Class 10 English Poem “How to Tell Wild Animals” – Important Questions and Answers

If you're a student preparing for your Class 10 English exam, you may be wondering how to approach the poem "How to Tell Wild Animals". This guide provides important questions and answers to help you understand the poem's themes, literary devices, and overall meaning.

What is the poem "How to Tell Wild Animals" about?

The poem "How to Tell Wild Animals" by Carolyn Wells is about the different ways to identify and distinguish various wild animals based on their physical characteristics and behaviors. The poem uses humor and exaggeration to describe the animals and their unique traits, making it a fun and entertaining read. However, it also highlights the importance of being aware and cautious of wild animals in their natural habitats.

how to tell wild animals class 10 important questions answers

SubjectEnglish Language & Literature
Chapter NameHow to Tell Wild Animals by Carolyn Wells
Chapter No. 3
TypeImportant Questions and Answers
Book NameFirst Flight

"अगर तुम सपने को साकार करना चाहते हो, तो सोने के लिए मत रुको।"

- डॉ. अ.पी.जे. अब्दुल कलाम

How to Tell Wild Animals Class 10 Extra Questions and Answers

Q. No.1) Multiple Choice Questions based on an extract:

If strolling forth, a beast you view,
Whose hide with spots is peppered,
As soon as he has lept on you,
You’ll know it is the Leopard.
’Twill do no good to roar with pain,
He’ll only lep and lep again.

i. Choose the option listing the stanza that would follow the given extract.

how to tell wild animals class 10 extra questions answers

a. Option 1

b. Option 2

c. Option 3

d. Option 4

Ans. Option (c)

ii. Given below are four examples of activities that Jasmeet does. Choose the option that correctly demonstrates ‘strolling’.

a. Jasmeet runs with great speed after being chased by a dog.

b. Jasmeet walks in the garden, relaxing while listening to his favorite song.

c. Jasmeet skids sharply on the ice skate rink.

d. Jasmeet rushes to switch off the water pump in the backyard.

Ans. Option (b)

iii. Which option lists the statement that is NOT TRUE according to the extract?

a. The poet asks the reader to hide on seeing the leopard.

b. The poet cautions the reader about a leopard when walking through its territory.

c. The poet informs the reader that a leopard can launch repeated attacks.

d. The poet tells the reader that a leopard attack can result in pain.

Ans. Option (a)

iv. The repetition used in “he’ll only lep and lep again” is an example of

a. poetic justice.

b. Satire

c. allusion.

d. poetic license.

Ans. Option (d)

v. Choose the option that matches the rhyme scheme of the extract.

1. Proud
2. Wild
3. Wild
4. Loud

a. option 1

b. option 2

c. option 3

d. option 4

Ans. Option (c)

Q. No.2) Though to distinguish beasts of prey
A novice might nonplus,
The Crocodile you always may
Tell from the Hyena thus:
Hyenas come with merry smiles;
But if they weep they’re Crocodiles.

i. Choose the option that DOES NOT describe a ‘novice’.

a. Lakshman has played cricket for the first time today.

b. Samiksha has been teaching for the last ten years.

c. Srishti went to her first French class yesterday.

d. Gautam baked a second cake to improve his skills.

Ans. Option (b)

ii. Which option lists the image that DOES NOT indicate what the poet means by ‘beasts of prey’?

how to tell wild animals class 10 questions answers

a. Option 1

b. Option 2

c. Option 3

d. Option 4

Ans. Option (d)

iii. What, according to the extract, would cause bewilderment?

a. Discovering the similarity between different preys of beasts.

b. Analysing habits of beasts that prey on hyenas.

c. Knowing the difference between several beasts of prey.

d. Drawing the similarities between crocodiles and hyenas.

