A man in the wilderness asked me,
How many strawberries grow in the sea?
I answered him, as I thought good,
As many red herrings as swim in the wood.
Riddle me, riddle me, ree,
A little man in a tree;
A stick in his hand,
A stone in his throat,
If you read me this riddle
I'll give you a groat.
Higher than a house,
Higher than a tree,
Oh, whatever can that be?

Old Mother Twitchett has but one eye,
And a long tail which she can let fly,
And every time she goes over a gap
She leaves a bit of her tail in a trap.
Black within, and red without,
It hath four corners round about.
Formed long ago, yet made today,
Employed while others sleep;
What few would like to give away,
Nor any wish to keep.

As round as an apple,
As deep as a cup,
And all the king's horses
Cannot pull it up.
Clothed in yellow, red, and green,
I prate before the king and queen;
Of neither house nor land possessed,
By lords and knights I am caressed.
Two bodies have I,
Both joined in one.
The stiller I stand,
The faster I run.

Purple, yellow, red, and green,
The king cannot reach it, nor yet the queen;
Nor can Old Noll, whose power's so great:
Tell me this riddle while I count eight.
As I was going o'er London Bridge,
I heard something crack;
Not a man in all England
Can mend that.
A riddle, a riddle,
As I suppose;
A hundred eyes,
And never a nose.

Two brothers we are,
Great burdens we bear,
On which we are bitterly pressed;
The truth is to say,
We are full all the day,
And empty when we go to rest.
As I was walking in a field of wheat,
I picked up something good to eat;
Neither fish, flesh, fowl, nor bone,
I kept it till it ran alone.
Black I am and much admired,
Men seek for me until they're tired;
When they find me, break my head,
And take me from my resting bed.

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 housefull, a hole full,
And you cannot gather a bowl full.
Hoddy doddy,
With a round black body,
Three feet and a wooden hat.
Pray tell me, what is that?

The land was white,
    The seed was black;
It will take a good scholar
    To riddle me that.
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.
Thirty white horses
Upon a red hill,
Now they stamp,
Now they champ,
Now they stand still.

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 thieves break in and steal the gold.
Little Nancy Etticoat,
With a white petticoat
And a red nose;
She has no feet or hands,
The longer she stands
The shorter she grows.
Around the rick, around the rick,
And there I found my Uncle Dick.
I screwed his neck,
I sucked his blood,
And left his body lying.

As round as an apple,
    As deep as a pail;
It never cries out
    Till it's caught by the tail.
Four stiff-standers,
Four dilly-danders,
Two lookers,
Two crookers,
And a wig-wag.
Little bird of paradise,
She works her work both neat and nice;
She pleases God, she pleases man,
She does the work that no man can.

As I was a-walking on Westminster Bridge,
I met with a Westminster scholar;
He pulled off his cap, an' drew off his gloves,
Now what was the name of this scholar?
There was a girl in our town,
Silk an' satin was her gown,
Silk an' satin, gold an' velvet,
Guess her name, three times I've telled it.
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.
As I was going to St. Ives,
I met a man with seven wives;
Each wife had seven sacks,
Each sack had seven cats,
Each cat had seven kits:
Kits, cats, sacks, and wives,
How many were there going to St. Ives?

[One, or None]
There was a king met a king
In a narrow lane;
Says this king to that king,
Where have you been?
I have been a-hunting
The buck and the doe.
Will you lend me your dog,
That I may do so?
There's the dog; Take the dog.
What's the dog's name?
I've told you already
And won't tell you again.

There was a man who had no eyes,
He went abroad to view the skies;
He saw a tree with apples on it,
He took no apples off,
Yet left no apples on it.

[The man, who was one-eyed,
took one of the two apples,
which were all there were
on the tree.]

The fiddler and his wife,
The piper and his mother,
Ate three half cakes,
Three whole cakes,
And three-quarters of another.

[If the fiddler's wife
was the piper's mother,
the division was easy.]

Twelve pears hanging high,
Twelve knights riding by;
Each knight took a pear,
And yet left eleven there.

[Perhaps only Sir Eachknight
took one.]

Punctuate

Every lady in this land
Has twenty nails upon each hand
Five and twenty on hands and feet
All this is true without deceit.

Construe

Infir taris,
Inoak noneis;
Inmud eelsare,
Inclay noneare.
Goatseativy;
Mareseatoats.


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