“A cowboy rode into town on Friday, and he stayed for three days. Then he rode back on Friday. How did he manage to do that? The answer is that the cowboy had a horse named Friday.”
AR is a student at USC who grew up in a suburb outside of Houston, Texas. Although the suburbs may not be considered very country anymore, her mother grew up in a much more rural Texas setting. AR shared a riddle with me that her mother told her while growing up, which was also a common riddle for kids to test each other with. She said it was less of a comical riddle and supposed to be a thinking challenge.
This riddle is fairly common, but the “cowboy” is often interchanged with “a couple,” which is an oikotype of the Texan version. The use of a cowboy as the character could speak to the stereotyped nature of Texas, but it also represents that Texans still uphold their wild west roots. In terms of analyzing the riddle, how different people solve it is where the Texan culture truly lies. Although Texas has large metropolitan areas, there is still an abundance of open land and rural towns. Therefore, when a kid from Texas is told the riddle, they are much more likely to consider a horse as a mode of transportation than kids in urban settings. The differing thought processes speak to the significant impact that regional culture can have.