Ans. Option (c)

iv. Choose the line from the given stanza that the poet takes liberty with, to fit to the rhyme scheme.

a. Though to distinguish beasts of prey

b. A novice might nonplus

c. The Crocodile you always may

d. Hyenas come with merry smiles

Ans. Option (b)

v. Choose the crocodile fact that is related to the given extract.

a. They have webbed feet which, though not used to propel them through the water, allow them to make fast turns and sudden moves in the water or initiate swimming.

b. Absence of sweat glands and so, release heat through their mouths making them often sleep with their mouths open.

c. 99% of crocodiles are eaten in the first year of their life by large fish, hyenas, monitor lizards, and larger crocodiles.

d. While eating, they swallow too much air, which gets in touch with lachrymal glands and causes them to weep.

Ans. Option (d)

vi. 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?

Ans. The line "A novice might nonplus" can be written as "A novice might be nonplussed" to adhere to conventional grammar rules. However, the poet's deliberate use of "nonplus" as a verb without the auxiliary "be" serves a specific purpose in the poem.

In the poem, Carolyn Wells employs humor and wordplay to create a lighthearted tone. By using "nonplus" as a verb instead of "be nonplussed," she introduces a playful and whimsical element to the line. The poet intentionally chooses a less conventional construction to maintain the rhythm, rhyme, and overall flow of the poem.

Q. No.3) Or if sometime when roaming round,
A noble wild beast greets you,
With black stripes on a yellow ground,
Just notice if he eats you.
This simple rule may help you learn
The Bengal Tiger to discern.

If strolling forth, a beast you view,
Whose hide with spots is peppered,
As soon as he has lept on you,
You’ll know it is the Leopard.
’Twill do no good to roar with pain,
He’ll only lep and lep again.

i. Complete the sentence appropriately.

The word 'discern' in line 6 of the extract means the same as __________. (Clue: explain contextual meaning here)

Ans. recognize/detect/identify

ii. Identify the option that explains the poetic device used.

With black stripes on a yellow ground...
...Whose hide with spots is peppered

a. a word formed from a sound

b. a word or phrase repeated at intervals

c. a word or expression used in place of an unpleasant one

d. a word or phrase that creates a mental image through vivid description

Ans. Option (d)

iii. State whether the following statement is TRUE or FALSE:

The extract tells us the similarities between tigers and leopards.

Ans. False

iv. Select the appropriate option to complete the sentence.

The tone of the poet when telling how to identify a wild animal is both scary and __________.

a. Funny

b. exciting

c. shocking

d. sorrowful

Ans. Option (a)

Q. No.4) Identify the option that has the same rhyme scheme as these 4 lines.

Or if some time when roaming round,
A noble wild beast greets you,
With black stripes on a yellow ground,
Just notice if he eats you.

a. The sky is very sunny.
The children are funny.
Under the tree we sit,
But just for a bit.

b. I lost two cities, lovely ones. And, vaster,
some realms I owned, two rivers, a continent.
I miss them, but it wasn't a disaster.
—Even losing you (the joking voice, a gesture

c) The people along the sand
All turn and look one way.
They turn their back on the land.
They look at the sea all day.

d) Others abide our question. Thou art free.
We ask and ask —Thou smilest and art still,
Out-topping knowledge. For the loftiest hill,
Who to the stars uncrowns his majesty,

Ans. Option (c)

Q. No.5) How does the poet suggest that you identify the lion and the tiger? When can you do so, according to him?


  • Asian Lion: The poet suggests that if you happen to come across a large and tawny beast in the jungles of the east, and it roars at you as you're dying, then you'll know it is the Asian Lion. The implication here is that the lion's roar is distinct and recognizable, and if you hear it in a life-threatening situation, you can be sure that it is the Asian Lion.
  • Bengal Tiger: The poet proposes a playful and ironic approach to identifying the Bengal Tiger. If you are roaming around and encounter a noble wild beast with black stripes on a yellow ground, you should simply notice if it eats you. The humor lies in the absurdity of the situation, as being eaten by the tiger would confirm its identity as the Bengal Tiger. It's a whimsical way of saying that if you become the tiger's prey, then you have indeed encountered a Bengal Tiger.

Q. No.6) Does ‘dyin’ really rhyme with ‘lion’?

Ans. No, the word "dyin'" does not technically rhyme with "lion" in standard English. The use of "dyin'" instead of "dying" in the poem is a deliberate choice by the poet to create a colloquial or dialectal effect. While it may be intended to mimic a particular accent or regional speech pattern, it deviates from the standard pronunciation.

