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Riddles

With science revealing cognitive exercise to be as necessary and life-enhancing as physical exertion, poet and educator Emmanuel Williams (the author of Man Without Bones: Riddles from the Oral Tradition) created this collection of conundrums guaranteed to get your gray matter in gear. Using metaphor, simile, repetition, and rhyme, the cards' fronts describe everyday items in imaginative verses. Roll the clues around in your inner ear or voice them aloud to a crowd: either way, solving Riddles (answers are provided on the backs of the cards) will unwind your mind and stretch your imagination. We wish you good luck and good health!

Many years ago I read The Exeter Book Riddles - a collection of riddles created in Anglo-Saxon England and translated into modern English. Reading these old riddles got me going. I became a riddler.

Not only that … I became, to my astonishment, a successful riddler. Pomegranate Publications publish and market 2 packs of my riddles, and they’ve sold over 30,000 of them.

Riddling is part of my life. I tell riddles pretty well every day.

Here’s a young lady checking my groceries at a supermarket cash register. I ask, with a smile,
"Can I tell you a riddle?"
She says, "Okay… but I'm really bad at riddles!"
"I understand,” I say, "but let’s try… ok? I give clues.”
“Ok.”
“Here we go….
Why walk or run when you can hop it?
I keep the future in my pocket.”
She gazes at me blankly.
"I don't know."
"How often do you do riddles?" I ask.
"Never."
“So don't worry if you don't get it straightaway.
Why walk or run when you can hop it?
I keep the future in my pocket.
What am I?”
More blank gazing. "Can't you just tell me the answer?"
"It's against the rules."
"Oh."
"What hops?"
"A frog."
"Go bigger."
"Rabbit."
"Keep going…."
"Kangaroo."
“Yes!”
I pat my stomach. "I keep the future in my pocket.”
She breaks into a big smile…
“That is so cute!”
My 5 year-old granddaughter, Jayla, knows the solutions to many of my riddles. Recently we
were visiting the Kings Canyon center and I told a riddle to a self-proclaimed English major:
My body is long
My head is a clump of stiff strong stalks
Every morning and every evening
I wear a soft hat, I enter the cave
and dance across white stones making them sparkle.

She couldn’t solve it. She wasn’t worried or anxious, just stuck. I turned to Jayla with a smile.
“And the answer is…” I said.
“Toothbrush!” exclaimed Jayla.
“Oh of course!” said the English major delightedly.
Here’s a few more:
I bring you music
I cover cold creatures
To read me you must step on me
-Scales
My skin is made of bone
My hands can grip you tight
I have two eyes, I have no head
I travel left or right.
-Crab
We dance between your dancing hands
The soft ball shrinks, the pattern grows.
Blood we take and blood we give.
We dance between your dancing hands.
-Needles
Learn some riddles. Tell them to strangers. Change the world.

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