THE NET BOOK OF RIDDLES by Mark Manning You eat something you neither plant nor plow. It is the son of water, but if water touches it, it dies. -- Salt; ice. A serpent swam in a silver urn. A golden bird did in its mouth abide The serpent drank the water, this in turn Killed the serpent. Then the gold bird died. -- A silver dish of some kind floating in an oil lamp with the flame above it. Teacher, open thy book. -- A butterfly. My tines are long. My tines are short. My tines end ere My first report. -- Lightning; lightning bolt. Turn us on our backs And open up our stomachs You will be the wisest of men Though at start a lummox. -- A book. The hungry dog howls For crust of bread. His cry goes unheard It's far overhead. -- A dog baying at the crescent moon. Bury deep, Pile on stones, Yet I will Dig up the bones. -- Memories. A cloth poorly dyed And an early morning sky How are they the same? -- Their color changes easily. It occurs once in every minute Twice in every moment And yet never in one hundred thousand years. -- The letter 'M'. My first wears my second; my third might be What my first would acquire if he went to the sea. Put together my one, two, three And the belle of New York is the girl for me. -- Manhattan. Never ahead, ever behind, Yet flying swiftly past; For a child I last forever, For adults I'm gone too fast. -- Childhood. Two horses, swiftest travelling, Harnessed in a pair, and Grazing ever in places Distant from them. -- Your eyes; the sun and the moon. It can be said: To be gold is to be good; To be stone is to be nothing; To be glass is to be fragile; To be cold is to be cruel. Unmetaphored, what am I? -- A heart. Round she is, yet flat as a board Altar of the Lupine Lords. Jewel on black velvet, pearl in the sea Unchanged but e'erchanging, eternally. -- The moon. Twice four and twenty blackbirds sitting in the rain I shot and killed a quarter of them How many do remain? -- Since, after shooting 1/4 of the birds, the rest will fly off, the answer should be either (2*(4+20))/4=12 or ((2*4)+20)/4=7. First will be last Last will be first And all in between will also be cursed Open the door and the thing will be there So be carefull and beware! -- Unknown. Thought to be: Post. As in the post on a door. It has a golden head It has a golden tail but it hasn't got a body. -- A golden coin. Speak, friend, and enter! -- Friend. A leathery snake, With a stinging bite, I'll stay coiled up, Unless I must fight. -- A whip. There is not wind enough to twirl That one red leaf, nearest of its clan, Which dances as often as dance it can. -- Unknown. Half-way up the hill, I see thee at last Lying beneath me with thy sounds and sights -- A city in the twilight, gleaming and vast, With smoking roofs, soft bells, and gleaming lights. -- Unknown. I am, in truth, a yellow fork From tables in the sky By inadventant fingers dropped The awful cutlery. Of mansions never quite disclosed And never quite concealed, The apparatus of the dark To ignorance revealed. -- Unknown. Many-maned scud-thumper, Maker of worn wood, Shrub-ruster, Sky-mocker, Rave! Portly pusher, Wind-slave. -- Unknown. Make me thy lyre, even as the forests are. What if my leaves fell like its own -- The tumult of thy mighty harmonies Will take from both a deep autumnal tone. -- Unknown. This darksome burn, horseback brown, His rollock highroad roaring down, In coop and in comb the fleece of his foam Flutes and low to the body falls home. -- Unknown. I've measured it from side to side, 'Tis three feet long and two feet wide. It is of compass small, and bare To thirsty suns and parching air. -- Unknown. My love, when I gaze on thy beautiful face, Careering along, yet always in place, The thought has often come into my mind If I ever shall see thy glorious behind. -- Unknown. Then all thy feculent majesty recalls The nauseuous mustiness of forsaken bowers, The leprous nudity of deserted halls -- The positive nastiness of sullied flowers. And I mark the colours, yellow and black, The fresco thy lithe, dictatorial thighs. -- Unknown. What has roots as nobody sees, Is taller than trees, Up, up it goes, And yet never grows? -- A mountain. Thirty white horses on a red hill, First they champ, Then they stamp, Then they stand still. -- Your teeth. Voiceless it cries, Wingless it flutters, Toothless bites, Mouthless mutters. -- The wind. An eye in a blue face Saw an eye in a green face. "That eye is like to this eye" Said the first eye, "But in low place, Not in high place." -- A daisy field of grass, big eye is sun. It cannot be seen, cannot be felt, Cannot be heard, cannot be smelt. It lies behind stars and under hills, And empty holes it fills. It comes first and follows after, Ends life, kills laughter. -- The darkness. A box without hinges, key, or lid, Yet golden treasure inside is hid. -- Eggs; oranges. Alive without breath, As cold as death; Never thirsty, ever drinking, All in mail never clinking. -- A fish. This thing all things devours: Birds, beast, trees, flowers; Gnaws iron, bites steel; Grinds hard stones to meal; Slays king, ruins town, And beats high mountain down. -- Time. You feel it, but never see it and never will. -- Your heart. You must keep it after giving it. -- Your word. As light as a feather, but you can't hold it for ten minutes. -- Your breath. Has a mouth but does not speak, has a bed but never sleeps. -- A river. Runs smoother than any rhyme, loves to fall but cannot climb! -- Water. You break it even if you name it! -- Silence. It passes before the sun and makes no shadow. -- The air? You feed it, it lives, you give it something to drink, it dies. -- A fire. A red drum which sounds Without being touched, And grows silent, When it is touched. -- Your heart. A harvest sown and reaped on the same day In an unplowed field, Which increases without growing, Remains whole though it is eaten Within and without, Is useless and yet The staple of nations. -- A war. If you break me I do not stop working, If you touch me I may be snared, If you lose me Nothing will matter. -- Hope. All about, but cannot be seen, Can be captured, cannot be held No throat, but can be heard. -- Sounds or noises. I go around in circles, But always straight ahead Never complain, No matter where I am led. -- A wheel. Lighter than what I am made of, More of me is hidden Than is seen. -- An iceberg or a piece of ice. If a man carried my burden, He