Q. No.7) "If he roars at you as you’re dyin’/ You’ll know it is the Asian Lion…" Comment on the irony of the quote from the poem "How to Tell Wild Animals“

Ans. The quote from the poem "How to Tell Wild Animals" contains an element of irony that adds to its humor and wit. The irony lies in the notion that if the lion roars at you while you're in a life-threatening situation, you'll know it is the Asian Lion.

The irony stems from the fact that in such a dire circumstance, one's primary concern would typically be survival rather than identifying the species of the lion. The poem playfully exaggerates the scenario, suggesting that the lion's roar is so distinctive and unmistakable that even in the face of imminent danger, one would still have the presence of mind to identify it as the Asian Lion.

Q. No.8) Hyperbole is a literary device used when the poet exaggerates an image to make it comical. State two instances from the poem "How to Tell Wild Animals" where the literary device is used.


  1. "And if there should to you advance
    A large and tawny beast,
    If he roars at you as you’re dyin’
    You’ll know it is the Asian Lion..."

In this stanza, the poet exaggerates the idea of the Asian Lion's roar by suggesting that it occurs when one is already in a dire situation, "as you're dyin'." This hyperbolic statement amplifies the intensity of the lion's roar and creates a comical effect by emphasizing the extreme circumstances under which one would recognize the lion.

  1. "Or if sometime when roaming round,
    A noble wild beast greets you,
    With black stripes on a yellow ground,
    Just notice if he eats you."

This stanza employs hyperbole by presenting the absurd scenario of being eaten by a tiger as a means to identify it. The exaggerated statement that one should "just notice if he eats you" exaggerates the danger and creates a humorous contrast between the act of being eaten and the notion of casual observation.

Q. No.9) Do you think the words ‘lept‘ and ‘lep’ in the third stanza are spelled correctly? Why does the poet spell them like this?

Ans. The words "lept" and "lep" in the third stanza of the poem "How to Tell Wild Animals" are deliberately spelled in an unconventional manner by the poet. The spelling "lept" is used as a past tense verb form of "leap," and "lep" is a shortened form of "leopard."

The poet chooses to spell these words in a truncated manner to maintain the rhythm, rhyme, and overall structure of the poem. By using these abbreviated spellings, the poet creates a sense of informality and light-heartedness, deviating from the strict conventions of standard spelling.

Q. No.10) Which genre is most appropriate for the poem? Substantiate your choice with reference to the poem “How to Tell Wild Animals”.

Ans. The most appropriate genre for the poem "How to Tell Wild Animals" would be considered humorous or comedic poetry.

The poem employs a lighthearted and playful tone throughout, utilizing wit, wordplay, and exaggerated situations to evoke laughter and amusement from the reader. It presents a whimsical guide to identifying wild animals through humorous and often absurd descriptions, such as recognizing a lion by its roar when one is in a dire situation or identifying a tiger by whether or not it eats you.

The use of irony, hyperbole, and playful language further supports the comedic genre of the poem. The poet deliberately plays with words, uses unconventional spellings, and creates unexpected twists and contrasts to generate humor and entertain the reader.

Q. No.11) “All knowledge is useful. But not all knowledge is worth the cost.” Elaborate on the quote in the context of the poem “How to Tell Wild Animals”.

Ans. The quote "All knowledge is useful. But not all knowledge is worth the cost" reflects the idea that while knowledge can have value and usefulness, it may not always be worth the effort, time, or consequences associated with acquiring that knowledge.

In the poem, the speaker presents a comical guide to identifying wild animals, providing amusing descriptions and playful scenarios.

However, when considering the quote, we can interpret it as a reminder that while acquiring knowledge about wild animals may be interesting and useful in a light-hearted manner, it may not be worth the cost if taken too seriously or pursued with excessive effort. The poem's purpose is primarily to entertain and bring joy through its humorous elements, rather than to provide in-depth or scientific knowledge about wildlife.

