Post #2- The Abalone Riddle
Context/Relationship to the Piece: My informant heard this from two different sources, one from a friend and the second from this website called minute-riddles, where you’re supposed to find the answer to a riddle in less than a minute. They told it to their mother, who knew the answer immediately and said it was “due to her generation,” according to her.
Main Piece: “A family, a mother, father and their blind son, go on a vacation. The plane crashes. Unfortunately, in the plane crash the mother dies and the father and son have to survive on a deserted island. The father finds food and tells the son it’s abalone, which the son eats. Later on, when they’re off the island and the father passed away, the son goes to a restaurant that serves abalone. He orders it, it comes, he eats it, and then he walks out the restaurant and jumps off a bridge. Why does he do that?
He ate his mother on the island.
Analysis: This piece is what’s known as a “dark” riddle, meaning that in order to think of the answer you have to let your mind wander to a darker place. What intrigued me about this piece of folklore from my informant was the difficulty I and my informant had with coming up with the answer versus her mother. Therefore, this piece of folklore is impacting different generations differently, based on the environment we grew up in. My mother also grew up in China around the same time, and she often tells gory stories about how her and our relatives had to find food in a time when food was scarce. Therefore, since they’re more familiar with real stories that are similar to the riddle, they’re more likely to think of the answer immediately, whereas we were not.