would break his back. I am not rich, But leave silver in my track. -- A snail. My life can be measured in hours, I serve by being devoured. Thin, I am quick Fat, I am slow Wind is my foe. -- A candle. Weight in my belly, Trees on my back, Nails in my ribs, Feet I do lack. -- A boat; a cave. You can see nothing else When you look in my face I will look you in the eye And I will never lie. -- A mirror. I am always hungry, I must always be fed, The finger I lick Will soon turn red. -- A fire. Three lives have I. Gentle enough to soothe the skin, Light enough to caress the sky Hard enough to crack rocks. -- Water. Glittering points That downward thrust, Sparkling spears That never rust. -- Icicles; teeth; stalactites. Each morning I appear To lie at your feet, All day I follow No matter how fast you run, Yet I nearly perish In the midday sun. -- A shadow. Keys without locks Yet I unlock the soul. -- A piano; a harpsichord. Something wholly unreal, yet seems real to I Think my friend, tell me where does it lie? -- In the mind. I am so simple, That I can only point Yet I guide men All over the world. -- A compass. A beggar's brother went out to sea and drowned. But the man who drowned had no brother. What was the relationship between the man who drowned and the beggar? -- The beggar was his sister; two priests. For our ambrosia we were blessed, by Jupiter, with a sting of death. Though our might, to some is jest, we have quelled the dragon's breath. Who are we? -- Bees. Colored as a maiden tweaked, time was naught when I began; through the garden I was sneaked, I alone am the fall of man. What am I? -- An apple. Early ages the iron boot tread, with Europe at her command. Through time power slipped and fled, 'til the creation of new holy land. Who am I? -- Italy (Rome). One thin, one bold, one sick, one cold. The earth we span, to prey upon man. Who are we? -- The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. One where none should be, or maybe where two should be, seeking out purity, in the kings trees. What am I? -- A unicorn. One tooth to bite, he's the forests foe. One tooth to fight, as all Norse know. What is it? -- An axe. This creature, part man and part tree, hates the termite as much as the flea. His tracks do not match, and his limbs may detach, but he's not a strange creature to see. What is it? -- A man with a wooden leg. The part of the bird that is not in the sky, which can swim in the ocean and always stay dry. What is it? -- The bird's shadow. Dead and bound, what once was free. What made no sound, now sings with glee. What is it? -- A wooden, stringed instrument. The root tops the trunk on this backward thing, that grows in the winter and dies in the spring. What is it? -- An icicle. Touching one, yet holding two, it is a one link chain binding those who keep words true, 'til death rent it in twain. What is it? -- A wedding ring. A Statue with the Inscription : All ye who Enter here, weep, for my Story is a sorrowful one. (Or something similar) The correct response was to weep in front of the statue, which opened a secret door behind It. I used a slightly harder version of that on my Group, and it stumped them for quite a while. -- Weeping. The wise and knowledgeable man is sure of it. Even the fool knows it. The rich man wants it. The greatest of heroes fears it. Yet the lowliest of cowards would die for it. What is this upon which I ponder? -- Nothing; something. I am and yet can not am an Idea, yet can rot am two but none am on land, but on sea. What am I? -- Paradox; a pair of docks. All in white Fossil, fresh snow, a loan, the sky, Just what am I? -- A bride (something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue). I am better than sex, I am worse than MS-DOS, Dead men eat me, If you eat me you'll die. -- Nothing. Two horses, swiftest travelling, Harnessed in a pair, and Grazing ever in places Distant from them. -- Unknown. What is greater than God, Worse than the Devil, Dead man eat it, If you eat it you'll die. -- Nothing. I am a wonderful help to women, The hope of something to come. I harm No citizen except my slayer. Rooted I stand on a high bed. I am shaggy below. Sometimes the beautiful Peasant's daughter, an eager-armed, Proud woman grabs my body, Rushes my red skin, holds me hard, Claims my head. The curly-haired Woman who catches me fast will feel Our meeting. Her eye will be wet. -- An onion. I saw a swift one shoot out on the road: S S I P I saw a woman sitting alone. -- Piss (yes, really...). Power and treasure for a prince to hold, Hard and steep-cheeked, wrapped in red Gold and garnet, ripped from a plain Of bright flowers, wrought - a remnant Of fire and file, bound in stark beauty With delicate wire, my grip makes Warriors weep, my sting threatens The hand that grasps gold. Studded With a ring, I ravage heir and heirloom. To my lord and foes always lovely And deadly, altering face and form. -- A sword. As I was going to St. Ives, I met a man with seven wives; Every wife had seven sacks, Every sack had seven cats, Every cat had seven kits: Kits, cats, sacks, and wives, How many were there going to St. Ives? -- One. Dawns away, The day's turned grey, And I must travel far away. But I'll be back, And then we'll track, The light of yet another day. -- The sun; a shadow. Deep, dark, underground, That is the place where I'll be found. Yet brought into the light of day, I sprinkle sunlight every-which-a-way. Though dulled with oil I will be found, I am remarkably well and throughly sound. Cut me quick and it will be seen, That I instantly have a marvelous sheen. -- A diamond; a gem. Long legs, crooked thighs, Little head, and no eyes. -- A pair of tongs. What has six eyes, Six arms, Six legs, Three heads, And a very short life? -- Three peasants about to be eaten by a dragon; the Monkees about to be eaten by a dragon. What is it that speaks without any words? And can be loudly, and distinctly heard? Will drive away friend, and foe alike. And is enough to make a stolid man's face alight? -- Passing gas; farting. What must be in the oven yet can not be baked? Grows in the heat yet shuns the light of day? What sinks in water but rises with air? Looks like skin, but is fine as hair? -- Yeast. Little Johnny Walker, My, but he was a talker! Yet nary a word did he say! When I took him out, Then they would all point and shout! And ask that I put him away. (This