Q. No.12) Would you agree that the poet has an in-depth knowledge of the wild? Support the statement in the context of the poem “How to Tell Wild Animals”.

Ans. Based on the content of the poem "How to Tell Wild Animals," it is unlikely that the poet has an in-depth knowledge of the wild. The poem is characterized by its humorous and playful tone, presenting imaginative and exaggerated descriptions of various animals for comedic effect.

While the poet demonstrates a creative understanding and ability to construct amusing scenarios, the purpose of the poem is primarily entertainment rather than imparting factual knowledge about wildlife. The descriptions provided in the poem are not meant to be taken literally or as accurate representations of the animals' true characteristics.

Q. No.13) "If there is nothing on the tree, / ’Tis the chameleon you see." Briefly explain the paradox of the quote.

Ans. A paradox is a statement that seems contradictory or absurd at first glance but may reveal a deeper truth or meaning upon closer examination.

In this particular quote, the paradox lies in the idea that if there is nothing on the tree, one can see the chameleon. Normally, when there is nothing on a tree, we would expect not to see anything at all, as it implies an absence of any visible creature or object. However, the poet presents a paradox by suggesting that in the absence of any visible presence on the tree, the chameleon becomes noticeable.

The paradox arises from the chameleon's unique ability to blend in with its surroundings and change its color to match the environment

Q. No.14) Imagine the poet meets Mijbil, the otter. Write a detailed account of the characteristics the poet could use for her poem if she were to write about telling an otter.

Ans. If the poet were to encounter Mijbil, the otter, and write a poem about telling an otter, she could include various characteristics to capture the essence of this playful and agile creature. The poet might describe the otter's sleek and water-repellent fur, with shades of brown and hints of silver glistening in the sunlight. She could emphasize the otter's lithe and nimble body, capable of graceful dives and acrobatic leaps.

The poet might also highlight the otter's webbed paws, perfect for swimming and diving underwater, and its sharp claws, essential for catching fish and maneuvering through rocky terrain. She could depict the otter's curious and inquisitive nature, its keen senses alert to every movement in its surroundings.

Q. No.15) Write a letter to the poet detailing your favorite aspects of the poem and the ones that you did not like. Include a request about which animal you’d like her to exclusively compose a poem on. Give reason/s for your choice.


18 July XXXX

Dear Ms. Wells,

I just read your poem “How to Tell Wild Animals” and enjoyed it thoroughly! ………………………. (continue)………………………….

Yours sincerely




18 July XXXX

Dear Ms. Wells,

I just read your poem "How to Tell Wild Animals" and enjoyed it thoroughly! The lighthearted and whimsical tone of the poem made it a delightful read. I particularly appreciated the use of humor and wordplay throughout the poem, which added a playful touch to the descriptions of various wild animals. It was entertaining to imagine the scenarios you presented for identifying the animals, such as recognizing the Asian Lion by its roar when one is in a dire situation or determining if a tiger is the Bengal Tiger by noticing if it eats you. Your clever use of irony and hyperbole brought a smile to my face.

Moreover, the rhythmic structure and rhyming scheme of the poem added to its musicality and made it enjoyable to read aloud. The use of unconventional spellings and truncated words, such as "dyin'" and "lep," further contributed to the whimsical nature of the poem.

However, if I may offer some constructive feedback, I would have loved to see more verses or stanzas dedicated to each animal. While I understand that brevity and conciseness may have been intentional, I felt that some animals could have been further explored, allowing for more imaginative descriptions and playful scenarios.

On that note, I would like to make a request for your next poem. I would be thrilled if you could exclusively compose a poem on the majestic and enigmatic Snow Leopard. I believe your poetic prowess and ability to infuse humor and whimsy would bring a unique charm to capturing the essence of this elusive creature. The Snow Leopard's solitary nature, its stunning camouflage, and its ability to thrive in harsh mountainous environments make it an intriguing subject for your poetic exploration.

Thank you for sharing your talent and creativity through your poetry. I look forward to reading more of your work in the future.

Yours sincerely,

[Your Name]

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