Ryddles for the Holidayes

Ryddles for the Holidayes

As ye knowe, my grete freende the writere Virginia Wulfstan doth love tradiciounal literature, and she hath devoted herself to gatheringe bits of oold literature and publisshing them for the Hrothgar Press. And alwey she ys pilinge manuscriptes and oold bookes upon my doorstep. Al thogh she hath nat convynced me of the gretenesse of the alliterative long lyne, Virginia speketh trewe about the grete awesomeness of muchel of the earlye literature of thys countrye, althogh yt oft soundeth lyk unto a Klingon wyth a stomach compleynt.

Oon the best bookes that Virginia Wulfstan hath to me y-loaned ys ful of grete riddles. Thes are thinges of muchel pleasure, for ye the redere must guess the answere of the thinge. Ryddles are totallye a waye to passe the tyme at awkward familye dinneres, and thei maken me to thynke that the Anglo-Saxones must have had many awkwarde familye situacions to endure, what wyth the feudinge and all. And eek peraventure ryddles were a waye to breaken the ice whan meetinge othir riddle enthusiastes duringe holidaye travel.

For yower pleasure, Ich have found sum of the riddles yn the old booke of Exeter yiven me by Virginia Wulfstan, and Ich have translatid those concerninge thys festive seson of the holidayes. No answirs shal Ich pooste, for Ich wisshe nat to ruine yower fun.



Everye familye hath me yn a separate forme;
My bodye ys made of bacones companioun,
And sprinkled wyth spicerye that kan spinne straunge visions.
Were thou to looke on a liste of my partes
A cake thou might thynke me, or confeccioun swete,
Yet wyth the addicioun supplyed by adults
Ich kan crusshe down alle earth-dwellers as no cake evir koud,
Nor no bundt hath a byte as brutal as myne.
Ich am unholye unguent, uncles bane – what am Ich?


A man crepeth yn and taketh me from the crawelspace,
Thanne setteth me up yn ceremonye, yet no sylver doth he circle round me.
Ich heare many harde wordes, and watch manye wrestlinges.
Thogh neyther green nor graythed wyth golde, grand am Ich,
Talle do Ich stande, thogh no armes nor no legges Ich ne have:
Ich am for the rest of us: saye nowe my name.


At a tabel thei pulle at my heed and my feet.
Ich perisshe wyth a pop, yet presentes Ich bringe:
A crowne for the cruel oon who cleaved me in twayne.
Yet thogh crowned lyk kinge, he shal know muchel care:
For yn the scroll of my bodye are writ woful puns,
And thogh he looke longe, laughe shal he nevir.


An enemye murdered me, made me molten,
Shaped me in castes, cooled me and set me.
In me he set splendors manye, spelles to werke,
The newefangle conjurations that make nerdes rich
And paie for manye a prius yn the baye area.
He gave me a wyde face, on which ys writ
Alle that any crafty one mighte wisshe to knowe.
The shapes of my word-scars are made wythout winges --
No sky-fowles need feel death-sore to craft my chapters.
Ich shal leave no meal for the sound-moth,
No warm place for the page-worm,
For Ich am a cold castel, thogh called a fyre.
Ich am yiven as a gift this yeere, a default item
For relatives that seeme to have everythinge els.
Hippolytas daughtirs made me, hard ys my shell.


Yonge and oold wayte for me
For Ich come oonly on one daye.
Sum tyme Ich bringe regeneracioun,
And sum tyme Ich bringe tales of sharkes that flye.
Yet no sharke evir shal Ich jumpe,
For Ich am eterne.
Who, who, who, am Ich?


Ich am a human as thou art, thogh part somethynge els –
Yower shape Ich weare somewhat, yet straunge ye wolde fynde me.
In waste and fastness Ich lyve, and Ich wish warre upon yow.
No room yn my herte for the glee of the harpe,
And yower singinge doth spur me to hatred and plots.
Saye my name soothly, yt beginneth wyth G.


Ich broghte merciless shame upon a grete myth
Many yeeres bifor the poyson of prequels appeared.
Thos heroes ye love look hilarious within me,
And even a queen bea kan nat make me swete.
Yet ful often sum fannes fynde mirthe yn my madnesse,
Thogh Ich make them itchy and lumpy, thei love me yet.
And thei traded me yn tapes that thei took to convenciouns
Until the yeares of yetube whanne al kan see me with eye.
On thys daye of lyf, on thys special daye of sterres,
Telle me, force wyth yow, what ye thynke Ich am.


A fyre-brand Ich beare, on the boss of my brain-shield,
Before me a bright beacon to blynk in the nighte.
Yif ye gazed on my head-prow, that it glewen ye wolde sweare.
Thogh al my stable-feres did laugh me to scorne,
And lefte me no leave to laughen in their lapp-horses games,
Yet oon morninge whanne erthe-breathe stuck thike to the welkin,
The proud-furred man cleped me to the front of hys teame.
He needed my flame, the fierce shyne of my sneeze-door.
Ich did leade the warband that nighte. What ys my name?

26 comment "Ryddles for the Holidayes"

  1. Rudolf the Red rideth this ny3te!
    The colde castel is the Kyndle Fyre.
    The grimme gost, may he be Gower?
    Alle others Ich knowe no3t.

  2. Luflich, mony thonkes Geoffrey. Y wille pull for Christmasse prime soon.

  3. Let's see...fruitcake, Christmas tree--artificial, Christmas cracker,Kindle Fire, can't figure out the next one, then the Grinch, another I can't get yet, and Rudolph.

  4. "fruitcake, Christmas tree--artificial" -- rathir close, but alas incorrecte on thes two answeres.

  5. (1) Thatte caudle yclept <>
    (2) Festivus Log
    (3) Xmas cracker
    (4) Amazon Fire
    (5) ...Roger Ebert?
    (6) Thatte gome hatte <>
    (7) Star Wars Holiday Special
    (8) Rangifer Rudolf the Red-Nosed

  6. P.S. Forgot to sign my name to the last post :-/


  7. Ich finde þis Englysshe newefangel straunge.

    Thinketh me þæt þe firste is nogg of an eg, and þe nexte, pol de Festivus.

    "Yonge and oold wayte for me": Doctour Who speciale for Criste-masse.

  8. Your second's the feast day of mickle miracles
    and the proud pole, of bauxite born

  9. Your first is full stronge
    for it is made of much eyren

  10. Your fifth is y-clept the physiciene
    The very eleventh of that conditione

  11. Harry's son would forget its name
    the loathsome life-day, the fisher's shame

  12. P.S. Helas--my quotation marks were confounded :-/

    (1) egg nog
    (6) the Grinch


  13. 1. Eggnog
    2. Festivus pole
    3. Crackers
    4. Kindle Fire
    5. Time's Person of the Year Issue
    6. the Grinch
    7. Star Wards Holiday Special
    8. Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer

  14. 5) The Doctor Who Christmas special.

  15. #2: Thowe must be the pole of Festivus!

  16. A Doctor Who riddle!!! You just made my YEAR!!!!

  17. Happy holidays to all (albeit a bit late). Just saw this today and thought you would appreciate what some folks are doing with your work.



  18. No St. Valentynes Daye poste? For certes, there is material from yower grete endyting in the Parlement of Foules!

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