is NOT a dirty riddle. So get your mind out of the gutter!) -- Your opinions. Two legs sat upon three legs with one leg in his lap. In comes four legs, grabs one leg, and runs off with him. Up jumps two legs, grabs up three legs, throws it after four legs, and makes him bring back one leg. Who are we? -- One leg is a leg of mutton. Two legs is a person. Three legs is a stool. Four legs is a dog. They are many and one, They wave and they drum, Used to cover a stare, They go with you everywhere. -- Your hands. Stomp, stomp, Chomp, chomp, Romp, romp. Standing still, all in gear. -- Horses. Sweet tooth, Ah shoot, All gone, We all long, For another piece of it. -- Candy. It comes in on little cat's feet, Is neither sour, nor sweet. Hovers in the air, And then is not there. -- Fog; mist. A laugh, A cry, A moan, A sigh. -- Emotions. What is it you have to answer? But to answer you have to ask? And to ask you have to speak? And to speak you have to know, The answer. -- A riddle. I can hit you in the eye, Yet twinkle in the sky, Expanding when I die, What do you think am I? -- A star. Squishes, Squashes, Wishes I washes, Can get it in my hair, Makes me not look too fair. -- Mud (your mom wishes you'd wash it off). White on black, And black on white. Helps you to know things, By using your sight. -- A monitor (more of a Traveller riddle). Up a hill, Down a hill, Over them I may roam, But after all my walking, There's no place like my own. -- Your home. This thing is a most amazing thing. For it can be both as sharp as a knife, Or as flat as a floor. And yet, for all that it can be, It is as natural as a bee. -- Music. Deep, deep, do they go. Spreading out as they go. Never needing any air. They are sometimes as fine as hair. -- Roots. Oh Lord! I am not worthy! I bend my limbs to the ground. I cry, yet without a sound. Let me drink of waters deep. And in silence I will weep. -- A willow. Shifting, Shifting, Drifting deep. Below me great and mighty cities sleep. Swirling, Scurlling, All around. I'm only where no water will be found. -- The desert. I bubble and laugh And spit water in your face. I am no lady, And I don't wear lace. -- A fountain. What has wings, But can not fly. Is enclosed, But can outside also lie. Can open itself up, Or close itself away. Is the place of kings and queens, And doggerel of every means. What is it upon which I stand? Which can lead us to different lands. -- A stage. Do not begrude this, For it is the fate of every man. Yet it is feared, And shunned in many lands. Causes problems, and sometimes gaps, Can hobble the strongest, and make memory laps. What is this danger we all face? For being a part - of the human race. -- Growing old. Woe to Norman, That craggy man. Who's known such horrors, As to exceed the grief of man. And as it was written, A daughter was lost. When the seas came a coming, With a shout, and hoar frost. Oh, where can he be? This man of cruel fate. Whose teeth are gnashing, And a face full of hate. -- The Wreck of the Hesperus by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (The reef of Norman's Woe). His eyes were raging, That scraggly beast. His lips were bursting, With rows of angry teeth. Upon his back a razor was found, And in his thoughts - my death abound. It was a fearsome battle we fought, My life - or his, one would be bought. And when we were through, and death chilled the air, We cut out his heart, and ate it with flair. Who was he? -- A wild boar (razorback). I travelled inwards, To that heart where no one else roamed. Where only the birds and animals found a home. Where the pixies flew with an audible air, And tangles twigs and leaves within my hair. Ah. I love this place, this paradise, Where everything is so beautiful, So still, and so nice. Where did he go? -- The heart of the forest. Of these things - I have two. One for me - and one for you. And when you ask about the price, I simply smile and nod twice. -- Sharing. I am a strange creature, Hovering in the air, Moving from here to there, With a brilliant flare. Some say I sing, But others say I have no voice. So I just hum - as a matter of choice. What am I? -- A hummingbird. Sleeping during the day, I hide away. Watchful through the night, I open at dawn's light. But only for the briefest time, Do I shine. And then I hide away, And sleep through the day. -- A morning glory. Looks like water, But it's heat. Sits on sand, Lays on concrete. People have been known, To follow it everywhere. But it gets them no place, And all they can do is stare. -- A mirage. A part of heaven, Though it touches the earth. Some say it's valuable, Others - no worth. -- A rainbow. I stand, And look across the sea, With its waves, crests, troughs, and valleys. I stride, Across this water, my horse following after, And while it laps against his withers, And brushes against my thighs, I fill the emptiness with laughter. And he - with his sighs. Whether do we go? Or do we go at all? Or are we simply out here wading, To the next port of call. Where the sea ends, Where the loam lays firm beneath my feet, And I can mount my steed again, And continue til next we meet. What is really being talked about? -- The open plains. It roars its challenge, And I respond. It takes my abuse, And goes beyond. Filled with liquid, In my hurried haste, I wield my staff, In this turgid race. But once I have vanquished, The mighty foe, I float like a thistle, While moving ever so slow. What are we talking about really? -- Going down a river with rapids in a boat. I was born blind, And could not see, Until it was a quarter of three. I could not smile, Til half past six, And all of my arms and legs Were made of sticks. -- A doll. Ah! My breath doth shake, My limbs are thin, My belly aches. Whiteness doth crown my head, And the tracks I leave, Are unsteady where I've led. I look out through rheumy eyes, And seem to say my last goodbyes. The darkness doth draw me near, I lean towards it - the better to hear. -- Old age. A riddle given by two people to a third (1st person, 2nd person): Tis not, tis is. Tis good, tis bad. Tis left, tis right. Tis day, tis night. -- Paradox; opposites. Hick-a-more, Hack-a-more, On the King's kitchen door. All the King's horses, And all the King's men, Couldn't get Hick-a-more, Hack-a-more, Off the King's kitchen door. -- Sunlight. It was once upon a time, and nursery rhymes. When genii's stood all in