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.