How to Tell Wild Animals: SEBA Class 10 English (First Flight) solutions

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Get summary, textual questions and answers, as well as extras for the poem How to Tell Wild Animals by Carolyn Wells which is a part of SEBA Class 10 English (first language) First Flight syllabus.

How to Tell Wild Animals

Summary: Carolyn Wells wrote the humorous poem “How to Tell Wild Animals.” The poem suggests some risky methods for identifying wild animals. The poem contains clues that can be used to identify the names of the animals. This poem is similar to putting together a puzzle and identifying the animals. It’s a thrilling and amusing poem.

In the first stanza, the poet asks the readers how they will recognise the various animals of the jungle if they go to the jungle. The poet then begins to describe the Asian Lion. She claims that if an animal with yellowish-brown skin roars at you and you become so terrified that you die from fear, you have met an Asian Lion.

The poet describes a royal animal with black stripes on its yellowish skin roaming freely in the jungle in the second stanza. She claims that if he starts eating you, you’ll know it’s a Bengal Tiger. But knowing the animal is pointless if you have to die to identify it!

The poet describes an animal in the third stanza that walks slowly and relaxedly, and whose body is completely covered in small spots that give it a salt and pepper appearance. The small spots on the animal’s body appear to be caused by small objects thrown at him. When the animal jumps on you, you’ll know it’s a Leopard. Even if you cry, the leopard will not abandon you. So be wary and don’t let him pounce on you.

In the following stanza, the poet says that if you’re walking through a field and see an animal hugging you tightly, you can be sure it’s a Bear. If you have any remaining doubts, you can confirm if it hugs you again. When someone loves and cares for you, the poet expresses their feelings and emotions by giving you a tight hug. When a bear hugs you in real life, however, he will kill you with his tight hug.

The poet asks the readers in the fifth stanza if they know how to recognise animals when they hunt their prey. She goes on to say that when hyenas kill their prey, they smile. Similarly, when crocodiles eat their prey, they have tears in their eyes.

In the final stanza, the poet describes a small reptile with the ability to change its skin colour. It resembles a lizard, but it lacks ears and wings. This Chameleon or garden lizard can be found when there is no one on the tree. The Chameleon’s ability to change its skin colour saves him from hunters and other animals.

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Thinking about the Poem

1. Does ‘dyin’ really rhyme with ‘lion’? Can you say it in such a way that it does?

Answer: The word ‘dying’ does not rhyme with ‘lion.’ If we change the pronunciation of lion to ‘lying,’ it may rhyme with the word ‘dying.’

2. How does the poet suggest that you identify the lion and the tiger? When can you do so, according to him? 

Answer: The poet suggests a method for telling the difference between a lion and a tiger. A lion is a large, roaring beast that is brownish yellow in colour. The tiger is a breathtaking animal with black stripes on its yellow skin. According to the poet, we can do so if we venture into the jungle, encounter them, and they try to eat us.

3. Do you think the words “lept’ and ʻlep’ in the third stanza are spelt correctly? Why does the poet spell them like this?

Answer: No, these two words are not correctly spelt. The poet does this solely to maintain rhyming.

4. Do you know what a bearhug’ is? It’s a friendly and strong hug- such as bears are thought to give, as they attack you? Again, hyenas are thought to laugh, and crocodiles to weep (‘crocodile tears’) as they swallow their victims. Are there similar expressions and popular ideas about wild animals in your own languages?

Answer: A bearhug is when a bear tightly hugs his prey with both hands and presses him to death.

There are similar expressions and popular ideas about wild animals in every language. In Hindi, for example, we say ‘Magarmach ke aansu aaana’ (Crocodile tears), ‘Ab pachtaye hot kya jab chidiya chug gai khet’, and ‘Girgit ke tarah rang badalna’, and ‘Haathi ke daant dikhane ke aur, khane ke aur’.

5. Look at the line, “A novice might nonplus”. How would you write this ‘correctly’? Why is the poet’s ‘incorrect’ line better in the poem?

Answer: The line would be, “A novice might be nonplussed.” The poet’s incorrect line in the poem How to Tell Wild Animals is better because ‘nonplus’ maintains the rhyme scheme of the poem.

6. Can you find other examples of poets taking liberties with languages, either in English or in your language(s)? Can you find examples of humorous poems in your own language(s)?

Answer: There are numerous examples of poets taking liberties with language in poetry. This is known as ‘poetic licence.’ Poets take such liberties to achieve proper rhyming and rhythm. In the following lines, for example, the word ‘prest’ is used instead of ‘pressed’ to rhyme with ‘breast.’

Another example of the poetic licence can be seen in Thomas Hood’s poem “I Remember I Remember where in the first stanza, instead of using the word morning, he uses morn to rhyme it with the word born, thus keeping the rhyming scheme of the poem.

7. Much of the humour in the poem How to Tell Wild Animals arises from the way language is used, although the ideas are funny, as well as. If there are particular lines in the poem that you especially like, share these with the class, speaking briefly about what it is about the ideas or the language that you like or find funny.

Answer: These are some lines that I have found funny as well as interesting. They are:

i) Just notice if he eats you.
ii) ‘I will do not good to roar with pain.
iii) He’ll give you just one more caress, etc.

Extra/additional questions and answers/solutions

1. Where can you find Asian Lions?

Answer: Asian Lions are found in the world’s eastern countries.

2. Describe the appearance of the Asian Lion?

Answer: The Asian Lion is a large, yellow-coloured animal.

3. What is the Bengal Tiger’s distinguishing feature?

Answer: The answer is that he has black stripes on his yellow body.

4. What is the Bengal Tiger’s description?

Answer: He’s described as a noble wild beast.

5. How does the leopard’s skin look?

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19. How will you identify the leopard?

Answer: The leopard is extremely agile and is always ready to pounce on its prey. Its hide is speckled with dark spots all over. It will pounce on you if he sees you. It will be futile to cry in pain. It will have no mercy and will jump at you once more.

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