a row. When Little Jack Horner, Sat in his corner, And all the King's men said "Aye! Aye!" today. So Heigh-Diddle-diddle, Eat crumpets and play the fiddle, While a cow makes curry and whey. And we'll all laugh, To see such fun, And maybe we'll come again - to play. -- Childhood; childhood's fairy tales. It is a tolling of the night. When all is still. And the wind whispers near the mill. Twas struck twelve times! And his voice rang out! And then, it was stilled. -- A bell ringing out at midnight. What mysteries are in its creation? Who's hand did bend its ore? Where did the knowledge come from? And could he have made any more? On his finger it did lie, Yet on his soul the more. For the fire it would bring, Would make his heart ring, And death, would come knocking at his door. -- A ring of fire. It was asked of me what I could be made, And so people were fed from me. It was asked of me what I could be made, And so houses were built. It was asked of me what I could be made, And so things were written. It was asked of me what I could be made, And so I fertilized the ground. But when asked more of what I could be made, There was nothing to be found. -- A tree. With this you can do wonderous things. Look at things close, or far away, You can see things big, Or you can see things small. Or maybe you don't see things at all. I come in many colors and hues, Sometimes green and sometimes blue. And when I'm red - it's not from shame, But from something with a different name. -- Your eyes. Oh how I love my dancing feet! They stay together - oh so neat. And when I want to walk a line, They all stay together and do double time. I count them up, ten times or more, And race on-off, across the floor. -- A centipede or millipede. They were made for a fairy queen's feet. To cover them and keep them tidy, and neat. A flower, of various sizes and hues, Their name is the opposite of a grown man's shoes. -- Lady slippers. Part pickle, part crazy, You can't call this flower lazy. It perks its head up with a snout And if it had a voice - I'm sure it'd shout. -- Daffodil. Bound by age, comfort and zest, The inquiring hand could not rest. But given to her heart's desire, She gave to us - our worst quagmires. And so now we wallow in our grief, And seeking to close the box we weep. While famine, plague, and other woes, Beset ourselves - and our foes. -- Pandora's Box. Nestled among a thorny embrace, What should I see but a small, plump, face. With cheeks rosey red, And neck way too long. He'll be ripe for plucking, Before too long. -- Prickly pear or other thorny, fruit-bearing plant. A muttered rumble was heard from the pen, And I, in my walking, stopped to look in. What was this I saw? A massive beast, hooved, and jawed. With spikes upon its mighty brow, I watched as he struck the turf and prowled. And yet for all of his magnificience, He couldn't get out of that wooden fence. -- A bull. There once was a man who sang this song: Hey! Dilly, dill, dang, dang! He'd sit around and sing this song: Hey! Dilly, dill, dang, dang! "Hi! Ho!" away he'd go, Singing all night long! Hey dilly, dill, dang, dang, do-reeee! He'd stay up til it was three! On his knee he'd keep a jug! Hey! Dilly, dill, dang, dang! And with it he'd keep a mug! Hey! Dilly, dill, dang, dang! "Hi! Ho!" away he'd go! Off to see the girls. To laugh and sing and play his games, Until he went insane! Oh what can it be that's this much fun? Hey! Dilly, dill, dang, dang! Seems its liked by everyone. Hey! Dilly, dill, dang, dang! "Hi! Ho!" off we go! Off to have some fun! To have a taste, a bit of fun, And be like everyone! Tell me now, all about this row! Hey! Dilly, dill, dang, dang! Oh, what's this now, I feel like a sow? Hey! Dilly, dill, dang, dang! Up is down and down is up, I feel so sick inside. Guess I'll have to drink some more, Or cover my head and hide! "Hi! Ho!" away we go! Off into the night! And if you can tell me what this is, I'll tell you that you're right! "Hi! Ho!" away we go! Off into the night! So tell me quick, I've got an itch, To have some more tonight! YEAH! -- Liquor. Twas the night of the day in which I must relay that in which I took part in. For the sun was out and without so much as a shout he quietly went in. Twas ever so queer I thought he would leer but never a word did I get in. For without another word (at least that's what I heard) He was back to the place he'd been in. -- An eclipse. Twas the giantess who told me what to do. Twas she who opened the doors, And close the windows. Not I. Twas her who decided the chair did well on the lawn. And the table should be in the basement. I have done naught to deserve punishment, For I did not place the dog on the lamp, Nor the cat in the chimney. Twas the giantess. -- A child playing with her doll house. A lazy day looked down upon her, And with eyes barely slitted, she saw me. I wondered if I should wander. But drew back when her eyes grew the bigger. Satisfied of my cowering, she stretched, Yawned, and spread her fingers langorously. And I, with my petite fingers rubbed my nose as I watched. She knew I had to eat and that soon I would emerge. Drawing my darkness forth with me to escape notice. It would not matter, for in the end we would Perform our pagan dance. With its rituals of sunlight, And shadow. Of words, softly spoken - or sprayed upon the wall. If I am lucky, oh so lucky, I will whisk away Upon a squeal of delight - or is it pain? And ponder the world once more, from within The hovel, the crawl space, the cracks. Where I live. -- A cat and a mouse. From sun up to sun down I stare out across the sea. From sun down to sun up I stare out across the sea. But while with sun up I can only blink in the brightness. With the sun down I can blink out the brightness. -- A lighthouse. A lot of bark, But no one notices. A lot to bite, And everyone cares. I'm not a dog, If anyone notices. And there's a lot to me, But I don't have hair. I stand up straight, If you've noticed me. I've got lots of limbs, If anyone cares. I can give you shade, If you've noticed it. And I do even more, I give you air. -- A tree. Twas in December or June, When my lady did swoon. When her hair did fall off, And her glasses were lost. When she did scream, In a manner most obscene. While pointing at me, And saying "Eeeeee! Eeeeee!" I must say it was all a bit much, Since no one did I touch. But it was quite