“The man who invented it doesn’t want it, the man who bought it doesn’t need it, the man who needs it doesn’t know it. What is it?”

“A coffin.”

This riddle is what is known as a true riddle—it has all the information necessary to figure out the answer. Even so, Laura thoroughly explained why the riddle makes sense. The man who invented the coffin, or made the coffin, does not want it. He did not make it for himself because he is not dead, so he is looking to sell it to someone else. The man who bought it does not need it because he bought it for someone else who has died, probably a family member or friend. This particular man will not need one until he himself has died. The man who needs it does not know it because he is dead, and is therefore unaware.

Laura learned this riddle from her dad. She uses this riddle at summer camp to entertain the children. She enjoys telling riddles, and particularly this riddle, because when people spend a lot of time guessing, she feels clever. This riddle holds sentimental value for Laura because whenever she thinks about this riddle, it brings back fond memories of summer camp, her father, and just spending time with people she cares about.

I agree with Laura about the riddle’s meaning and why it makes sense. It is a cleverly constructed riddle. I myself spent a lot of time guessing the answer, and Laura says most people do spend a lot of time guessing unless they have already heard the riddle before.

Laura’s riddle shows a lot about how she identifies herself. She enjoys riddles such as this one because she values tough, intellectually stimulating challenges. She sees herself as someone intelligent, and knowing clever riddles reinforces this idea of her as someone intelligent. She sees herself as a courageous knowledge-gatherer, unafraid of challenges. So, because riddles present a challenge, Laura is very willing to take them on. She is someone who just likes to learn new things and hoard information. Riddles allow her to gather knowledge and pass it on. She was an audience member when her father told her the riddle, but now she is very much so an active bearer. She is always willing to volunteer this riddle in conversation with anyone. She passes it on to children at summer camps. When Laura passes on this riddle, she is also making a statement about her identity.