Tell me that riddle or I’ll smash yer nose!

Posted by | February 27, 2008

These riddles, collected in the North Carolina mountains, belong to a familiar pattern, the seemingly obscene question with an innocuous reply. Texts from Ralph S. Boggs, “North Carolina White Folktales and Riddles,” Journal of American Folklore, XLVII (1934), pp. 320-21.

The ole man shook it an’ shook it;
The old woman pulled up her dress an’ took it.

A man shook apples out of a tree, and his wife caught them in her dress.


The ole lady pitted it an’ patted it;
The ole man down with his breeches an’ at it.


She made up the bed, and he undressed and got into bed.

When it goes in, it’s stiff an’ stout;
When it comes out, it’s flopping about.

Cooking a cabbage.

Big at the bottom, an’ little at the top,
An’ a little thing in the middle that goes pippity pop.

A churn.

Little Jessie Ruddle,
Asettin’ in a puddle,
Green garters an’ yaller toes;
Tell me that riddle or I’ll smash yer nose!

A duck in a puddle of water.

About six inches long, an’ a might pretty size;
Not a lady in the country but what will take it between her thighs.

The lefthand horn on a lady’s side saddle.

riddles Ralph+S.+Boggs appalachia appalachian+history appalachian+mountains+history appalachian+humor

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