apparent, That something was errant. So I decided to come back another day, When, mayhap, she was away. -- A mouse. This thing is many things. It is joyful, It is quiet, It is bubbling, It is roaring, It can jump, And it can sit. It can whisper, And it can drip. What is it of which I speak? What is it which can be both shallow and deep? -- Water; river; stream; etc. I drift, As slowly as a lazy river. I dance, Upon as little as a puff of air. I tumble, Better than the greatest acrobat. Swirling, Twirling, Down to the ground. Where I lie, Til I get my second wind. So I can begin again. -- A leaf. A riddle, easily solved. Red breasted. Only one in a field of many. Born in an egg. Inspired to sing. Now gather the letters and tell me what I mean. -- A robin. I have four of these, With matching extremities. They can do many things, And hardly ever bring me pain. Unless I stick them with a pin, Or burn them sometimes when... What is it that I can wiggle at will? And use in other means still? -- Fingers. What are all your fingers for? One's to point, of that I'm sure. One's for the doctor - whereever he may roam, One's for the accuser - to point out what is known. One's for the ear, without which we can not hear. And one get's us a ride, so we can rest our back side. What are all your finger for? Tell me which is which, and I'll even our score. -- Thumb: Hitchhike, 1st Finger: Accusing finger, 2nd Finger: Doctor's finger, 3rd Finger: Pointing finger, 4th Finger: Ear finger. I am a box, Full of that which is most rare. But it isn't a flute, And it isn't some hair. Though soft be my bed, I am as hard as a rock. And though dull in the darkness, I glisten once unlocked. What am I, this box so strange? To hold such a treasure, Which is not so plain. -- A jewelry box. The giant slept upon the rocks, His bones, sealed tight against them. A hoary hand, outstruck against fate's decree, That he should thus be kept from his purpose in life. Not knowing that his time has passed, And that that, which gave him his reason for living, His roots, Were no longer his own. But blackened stumps, Against which no living being could hope to live. yet... In his passing, life found purchase. For other creatures, making use of that which would remain, Would, in of themselves, find life. While the giant slept, Upon the rocks. -- A tree frozen/caught in a stream. I dreamed I saw a fairy's dance, Upon the midnight sky. Where lights, like lantern's grew, Without a whim, or a why. Amid their joy, Amid their dance, I came running into their midst. But with nar'ry a sound, They drew away, And fell into the mist. Oh, I saw them again, But only from very far. Dancing in the air at night, Like tiny lanterns, or tiny stars. -- Lightning bugs. When I looked upon the flames of his passion, And the coolness of her touch, I knew tragedy could only come from their union. And indeed, when they came together, Darkness reigned upon the land. And although they were soon separated, Learning as they did that they were not for each other, Still, their passing regards for each other, Left it's impression upon all who had witnessed it. And would be talked about for ages still to come. -- A solar eclipse. Oh woe is me! Woe is me! To have lost that which I can never buy back! To be unable to recall that which has transpired! Let my breath be returned! Let time recoil! Let this not be so! Oh woe is me! Woe is me! -- He broke his word. What has a coat? Hugs you not in sympathy? Whose smile you'd rather not see? Whose stance is a terrible thing to see? Who is it that brave men run away from? Whose fingers are clawed? Whose sleep lasts for months? And who's company we shunt? -- A bear. You can tumble in it, Roll in it, Burn it, Animals eat it, Used to cover floors, Still used beyond stall doors. Freshens whatever it is placed on, Absorbs whatever is poured into it. What is it? -- Hay. Within passion's fruit they will be found, And more of them in the pomegranate's crown. Rowed they are within an apple's core, Yet other fruits have them more. And though the nectarine has but one, Still, this is all just in fun. Playing hide and seek - a children's game. Finding out each player is just the same. -- Seeds. 'Twas whispered in Heaven, 'twas muttered in hell, And echo caught faintly the sound as it fell; On the confines of earth 'twas permitted to rest, And in the depths of the ocean its presence confes'd; 'Twill be found in the sphere when 'tis riven asunder, Be seen in the lightning and heard in the thunder; 'Twas allotted to man with his earliest breath, Attends him at birth and awaits him at death, Presides o'er his happiness, honor and health, Is the prop of his house, and the end of his wealth. In the heaps of the miser 'tis hoarded with care, But is sure to be lost on his prodigal heir; It begins every hope, every wish it must bound, With the husbandman toils, and with monarchs is crowned; Without it the soldier and seaman may roam, But woe to the wretch who expels it from home! In the whispers of conscience its voice will be found, Nor e'er in the whirlwind of passion be drowned; 'Twill soften the heart; but though deaf be the ear, It will make him acutely and instantly hear. Set in shade, let it rest like a delicate flower; Ah! Breathe on it softly, it dies in an hour -- The letter H. We are little airy creatures, All of different voice and features; One of us in glass is set, One of us you'll find in jet, T'other you may see in tin, And the fourth a box within; If the fifth you should pursue, It can never fly from you. -- The vowels. I'm a strange contradiction; I'm new, and I'm old, I'm often in tatters, and oft decked with gold. Though I never could read, yet lettered I'm found; Though blind, I enlighten; though loose, I am bound, I'm always in black, and I'm always in white; I'm grave and I'm gay, I am heavey and light- In form too I differ - I'm thick and I'm thin, I've no flesh and bones, yet I'm covered with skin; I've more points than the compass, more stops than the flute; I sing without voice, without speaking confute. I'm English, I'm German, I'm French, and I'm Dutch; Some love me too fondly, some slight me too much; I often die soon, though I sometimes live ages, And no monarch alive has so many pages. -- A book. As I went through the garden gap, Who should I meet but Dick Red-cap! A stick in his hand, a stone in his throat, If you'll tell me this