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NCERT Solutions Class 10 English. FREE FLIP-BOOK by Study Innovations

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NCERT Solutions Class 10 English. FREE FLIP-BOOK by Study Innovations

NCERT Solutions Class 10 English. FREE FLIP-BOOK by Study Innovations

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something though they do not have the time to enjoy it. They keep striving hard in their
routines as they feel cramped under the roofs of their homes and offices. Even they want to
break free and go out into the peaceful nature.


Page No: 115

Thinking about the Poem

1. (i) What does Sandburg think the fog is like?
(ii) How does the fog come?
(iii) What does ‘it’ in the third line refer to?
(iv) Does the poet actually say that the fog is like a cat? Find three things that tell us that the
fog is like a cat.

Answer

(i) According to Sandburg, the fog is like a cat.

(ii) The fog comes on little cat feet.

(iii) In the third line ‘it’ refers to the fog that has covered the city and it seems as if it is
looking over the city like a cat.

(iv) No, the poet does not actually say that the fog is like a cat. However, he has used cat as
a metaphor for describing the fog. He says that the fog comes on its little cat feet, which
implies that the fog is like a cat as it comes slowly. He also says that the fog looks over the
harbour and the city and then moves on, implying that the fog has covered the city and is
sitting and looking at it, thereby again comparing it to a cat. This is reiterated when he says
that the fog looks over the city sitting on ‘silent hunches’. This also shows the reference to a
cat as a cat always sits with its knees bent. Hence, he has compared the fog to a cat
without actually saying so.

2. You know that a metaphor compares two things by transferring a feature of one
thing to the other (See Unit 1).
(i) Find metaphors for the following words and complete the table below.
Also try to say how they are alike. The first is done for you.

Storm Tiger Pounces over the fields, growls

Train


Fire
School
Home

Answer

Storm Tiger Pounces over the fields, growls

Train Gush of wind Very fast movement

Fire Anger Danger that surrounds both on the basis of their intensities

School Gateway Leads to adulthood and a life of responsibility

Home Nest Provides hospitable, loving environment

3. Does this poem have a rhyme scheme? Poetry that does not have an obvious rhythm or
rhyme is called ‘free verse’.
Answer

No, this poem does not have a rhyme scheme. It is written in free verse.


Page No: 132

Thinking about the Poem

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

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.
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.

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’.

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.

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.

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.


Page No: 141

Thinking about the Poem

1. What does the young man mean by “great honey-coloured/Ramparts at your ear?” Why
does he say that young men are “thrown into despair” by them?

Answer

The “great honey-coloured/Ramparts at your ear” refers to the beautiful yellow coloured hair
that falls at the woman’s ear and cover it like a wall around a fort. He says that the young
men are “thrown into despair” by them because they look so beautiful on the woman that
her beauty gets thoroughly enhanced. The young men fall in love with her and feel despair.
He says that it is not possible that someone would love her alone and not her yellow hair.

2. What colour is the young woman’s hair? What does she say she can change it to? Why
would she want to do so?

Answer

The young woman’s hair is of yellow colour. She says that she could get her hair dyed to
brown, black or carrot colour. She would change the colour of her hair so that the young
men in despair would love her only and not her yellow hair. She wanted them to love her for
what she was and not for her appearance such as her hair colour.


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