Chuck Toll


Riddle - Poem by Chuck Toll

I gazed down the towpath to where it divided in two
Exactly as the old hag had predicted in my dream.
The diverging forks beckoned me with equal strength,
Sun dappled, overhung with leafy boughs, evenly worn.

But one, the crone had said, led straight to hungry lions
Waiting to gorge on the hearts of hapless travelers.
The other way proceeded to the castle with its riches
And golden princess patiently awaiting her deliverer.

The gnome twins, too, were standing silent by the fork
As the crone had foretold, identical in form and dress.
But one, she’d warned, was wholly good and did not lie,
The other altogether evil, unable to speak the truth.

The witch had told me I might ask one question only.
How to sort truth from falsehood when they looked alike?
Could I rely on either gnome to help me reach the castle?
Which creature to approach, and what question to pose?

Doffing my pack, I took out cheese and crust of bread.
Wineskin in hand, I sat wearily on the grass margin and
Watched the twins so dauntingly similar. I supped and
Drank and thought while the sun began its slow descent.

At length, my luncheon done, I rose and stretched, then
Walked directly to the twin who happened to be nearer.
“If I ask your brother which way the lions lie in wait,
What will he say? ” I asked. Silently, he pointed right.

“I thank you, kind sir, “I replied, heading right to claim
My reward. My reasoning I leave for you to explain

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Comments about Riddle by Chuck Toll

  • (11/10/2007 3:23:00 AM)

    The ending, at first, amused me. Now it's bugging me. What, indeed, is your reason? You, Sir, is a very good poet! 10! (Report)Reply

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Poem Submitted: Saturday, October 13, 2007

Poem Edited: Saturday, April 16, 2011


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