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.
Ogden Nash is a poet who touched upon great concepts through simple and trivial poems. The poem talks about a dragon named Custard, a particular episode that made everyone question their thoughts and judgements on other beings. The poet has deliberately twisted a few words to bring in the comic element in the poem. The concept also seems simple as it involves a little girl with four pets.
Why do we have pets at home? Some people have dogs and some cats. People's pet preferences vary from rabbits to birds. Different people have pets for different reasons. Some have dogs to have friendly company or cats to have fun with. There are people who consider their pets as their children. Some specially-abled people seek professional help from their pets. The poem revolves around one such person who keeps pets.
Belinda is the central character in the poem, and she lives in a little white house. The little white house gives the readers a sense of warmth and cosiness. It seems like a house with less number of people living in it. Belinda lives in the house with four pets. The first one is a black kitten. Some people prefer white and cute kittens for all the odd reasons. But Belinda has this black one. Kittens can be cute, and they make for good company as they play around. The next pet that Belinda has is a little grey mouse. This seems to be a contradictory scene as cats are mortal enemies of mice. Cats chase them around and eat them up. But this house seems unusual as it is home to both the kitten and the mouse.
The kitten, mouse and dog
Belinda then has a dog, which is a quite common sight in all households. The dog is unusually yellow, which could mean the golden yellow colour. A kitten, a mouse and a dog seem to be a dangerous combo, as they are less friendly towards each other. If this was not enough, Belinda also has a dragon at her house as a pet. They also have a red wagon to move out. The poet uses the made-up words realio trulio to emphasise that it was truly a dragon. The kitten is named Ink, probably taking after black ink. The mouse is called Blink, rhyming with Ink. The dog is named Mustard as he is sharp, and the dragon being a coward, was named Custard. The names of the dog and the dragon seem to align with their nature.
Meaning of difficult words:
WagonA small vehicle used for transporting goods and people
Realio TrulioA twisted form of really truly
MustardA spicy yellow paste
CustardA dessert or sweet sauce
CowardSomeone who is always afraid
TrivialNot very important
DeliberatelyDoing something knowingly
CosinessThe warmth and peace that one gets when they are relaxed
ContradictoryNegating a statement
Mortal enemiesEnemies for a long time
National Council of Educational Research and Training (2006). Beehive. The Tale of Custard the Dragon - Ogden Nash (pp. 129-132). Published at the Publication Division by the Secretary, National Council of Educational Research and Training, Sri Aurobindo Marg, New Delhi.