riddle, I'll give you a groat. -- A cherry. Arthur O'Bower has broken his band, He comes roaring up the land -- The King of Scots, with all his power, Cannot turn Arthur of the Bower! -- A storm of wind. Flour of England, fruit of Spain, Met together in a shower of rain; Put in a bag tied round with a string, If you'll tell me this riddle, I'll give you a ring. -- A plum pudding. Little Nancy Etticote, In a white petticoat, With a red nose; The longer she stands The shorter she grows. -- A candle. I have a little sister, they call her Peep, Peep; She wades the waters deep, deep, deep; She climbs the mountains high, high, high; Poor little creature she has but one eye. -- A star. What is it that races your mind? Sets your heart on fire, And blows off time? Used to be a drink, But isn't anymore. And can be bought down the street; In the five and ten cent store? -- Coke. This was thought up for someone who was playing in a detective type of RPG game. It has a double meaning in that Cocaine used to be used in Coke. This, this is like a tip given to someone about a cocaine deal. I saw a company a marching, A marching across the sea. And looking upon them, I asked myself "What can they be?" For there was a horse, And there was a cow, And there were men marching, With houses and trees. But how? I saw a company marching, A marching across the sea. And wondered in my rest, How lazy I must be. -- Clouds in the sky. I'm up. I'm down. I'm all around. Yet never can I be found. Who am I? -- The wind. I can be moved. I can be rolled. But nothing will I hold. I'm red and I'm blue. And I can be other colors too. Having no head, though similar in shape, I have no eyes - yet move all over the place. What am I? -- A ball. I can be eaten, I can be grown, And sometimes you'll find me, As part of your home. Though able to bend, And sticky when broke, I'm stouter than maple, But weaker than oak. What am I? -- A pecan or walnut tree. Upon me you can tread, Though softly under cover. And I will take you places, That you have yet to discover. I'm high, and I'm low, Though flat in the middle. And though a joy to the children, Adults think of me little. What am I? -- Stairs. What is it which builds things up? Lays mountains low? Dries up lakes, And makes things grow? Cares not a whim about your passing? And is like few other things, Because it is everlasting? -- Time. It sat upon a willow tree, And sang softly unto me. Easing my pain and sorrow with its song, I wished to fly, but tarried long. And in my suffering, The willow was like a cool clear spring. What was it that helped me so? To spend my time in my woe. -- A bird. I awoke with start. Hearing its voice in the dark. And shook more so from within, Than that which came upon the wind. Then, with a flare and a flash. I hid my head and awaited the crash. What is it that shook my body so? And made me hide way down low? -- Thunder and lightning. Quickly, quickly up they run. Then down again here they come. Moving up, then down, then up again, Take notes, and start again. Combining both sharps and flats. Does anyone know where they are at? -- Hands on a keyboard. A man not a man saw and did not see a bird not a bird sitting on a stick not a stick and hit it with a stone not a stone. -- A eunuch saw a bat siting on a reed and hit it with a piece of punice. They can be harbored, but few hold water, You can nurse them, but only by holding them against someone else, You can carry them, but not with your arms, You can bury them, but not in the earth. -- A grudge. Deep as a bowl, round as a cup, Yet all the world's oceans can't fill it up. -- A sieve/collander (Sphere of Annihilation) Though desert men once called me God, To-day men call me mad, For I wag my tail when I am angry, And growl when I am glad. -- A cat. Fat Man at Dead Man's Journey. -- The Trinity A-bomb test a La Jornada del Muerto, Alamogordo, New Mexico. What answer is blowing in the wind? -- Forty-two. (How many roads must a man walk down?) I heard of an invading, vanquishing army sweeping across the land, liquid-quick; conquering everything, quelling resistance. With it came darkness, dimming the light. Humans hid in their houses, while outside spears pierced, shattering stone walls. Uncountable soldiers smashed into the ground, but each elicited life as he died; when the army had vanished, advancing northward, the land was green and growing, refreshed. -- A rainstorm. I saw a strange creature: Long, hard, and straight, Thrusting into a round, dark opening, Preparing to discharge its load of lives. Puffing and squealing noises accompanied it, Then a final screech as it slowed and stopped. Say what I mean. -- Train; subway. I can find a thing I cannot see and see a thing I cannot find. The first is time, the second is a spot before my eyes. -- Time. I can feel a thing I cannot touch and touch a thing I cannot feel. The first is sad and sorry, the second is your heart. -- Your heart. Never ahead, ever behind, Yet flying swiftly past, For a child, I last forever, For adults, I'm gone too fast. -- Youth. Tall she is, and round as a cup, Yet all the king's horses Can't draw her up. -- A well. There more of it there is, The less you see. -- Darkness. What is not enough for one, Just right for two, Too much for three? -- A secret. What gets wetter the more it dries? -- A towel. H I J K L M N O What word does this represent? -- Water (H2O). A long snake With a stinging bite, I stay coiled up Unless I must fight. -- Whip. Man of old, it is told Would search until he tired, Not for gold, ne'er be sold, But what sought he was fire. Man today, thou mayst say, Has quite another aim, In places deep, he did seek, To find me for his gain! -- Oil jewels. A warrior amongst the flowers, He bears a thrusting sword. Able and ready to use, To guard his golden hoard. -- Bees. Tom gave his brother John a box, About it there were many locks, The box was not with key supplied, But caused two lids to open wide. -- A smack up the side of the head. The Load-bearer, the Warrior, The Frightened One, the Brave, The Fleet-of-foot, the Ironshod The Faithful One, the Slave -- A horse. Walks in the wind Runs in the rain Makes dry oceans in the sun Counts time, stops clocks Swallows kingdoms, gnaws rocks. -- Sand. The rolling hills, the heart that beats forever, The land that never changes, never stills Ploughed by travellers far from home, not