The Riddle of the Sphinx


“I’ve got a riddle for you, Dad,” announced Daniel halfway through dinner.  I admit I cringed a little inside; Daniel’s not the best joke teller in the world.  Still, I gave him the benefit of the doubt.  “What walks on two legs in the morning, three legs in the afternoon and four legs in the evening?”  I thought for a bit; it sounded vaguely familiar, but I couldn’t think of anything.

“I give up,” I said.  “I don’t know the answer.”

“Me neither,” said Daniel and he returned to his meal.

Wait a minute.  “Daniel, you can’t just leave me hanging like that,” I said.  “You have to tell me the answer to the riddle.”

“But I don’t know the answer,” said Daniel deliberately as if explaining something obvious.  “That’s why I was asking you.”  I closed my eyes and rubbed my forehead.

“Are you telling me you just thought of this question all by yourself?” I asked.  “Out of the blue?”  Daniel shook his head.

“I found it in a book about the sphinx.” He continued in his spookiest of voices, “They wrote the riddle on the sphinx.  Many tried to answer the riddle and many failed.”

“So, what would happen if they answered the riddle?” I asked.

Daniel smiled, “Then they could go in.”  I have to admit I’ve not heard about any “Riddle of the Sphinx”, but – then again – I don’t get out much.  I didn’t even know there was an inside to go to.  I assumed the sphinx was just a large statue.  He had me intrigued.

“So, what did they find inside?”

Daniel shrugged, “I don’t know.”

Figures.

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One comment

  1. Actually, the “sphinx” of Daniel’s story was a real sphinx creature not the Egyptian statue.
    The riddle is, “What walks on four legs in the morning, two legs in the afternoon and three legs in the evening? And the more legs it has, the weaker it is?”
    The answer is, “A man: he crawls on all fours as a baby, walks on two legs as an adult and uses a cane in old age.”

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