CBSE Class 10 English First Flight The Tale of Custard the Dragon Poem Summary and Notes

According to the CBSE Syllabus 2023-24, this chapter has been renumbered as Chapter 7.

Chapter 9 of the CBSE Class 10 English First Flight book contains a poem named The Tale of Custard the Dragon. Ogden Nash has written this poem in the style of a ballad, which tells a story. Ballads are written to narrate tales of courage or heroism. Here, students will find a summary and notes of CBSE Class 10 English First Flight, The Tale of Custard the Dragon Poem. By going through the English Class 10 poem explanation notes, students will be able to comprehend the poem in a better way. They can easily understand the context and meaning conveyed by the poet. Furthermore, students can use these summary notes for quick revision during the exam.

Students can also practice CBSE Essays on different topics to improve their writing section for the English exam.

CBSE Class 10 English Poem First Flight The Tale of Custard the Dragon Poem Summary

This poem is a humorous ballad that presents a piece of writing in a funny way. A little girl named Belinda is described in this poem with many pets whom she had named. She has named the black kitten Ink, the grey mouse Blink, the yellow dog Mustard and the coward dragon Custard. The poet has beautifully described all these characters in the poem. He says that all of them are very brave except the dragon. But his perception changes when the dragon saves everyone from the attack of pirates on Belinda’s house.

CBSE Class 10 English Poem First Flight The Tale of Custard the Dragon Poem Summary and Explanation Notes

Students can have a look at the poem and its explanations below. Each and every line of the poem is described in such a way that students can easily understand the meaning of the poem and the message conveyed by the poet.

The Tale of Custard the Dragon Poem Explanation Notes

Belinda lived in a little white house,

With a little black kitten and a little grey mouse,

And a little yellow dog and a little red wagon,

And a realio, trulio, little pet dragon.

Now the name of the little black kitten was Ink,

And the little grey mouse, she called him Blink,

And the little yellow dog was sharp as Mustard,

But the dragon was a coward, and she called him Custard.

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.

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.

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.

Belinda giggled till she shook the house,

And Blink said Weeck! which is giggling for a mouse,

Ink and Mustard rudely asked his age,

When Custard cried for a nice safe cage.

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.

Pistol in his left hand, pistol in his right,

And he held in his teeth a cutlass bright,

His beard was black, one leg was wood;

It was clear that the pirate meant no good.

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.

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.

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.

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.

But presently up spoke little dog Mustard,

I’d have been twice as brave if I hadn’t been flustered.

And up spoke Ink and up spoke Blink,

We’d have been three times as brave, we think,

And Custard said, I quite agree

That everybody is braver than me.

Belinda still lives in her little white house,

With her little black kitten and her little grey mouse,

And her little yellow dog and her little red wagon,

And her realio, trulio little pet dragon.

Belinda is as brave as a barrel full of bears,

And Ink and Blink chase lions down the stairs,

Mustard is as brave as a tiger in a rage,

But Custard keeps crying for a nice safe cage.


In the first stanza, the poet says that a little girl named Belinda lives in a small white house. The girl has many pets at home. She has a small kitten that is black in colour, a little mouse that is grey in colour and a creature that is really and truly a dragon. Also, there was a little red wagon in the house.

In the second stanza, the poet tells the name of the pets who were in Belinda’s home. He says that Belinda has named the little black kitten Ink and the little grey mouse Blink. The little dog was sharp and yellow in colour, so she named him Mustard. She named the dragon Custard, which symbolizes that he was a cowardly animal and not brave enough like the other creatures at home.

In the third stanza, the poet describes the features and characteristics of a dragon. He says that the dragon has big sharp teeth. He looks scary as his skin is pointed at the top, and his lower part has scaled underneath. His mouth looks like a fireplace showing his power. His nose is compared to a chimney through which smoke comes out from the fire of his mouth. The dragon’s toes are so pointed that they can cut anything like a sharp knife.

In the fourth stanza, the poet explains all the characters of the poem and describes their brave nature. He says that Belinda was as brave as a group of bears. Ink and Blink are so brave that they can scare and even chase away someone as strong as a lion. The bravery of the mustard dog was compared to that of the tiger’s anger. However, Custard is described as opposite his physical nature. Instead of being brave as a dragon, he has been described as fearful and always cries for a nice safe cage.

