Riddle – American

Q: “What is black before you use it, red while you use it, and white after you use it?”

A: Charcoal.

My informant first heard about this riddle while reading a newspaper.  My informant found the riddle in the corner of the newspaper and thought it was a pretty interesting riddle but easy to solve.  My informant also believes that this riddle is very popular and that most people knew the answer to this riddle.

Therefore, at the barbeque with all of our friends when all of us were giving each other riddles my informant told us this riddle believing that all of us would get the answer.  However, surprisingly only one person got the right answer.  Riddles are fun to solve because they are mentally challenging.  It takes some thinking to do and when a person gets the answer right then they feel very accomplished.

There are many different types of riddles.  There are riddles that are very simple and should not be over analyzed.  There are riddles that are a play on words.  Since there are so many different types and variations of riddles, riddles are a very good example of folklore.  They are spread throughout all over the world.  They are constantly being told and maybe they are even being told in a different way.