Parody – How Doth the Little Crocodile


A parody is an imitation of a writing, drama or music by mocking the original in an amusing way.

The following Parody is taken from ’Alice in Wonderland’ by Lewis Carroll, chapter 2, and is recited by Alice. The poem has only two stanzas of four lines each.

How Doth the Little Crocodile – Lewis Carroll

How doth the little crocodile

Improve his shinning tail;

And pour the waters of the Nile

On every golden scale!


How cheerfully he seems to grin,

How neatly spreads his claws,

And welcomes little fishes in,

With gently smiling jaws!



1st stanza

The poet is talking about the crocodile that lives in the river Nile. He tells us that the crocodile improves his looks by pouring water on his body which makes it shine and the scales appear golden under the rays of the sun. This will make him look very attractive to the fishes that he wants to prey on.

2nd stanza

The crocodile cheerfully grins and smiles. But his smile is a mask he puts to hide his real intention of attracting the fishes. Behind the fake smile is a beast, neatly spreading his claws, all the while lurking and waiting for an opportunity to strike at the innocent little fishes that may come to exchange pleasantries with him.


The poem also draws our attention to the various people in the world, who outwardly seem friendly but wait for an opportunity to strike at innocent people who may be unaware of their real malicious intentions.

So the poet is warning us to be very careful while dealing with others and not get carried away by their sweet smile or attractive looks.

Answer the following questions:

1st stanza

Q1. How does the crocodile improve his shinning tail?

Q2. Where does the crocodile pour the water of the Nile?

Q3. What makes the crocodile’s scale golden?

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