Candle Riddle

“I am born tall but I die very short
My only purpose is inside the house
What am I?

A candle”

This is a riddle that my informant told me about. She first heard it from her uncle when he used it to make fun of his sister (Informant’s mother) because she was “too short to be as hot headed as she is”. Some variation of the riddle or punchline is used in the household whenever someone is being too hot headed.

When I first heard the riddle, I thought it would be somehow linked to the sphynx’s riddle about man. I do not think there is enough information in the riddle to actually get the answer, making this more of an inside joke. I think there is a hidden message behind the riddle, warning the recipient to not be too hot headed/emotional or else they will burn faster.