Riddle/Joke – United States of America

Riddle/Joke – United States of America

“So there are ten fish in a bowl, and one dies, how many are left? 10 ‘cause the dead one is still in the bowl.”

“So there are 10 birds on a tree and you shoot and kill one, how many are left? 0 ‘cause the rest flew away.”

“So there are 10 lit candles and the wind blows out 1, how many are left? 1 ‘cause the others burned down.”

It was a sultry Sunday afternoon when I first heard Hanlong test a bunch of us with this riddle. No one got even close to the correct answers, either because they expected a stupid reply or just didn’t have the logical capacity to deduce the answer. It was very amusing so I asked Hanlong more about it.

He said that it was kind of a craze back in his elementary school. One of his peers used it to challenge the intelligence of the rest of the class in a bid for being the smartest pupil in class. Hanlong also indicated that it wasn’t just a test of logic but also used to make those that failed to answer it feel inferior. Therefore, it is safe to say that at the time it was quite condescending.

What surprised me was that we, a group of university freshmen, failed to garner a correct answer. But, as it is with many riddles, many fail to answer it correctly the first time, regardless of their intellectual prowess. But, in using this riddle at the time, Hanlong made everyone laugh profusely, for no less than a few minutes. It was our severe lack of logic that led to this. However, this can be contrasted to an elementary school environment, where failure would have resulted in a very sad child, or if things were malicious, a stream of tears.

Now we use this riddle as more of a joke. Although, I had never come across it as an elementary school student, I now use it sometimes in close company for a laugh. It’s great for a random laugh and for some a nostalgic remembrance of their past endeavors in school. Of course, I’d never use this in serious company although I’m sure Hanlong would not hesitate.