planted, White in anger, green in peace, and always blue. -- The sea/ocean. Pull with all your might, only a whistle you'll gain but almost out of sight, someone may shrink in pain. -- A bow and arrow. Listen closely, I'm hard to understand I am as elusive as is a handful of sand. Even if you perceive me, you know me not before you can tell me, what I have forgot. -- A riddle. As I went over London Bridge I met my sister Jenny I broke her neck and drank her blood And left here standing empty. Tell me who was my sister? -- Bottle of gin. What goes through the door without pinching itself? What sits on the stove without burning itself? What sits on the table and is not ashamed? -- The sun. What work is it that, the faster you work, the longer it is before your work is done, And the slower you work the sooner your work is finished? -- Roasting meat on a spit. Whilst I was engaged in sitting I spied the dead carrying the living What did I see? -- A ship (the vessel is made of dead wood and the people are alive). I know a word of letters three, Add two and fewer there will be. -- Few. I give you a group of three. One is sitting down, and never will get up. The second eats as much as is given him, yet is always hungry. The third goes away and never returns. -- Stove, fire, and smoke. He who makes it does not keep it. He who takes it does not know it. He who knows it does not want it. He who gathers it must destroy it. What is it? -- Counterfeit money. Whoever makes it, tells it not. Whoever takes it, knows it not. Whoever knows it, wants it not. Of what do I speak? -- Counterfeit money. Who makes it, has no need of it. Who buys it, has no use for it. Who uses it, can neither see nor feel it. -- A coffin. The man who made it didn't need it. The man who bought it didn't use it. The man who used it didn't want it. -- A coffin. You seized me, and yet I fled You see me flee and cannot hold me tight You press me in your hand, then your fist is empty. What am I? -- Snow. What has four legs in the morning, Two legs in the afternoon, And three legs in the evening? -- Man (a baby crawls on four legs, an adult walks on two, and an old man walks with the aid of a cane). What is deaf, dumb and blind and always tells the truth ? -- A mirror. What is always in front of you but cannot be seen? -- The future. What does man love more than life, hate more than death or mortal strife; That which contented men desire, the poor have, the rich require; The miser spends, the spendthrift saves, and all men carry to their graves? -- Nothing.("Nothing" fulfills all conditions.) To exit from this awful place, The eastern corridor you must pace And chant the magic words: OWAH TAGOO SIAM -- The correct pronounciation of OWAH TAGOO SIAM is "Oh, what a goose I am". A life longer than any man, it dies each year to be reborn. -- A tree. In the eyes it causes blindness, in the nose just a sneeze; Yet some suck this down, and act as if pleased. -- Smoke. It stands alone, with no bone or solid form. Adamant, it prospers never wrong, though hurt it may. Twistable, malleable, might it be, but always straight as an arrow. -- The truth. What sphinxes employ, the players enjoy. -- A riddle. A man of a hundred stood out in the cold, Exchanged his gay headdress, of colors most bold, For one of pure ivory, just now a day old. But though freshly dressed, the old man stood alone - It was his misfortune to live on a wold. -- A tree. It is late autumn, and snow has just fallen over the brightly colored leaves. Trees of course live to a great age and would be a rarity on a grassy plain (i.e. a wold). There's someone that I'm always near, Yet in the dark I disappear. To this one only I am loyal, Though in his wake I'm doomed to toil. He feels me not (we always touch); If I were lost, he'd not lose much. And now I come to my surprise, For you are he - but who am I ? -- Your shadow. I'm often held, yet rarely touched; I'm always wet, yet never rust; I'm sometimes wagged and sometimes bit; To use me well, you must have wit. -- Tongue. The only tool which sharper grows Whenever used in any row. -- Tongue. A "row" is an argument or a quarrel. In the window she sat weeping. And with each tear her life went seeping. -- A candle. I'm not really more than holes tied to more holes; I'm strong as good steel, though not as stiff as a pole. -- A chain. I've little strength, but mighty powers; I guard small hovels and great towers. But if perchance my master leaves, He must ensure he safeguards me. -- A key. The floor's on top, the roof's beneath, And from this place I rarely leave. Yet with the passing of each day, A new horizon greets my gaze. -- A sailor on a ship. Delivered by breath, scares heroes to death. -- The Riddle. In daytime I lie pooled about, At night I cloak like a mist. I creep inside shut boxes and Inside your tightened fist. You see me best when you can't see, For I do not exist. -- Darkness. Devils and rogues know nothing else, save starlight. -- Darkness. Both king and horse have this, of course, But you'll want neither of them, perforce. -- Reign/reins. My little fish-pond. It contains one fish. It has three outlets. -- A young coconut. My spring up on the cliff. -- A coconut. Three walls and you reach water. -- A coconut. When it is born, it has gray hairs. -- The sugarcane flower. Many small shellfish, one large shellfish. -- The moon and stars. My fish which owns the earth (honua in Hawaiian). -- A turtle -- a play on honua (earth), and honu (turtle). My kapa (a type of cloth) log that is always sounding without rest. -- The sea. My little fish for which is the eye (maka in Hawaiian). -- The omaka fish -- a play on maka (eye) and omaka. In the morning four legs, at noon two legs, at evening three legs. -- Man (again). My bird dwells and sleeps with men. Eats no food, drinks no water, but lives nevertheless to a rip old age. What is the name of the bird? -- An owl -- a play on the word pueo, which may mean either owl, or housepost. My chief who returned to the eye of the turtle and died. -- Kamehameha the Great -- he died at Kamakahonu (the Eye of the Turtle). My man that cannot be cut. -- A shadow. My little canoe house that has one post and two gates. -- Someone's nose. My canoes, going day and night, ten bowspirits, two sterns. -- Someone's feet. My red cave, white soldiers standing in line. -- Someone's mouth. My man crying day and