Riddle 27

solve learning riddles from appalachia

I’m sharing another riddle from “Way Down Yonder on Troublesome Creek Appalachian Riddles & Rusties” by James Still.

“Black as midnight, heavy and thick, long flat tail straight as a stick?”


The last riddle I shared was from “Way Down Yonder on Troublesome Creek Appalachian Riddles & Rusties” by James Still and most all of you got the answer: there’s too many ears in a cornfield!

“Why should a body mind his tongue in a cornfield?”


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  • Reply
    September 5, 2020 at 9:06 pm

    The first thing that came to mind is molasses, and maybe the “straight tail” is when you pour it? I don’t know why it would be “flat” though, unless you were pouring from something with a wide mouth, like a barrel or a wide-mouth jar.

  • Reply
    September 5, 2020 at 3:51 pm

    A beaver??

  • Reply
    Ken Roper
    September 5, 2020 at 3:03 pm

    I was at Paul’s school to hear the Wilson Family and Steve opened up the Service with Prayer. It was just like “Old Times”. The Folks were all smiling, made me wish Daddy and Mama were there.

    After the singing was over, the Girls came over to where I was sitting, and I asked Chitter something about a couple of necklaces for two of my Grand Daughters, Ellieanna and Annabelle. (They love Pink). Chatter had her turn next and said “We’ll make sure You get the Family Discount”. That made me Feel Good!

    In about a week or so, I met Chitter at the JCCFS and picked up the Necklaces. My Granddaughters Loved them. …Ken

  • Reply
    September 5, 2020 at 12:48 pm

    I love it.

  • Reply
    September 5, 2020 at 11:55 am

    I am clueless, but I will give it a whirl. This is probably wrong, but I remember my Grandpa’s dark razor strop/strap hanging long and straight on a nail. I will have to check back to see what this is.

    I dreamed of you and your family last night, Tipper. I dreamed I was helping you plant hundreds of snow white rose bushes in your yard. This brought up an old Appalachian theory that when something happened the next day that was similar in nature to the dream the older folks would say, “That is the end of my dream.” I just wondered if that was common throughout Appalachia. I still say that on rare occasion.

  • Reply
    Ed Ammons
    September 5, 2020 at 11:03 am

    Does it often have a stripe down the middle? Or dashed lines? or hidden radar guns in the hands of uniformed individuals? Could it be a road? Not a mountain road though, for sure, because they are definitely not straight.

  • Reply
    Nancy Schmidt
    September 5, 2020 at 10:09 am

    Hey, the sight of the word “rustie” reminded me that my Daddy used to say somebody “cut a rustie” to mean somebody was involved in some shenanigan, I guess. I was little. His folks were from West Virginia and. East Tennessee. Anybody else grow up with this phrase?
    I guess I haven’t heard it said since Daddy died.

    • Reply
      aw griff
      September 5, 2020 at 4:08 pm

      Yes I’ve heard it but used a little different. Cut a rustie was used in the same way as took a fit or cut a shine. E.KY.

  • Reply
    Kat Swanson
    September 5, 2020 at 10:00 am

    Answer ….a big ol iron skillet .
    We have 11 iron skillets. ..all sizes. Hope you all know how to burn them off in a fire, if they get bumpy.
    Favorite memory of mine is watching Daddy make milk gravy on the weekend. ..I just had some gravy with little cut up tomatoes. …which we called TOMMY TOES…my favorite.

    Do you all know the phrase. …pull a RUSTY?
    IT MEANS…play a joke on someone.

  • Reply
    Ron Stephens
    September 5, 2020 at 8:27 am

    That would be a cast iron skillet I think.

    • Reply
      Ed Ammons
      September 5, 2020 at 5:45 pm

      I think you’re right!

  • Reply
    Margie Goldstein
    September 5, 2020 at 8:22 am

    Please don’t laugh at me, y’all. I’ve “thunk and thunk” til my head hurts and all I can come up with is black strap molasses or a coal car. I thought of fog or a black angus cow…. ???? I’m stumped here.

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