Monday, April 28, 2014

Nursery Rhymes: Riddles

This story is part of the Nursery Rhymes unit. Story source: The Nursery Rhyme Book edited by Andrew Lang and illustrated by L. Leslie Brooke (1897).


Nursery Rhymes: Riddles




I WENT to the wood and got it;
I sat me down and looked at it;
The more I looked at it the less I liked it;
And I brought it home because I couldn't help it.

[A thorn.]

~ ~ ~

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 drive Hick-a-more, Hack-a-more,
Off the king's kitchen door!

[Sunshine.]

~ ~ ~

AS soft as silk, as white as milk,
As bitter as gall, a thick wall,
And a green coat covers me all.

[A walnut.]

~ ~ ~

LONG legs, crooked thighs,
Little head, and no eyes.

[Pair of tongs.]

~ ~ ~




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.]

~ ~ ~

THERE was a king met a king
In a narrow lane;
Says this king to that king,
"Where have you been?"

"Oh! I've been a hunting
With my dog and my doe."
"Pray lend him to me,
That I may do so."

"There's the dog take the dog."
"What's the dog's name?"
"I've told you already."
"Pray tell me again."

[The dog's name is "Take."]
~ ~ ~

IN marble walls as white as milk,
Lined with a skin as soft as silk;
Within a fountain crystal clear,
A golden apple doth appear.
No doors there are to this stronghold.
Yet things break in and steal the gold.

[An egg.]

~ ~ ~

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.]

~ ~ ~

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.]

~ ~ ~

HIGGLEDY piggledy
Here we lie,
Pick'd and pluck'd,
And put in a pie.
My first is snapping, snarling, growling,
My second's industrious, romping, and prowling.
Higgledy piggledy
Here we lie,
Pick'd and pluck'd,
And put in a pie.

[Currants.]

~ ~ ~




(Wikipedia: Humpty Dumpty)

HUMPTY DUMPTY sate on a wall;
Humpty Dumpty had a great fall;
Three score men and three score more
Cannot place Humpty Dumpty as he was before.

[An egg.]

~ ~ ~

THIRTY white horses upon a red hill,
Now they tramp, now they champ, now they stand still.

[Teeth and gums.]

~ ~ ~

THOMAS A TATTAMUS took two T's,
To tie two tups to two tall trees,
To frighten the terrible Thomas a Tattamus!
Tell me how many T's there are in all that.

[Just 2 ("all that").]

~ ~ ~

OLD mother Twitchett had but one eye,
And a long tail which she let fly;
And every time she went over a gap,
She left a bit of her tail in a trap.

[A needle and thread.]

~ ~ ~

LITTLE Nancy Etticoat
In a white petticoat,
And a red rose.
The longer she stands
The shorter she grows.

[A candle.]

~ ~ ~

FORMED long ago, yet made to-day,
Employed while others sleep;
What few would like to give away,
Nor any wish to keep.

[A Bed.]

~ ~ ~

(Wikipedia: St Ives; see the article for the many answers to this riddle.)

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?

~ ~ ~

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.]


~ ~ ~

TWO legs sat upon three legs,
With one leg in his lap;
In comes four legs,
And runs away with one leg.
Up jumps two legs,
Catches up three legs,
Throws it after four legs,
And makes him bring back one leg.

[One leg is a leg of mutton; two legs, a man; three legs, a stool; four legs, a dog.]

~ ~ ~




ELIZABETH, Elspeth, Betsy, and Bess,
They all went together to seek a bird's nest.
They found a bird's nest with five eggs in,
They all took one, and left four in.


[Elizabeth, Elspeth, Betsy, and Bess are one person, different names.]





(700 words)







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