Riddle Me, Riddle Me, What Is That?


These riddles and puzzles which have amused and entertained the Western world for centuries show no sign of disappearing. Each new generation takes to them like a duck to water. In our oral tradition, for example, a riddle which appears in the Sixteenth Century turns up in present-day California: What has eight legs, two arms, three heads, and wings? Of various possible answers, the Sixteenth-Century one is a man on horseback carrying a hawk on his arm. From California the riddle is the same, but the feudal hawk has become a canary held in the hand.