Riddles of Hands

At our post-service lunch of beans, rice, and flatbread today, a group of us men got into sharing riddles. I don’t know that many riddles, but I did manage to submit a few to the group, including one translated from my childhood readings of The Hobbit: “A box without hinges, key, or a lid, yet inside golden treasure is hid.

Hint: the answer is something that comes from chickens and is fried for breakfast.

One local rhyming riddle was new for me:

What has a ceiling above and a basement beneath, one shepherd, and four sheep?

The answer was a hand, as held out flat and horizontally. The ceiling – the back of the hand. The basement – the palm. The four sheep? Fingers. And the shepherd? The thumb.

This led to a session of discussing the local names for each of the fingers. I find them honestly hilarious and quirky.

The pinky finger: the lil’ guy

The ring finger: the lil’ guy’s brother

The middle finger: the tall-bodied one

The pointer finger: the sauce taster

The thumb: the lice killer

The sauce taster and lice killer? Ha! Why not?

Photo by Andrik Langfield on Unsplash

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