night, all through the year. -- The sea. My hala (Pandanus leaf) wreath. -- Kohala -- a play pn hala and Kohala (a district on the Big Island). When you get up in the morning and go, how many are there? -- Two --the body and the shadow. The "ele" in the upland, the "ele" in the lowland, the "ele" in the middle, the "ele" on the shore. -- The elepaio bird, the elemihi (black crab), the elemakule (old man), the elelu (cockroach) -- a play on the word "ele". My cloak always spread. -- Beachsand. "I am a strong as ten men yet ten men cannot stand me up. What am I??" -- Unknown. Above all things have I been placed thus have I a man disgraced. I describe sunlight or lock but after all I'm just a rock. -- Unknown. *** THE MOON *** I cost no money to use. Or conscious effort to take part of. And as far as you can see, there is nothing to me. But without me, you are dead. -- Unknown. *** AIR *** Sturdy, strong stable, still Some live in me some live on And some find me to live upon. I rarely leave my native land. Until my death I always stand. Sturdy Strong Stable Still Often shaken, but not at will. High and low I may be found both above and under ground. -- Unknown. *** MAGMA, LAVA *** At the sound of me I can make women weep. At the sound of me men may clap or stamp their feet. What am I? -- Unknown. (more of a regular brain-teaser) Old King Ghorn had forged his kingdom from the war-wracked lands of Arndor not by the strength of his sword but by the sharpness of mind. It was his cleverness that tricked the goblins into leaving; it was trickiness that made the dragon wing to better hunting grounds; it was his wisdom that kept the barons from feuding amongst themselves and the horsemen from attacking. Peace had reigned in Ghornia for 35 years, and the king's sword became rusty as he raised his family. Alas, the old king was on his deathbed before he could sire any sons; his only heir was his daughter Triella. Now Good King Ghorn knew that for peace to continue in Ghornia the next king would have to be as clever, and so he devised the following test for his daughter's suitors. He who could pass it would become king; all others would die. The test was thus: The princess was put in the center of a huge 50 foot by 50 foot carpet. Whomsoever could touch her hand would get the princess, and the throne besides. However, the rules of the test were that the contestants could not walk over the carpet, cross the plane of the carpet, or hang from anything; nor could they use anything but their body and wits (i.e. no magic or psionics, nor any items such as ladders, block and tackles etc). Furthermore, only normal humans could be applicants (i.e. no deformed guys with 50 foot arms, or shapechangers). Ghornia now stands; it has a king whose wisdom is unsurpassed. How did the king touch Triella's hand? -- Unknown. Wounded I am, and weary with fighting; Gashed by iron, gored by the point of it, Sick of battle-work, battered and scarred. Many a fearful fight have I seen, when Hope there was none, or helping the thick of it, Ere I was down and fordone in the fray. Offspring of hammers, hardest of battle-blades, Smithied in forges, fell on me savagely, Doomed to bear the brunt and shock of it, Fierce encounter of clashing foes, Leech cannot heal my hurts with his simples, Salves and sores have I sought in vain. Blade cuts dolorous, deep in the side of me, Daily and nightly redouble my wounds. -- Unknown. I heard of a wonder, of words moth-eaten; That is a strange thing, I thought, weird That a man's song be swallowed by a worm, His blinded sentences, his bedside stand-by Rustled in the night--and the robber-guest Not one wit the wiser for the words he had mumbled. -- Unknown. The wave, over the wave, a weird thing I saw, Through-wrought, and wonderful ornate: A wonder on the waves--water become bone. -- Unknown. I war with the wind, with the waves I wrestle; I must battle with both when the bottom I seek, My strange habitation by surges o'er-roofed. I am strong in strife, while I still remain; As soon as I stir, they are stronger than I. They wrench and they wrest, till I run from my foes; What was put in my keeping they carry away. If my back be not broken, I baffle them still; The rocks are my helpers, when hard I am pressed; Grimly I grip them. Guess what I'm called. -- Unknown. My beak is below, I burrow and nose Under the ground, I go as I'm guided By my master the farmer, old foe of the forest; Bent and bowed, and my back he walks, Forward pushing me over the field; Sows on my path where I've passed along. I come from the wood, a wagon carried me; I was fitted with skill, I am full of wonders. As grubbing I go, there's green on one side, But black on the other my path is seen. A curious prong pierces my back; Beneath me in front, another grows down And forward pointing is fixed to my head. I tear and gash the ground with my teeth, If my master steer me with skill from behind. -- Unknown. I am puff-breasted, proud crested, As head I have, and a high tail, Eyes & ears and one foot, Both my sides, a back that's hollow, A very stout beak, a steeple neck And a home above men. Harsh are my sufferings When that which makes the forest tremble takes and shakes me. Here I stand under steaming rain And blinding sleet, stoned by hail; Freezes the frost and falls the snow On me stuck-bellied. And I stick it all out For I cannot change the change that made me. -- Unknown. A painting, I have no frame, No gallery exhibits me; Here today, tomorrow I move; Yet I am as permanent as life itself. A painting, I use no canvas, Yet my canvas is the essence of life; No brush was used in my creation, But colors are mine to display. A painting; who am I? -- Unknown. I have no beginning, I do not end; I can be warm, I am cold; I imprison, I surround. Heavy I am, but light as well. A fist may not find use for me, I am male, I am female, I encircle, I bind. I have no ending, I do not begin. -- Unknown. I sit on the ground Finger up-raised to heaven. I speak with clear tones And aim for others To go where I point. -- Unknown. *** A CHURCH (-TOWER) *** -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- This document has been edited for legibility purposes by OLIK / Ole A. Ringdal firstname.lastname@example.org / http://home.sol.no/olear --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
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