THE NET BOOK OF RIDDLES
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.
................... You eat something you neither plant nor plow. It is the son of water, but if water touches it, it dies. -- Salt; ice.
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.