In this stanza, the poet describes how Belinda and other pet animals behave with the dragon. He says that Belinda used to tickle the dragon in a harsh way. Ink, Blink and Mustard have named him Percival. They make fun of him by calling him Percival because Percival was a king who was thought to be brave, but he had run away in the battle. They all laugh at the dragon for sitting in the little wagon and make him feel that he is a coward.

In the sixth stanza, the poet says that Belinda laughs so loud that it seems that the complete house is shaken due to her laughter. The mouse also laughed at the dragon by making a wreck sound. Ink and Mustard used to ask the dragon’s age and make fun of him when he used to cry for a nice safe cage.

In this stanza, the poet says that when all of them were busy making fun of the dragon, suddenly, everyone heard an unpleasant sound. It seemed like someone had entered the house. They saw that a pirate was climbing the window of the house. At this moment, the dog barked at him, and the cat meowed at him. Belinda cried as she got scared of him.

In this stanza, the poet describes the appearance of the pirate. He says that the pirate has guns in both hands. He was also carrying a bright sharp blade between his teeth. He had a black beard, and one of his legs was injured. So, he seems to be a very dangerous person who intended to harm the house.

In the ninth stanza, the poet explains the reaction of the pet animals and Belinda after seeing the pirate. Belinda became pale with fear and cried for help. The pet animals she thought were brave could not help her. The dog Mustard cried for a while and then ran away, and kitten Ink went to the bottom of the house to hide. The mouse Blink ran to his mouse hole and smartly disappeared to save himself.

In the tenth stanza, the poet describes the bravery of the dragon. He says that when all the other pet animals flew away to save themselves, the dragon came into the picture. He jumped at the pirate and made a large noise through his nose like an engine. He moved his tail with a great force that produced a clattering sound like an iron rod striking the walls of the prison. He moved towards the pirate in a similar way as a robin bird that attacks the worm.

In this stanza, the reaction of the pirates towards the dragon is explained. The poet says that the pirate got shocked by the dragon’s reaction and gave him a good look. The pirate drank some wine that he carried with him in his pocket. Then he fired two bullets at the dragon, but those bullets did not hit him. Then Custard, the dragon, ate him quickly without leaving any trace of him.

In this stanza, the poet says that everyone was amazed when the dragon ate the pirate. Everyone was filled with happiness. Belinda hugged him, and Mustard touched him with his tongue to express his gratitude towards the dragon for saving them. No one was sad about the death of pirates. Ink and Blink were happy and started moving in a circular motion around the dragon to express their joy.

In this stanza, the poet mentions that after the pirate incident, it became clear who was brave. But everyone gave their excuses about why they weren’t able to kill the pirate. Mustard, the dog, said he would have been twice as bold as a dragon if he had not been nervous and confused. Ink and Blink think of themselves thrice as brave as a dragon. They could not believe that the dragon had done such a great task and saved their lives. The humble dragon silently listened to them and agreed that everyone was braver than him.

In the last two stanzas, the poet repeats the same lines he had used to introduce the poem. From the incident, it was clear that the dragon was a brave animal. But no one in the house was ready to accept this. Everyone thinks of himself to be braver. The poet says that life started again in a similar way. Everyone was considered brave except the dragon, who was still considered a cowardly animal.

We hope students must have found this summary and explanation notes on CBSE Class 10 English First Flight The Tale of Custard the Dragon Poem, helpful for their studies. We have also provided essays on some common topics, such as an essay on republic day and an essay on the constitution of India. These essays give students an idea to express their thoughts in a better way to fetch more marks during the exam. So, go through them and make the most of them during exam preparation.

Frequently Asked Questions on CBSE Class 10 English The Tale of Custard the Dragon


Who is the poet of ‘The Tale of Custard the Dragon’?

The poet of the poem ‘The Tale of Custard the Dragon’ is Ogden Nash.


What is a dragon?

A dragon is usually represented as a huge, bat-winged, fire-breathing, scaly lizard or snake with a barbed tail.


Who are pirates?

A pirate is a robber who travels by water. Though most pirates targeted ships, some also launched attacks on coastal towns.


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