Monday, July 27, 2015

10 Favorite Riddles

 Norah performs at Boston Common for  July 23,2015
(Today I will be performing as Mary Read in an extra set of performances at the Boston Children's Museum  from 11:30am - 1:30AM in a show called Pirate Storytime sponsored by ) This summer, whether performing for Storymobile or Save the Harbor/Save the Bay, I love to use riddles to get people of all ages thinking. As Mary Read,  aka, Mark Read, a retired pirate from the last days of the Golden Age of Piracy, I emphasize that common sense and quick thinking were a pirates most important "weapons"  The connection between spoken word and literacy is strengthened through storytelling and word games like riddles. ReadBoston's Storymobile is a unique project that honors the spoken to written word connection every summer with an amazing program that brings professional storytellers to nearly 80 sites all over the city of Boston. The storytellers perform and then Read Boston gives out a free book to every participant. Recently, storytellers Andrea Lovett and Nicolette Heavey have brought a similar program to Brockton, Andover and Lawrence and other cities in the Commonwealth. Read more about their endeavor here:

As for Riddles?  Here are 10+ one of my favorites. And the answers to: Pirates: True or False

1.    What is greater than God, More evil than the devil?  The poor have it, The rich don’t need it, And if you eat it, you’ll die?

2.    What must I give you so I may keep it?

3.    What do I break every time I say it?

4.    Who makes it, has no need of it. Who buys it, has no use for it.  Who uses it neither sees nor feels it.  What is it?

5.    If you have me, you want to share me. If you share me, you haven't got me. What am I?

6.    Always coming but never here?

7.    Forward I am heavy, but backward I am not. What am I?

8.    What gets wetter and wetter the more it dries?

9.    Which creature walks on four legs in the morning, two legs in the afternoon, and three legs in the evening?

10.    What occurs once in every minute, twice in every moment, yet never in a thousand years?

11.    Three big men under a tiny umbrella yet no one gets wet, why?

Give up?  Not yet! Come on. Think some more. Ask a friend. Try harder! And then check your answers below.

The answers are in Spanish. Se habla espanol ? ¡Bueno !  Otherwise? You will need to find a bi-lingual friend or Google translate to decode.

1. Nada

2. Mi Promesa

3. Silencio

4. Un ataúd

5. Un secreto

6. Mañana

7. Ton (No)

8. Una toalla

9. Un humana

10. "M"

11. No está lloviendo.

Answers to the T F Pirate quiz ( see handouts at live shows) :

T √ 1.The name “Jolly Roger” may have come from jolie rouge –French for “pretty red”
T √ 2.Pirating was not for sissies.
T √ 3.Buccaneers were pirates who lived on meat from cattle and pigs in the areas of Haiti and the Dominican Republic. Their name comes from the French word for outdoor roast or barbecue. Their name comes from French cooking frames used by hunters in France to smoke and preserve meat, "la boucane"
F √ 4. Pirates were more likely to smoke out foes below decks using stink pots rather than fight it out down below. If they needed to go down below they probably covered their eyes for a minute or two (if the situation permitted it) and then headed below. They would not wear eye patches. This is the same method soldiers use today (if they lack night vision equipment).
F √ 5. There are no historical cases of people being made to walk the plank. Pirates marooned,shoved overboard or hacked their enemies to death. Not very nice folk, really.
F √ 6.Pirates didn't have much gold or silver to bury and most pirates had a 1 - 3 year "career". Very few saved for a rainy day or retirement. And “booty” was often food stuff, gunpowder and other supplies. The idea of a buried treasure was made popular by "Treasure Island".
T √ 7. Ooo la la! and “Ho ho ho and a bottle of rum!” In 1655 when the British fleet captured the island of Jamaica the British Navy changed the daily ration of liquor given to seamen from French brandy to rum. The practice of watering down the rum began around 1740 a mixture which became known as grog.

F √ 8.When pirates were caught, they were brought to trial and sentenced to death by hanging and hanging was referred to as “dancing the hempen jig”
T √ 9.Bless their merry souls, pirates had such cute names for things.
T √10.Piracy is a big problem in the Pacific and Indian Oceans and particularly along the coast of Somalia. Modern day piracy accounts for $13-$16 billion dollars in losses annually.
T √ 11.Shi Xainggu (better known as Cheng I Sao) was active between 1801-1810 in the South China Sea. She commanded five to six squadrons of 800 large junks, about 1,000 smaller vessels, and between 70,000 and 80,000 men and women.
T √ 12.Clever and new agey before their time pirates may have known that the ear lobe is an acupuncture point for several eye conditions. It is quite possible that the practice of ear piercing was brought to the west from the eastern trade routes.