A riddle for you all

In Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland, Alice joins a tea party which includes a Mad Hatter, a March Hare, and a Dormouse. During the course of the conversation, the Hatter asks Alice, “Why is a raven like a writing desk?” Alice considers the riddle and finally admits that she cannot guess the answer. The Hatter acknowledges that he also does not know the answer to his question. Over the years, many fans of Alice have proposed answers to the riddle. The best, found in Frances Huxley’s The Raven and the Writing Desk (1976) is that “each begins with an E.”

In the course of my duties at work, I have encountered a similar riddle. It was printed on a scrap of paper, contained in a box with many other papers. Nothing else relative to this question was found in the box. The question, in full, is this: “Which is weaker: a carrot or a pumpkin?”

After looking for some sort of context in the rest of the papers in that box, I tried Googling © the question. I received many recipes containing carrots or pumpkins, and also a digital copy of a book about the history of gardening, but nothing I found answered the question.

If any of you have ever encountered this question and can offer some context, along with an answer, I will be delighted. Otherwise, any intelligent guesses will also be welcome. This little riddle could provide an interesting rabbit hole for all of us, or it may be just a smile before we go on to other things. J.

21 thoughts on “A riddle for you all

  1. I’m going with the pumpkin because being heavier and bigger, one would most likely assume the carrot being skinny and bendy would naturally be the weaker— and it is because of the obvious, I’m going with the opposite — the pumpkin is weaker and the carrot stronger— but I’ve never been good at riddles and both will eventually rot into compost strengthening the soil 🤗

    Liked by 1 person

  2. LOL! I love a good rabbit hole riddle. Chuckling at Kathy’s brilliance, too. Very funny, “a pumpkin has guts.” But of course it does!

    Alas, I think pumpkins are weaker. They are easily influenced by any squash growing around them. I’ve produced a few green zucchini pumpkin squash. Carrots will grow underground and even around rocks and as far as I know, they really won’t cross pollenate with anything.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. The question itself IS the answer. It’s playing on the contrasting shapes.. that if both exist in their current forms it is because of their evolutionary ability to survive this far regardless their appearance.. or even DNA structure. Apply it as a metaphor for all living things existing in the moment… or define humanity with it.

    Just my guess.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I like stuff like this/ there are no wrong answers. Stretches the brain.

    Which is weaker? It depends. Whose point of view are we considering? Is day or night involved or both? Is a ‘weaker’ color a possibility? Is nutrition an option?

    To a rabbit, the pumpkin may be ‘weaker,’ since he has no real use for it/ to an ant, the carrot may be weaker because it does not afford the same protection to hide/ to someone making pumpkin bread, the carrot is weaker, to someone baking a cake, the pumpkin is weaker/ in October the pumpkin is stronger since it affords sales and income, to Warner Brothers, the carrot………and well, Bugs Bunny…….

    That’s all folks. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

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