the poem may vary for different readers. The situation narrated underscores a basic truth that the real test of courage is during a crisis. The dragon though never put his strength on display but exhibited it in action when it was required to do so.

Q What do you think changed the attitude of the other animals and that of Belinda towards the dragon?

Ans. The dragon, Custard, initially commanded no amount of respect from Belinda and the other pets, on account of his cowardice; but when the house was attacked by an armed pirate and all others panicked and ran for shelter, the dragon savagely attacked the pirate and ate him up. Thus, the other animals realised his worth and came to respect him genuinely.

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