Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Tree quiz from "The Fun Encyclopedia"

This is an old, typewritten1 list that was tucked away inside a copy of E.O. Harbin's thick 1940 tome "The Fun Encyclopedia (A Comprehensive, All-purpose, Entertainment Plan-book for the Home, Club, School, Church, and Playground)".

Harbin's 1,008-page book is certainly comprehensive. It contains entries on tongue twisters, match tricks, brain teasers, holding banquets, magic, tag, picnic games, icebreakers, storytelling, treasure hunts, folk games, amateur plays, puppets, general and seasonal parties, finger plays, how to be a good hostess2, musical games and much, much more.

This typewritten list seems to be adapted from a section of the book that describe how to hold a tree picnic in June. It includes this subsection:
Tree Riddles.--
Which is the straightest tree that grows? Plum.
Which tree is made of stone? Lime.
Which tree is older than others? Elder.
Which tree languishes? Pine.
Which tree is found after a fire? Ash.
Which tree keeps milady3 warm? Fir.
Which tree is often kept in bottles? Cork.
Which tree is homely? Plane.
Which tree do you carry in your hand? Palm.
Which tree reminds you of a couple? Pear.
What tree suggests your sweetheart? Peach.
What tree is sticky, but good to chew? Gum.
What tree suggests a color? Redwood.
What tree suggests clothes? Cottonwood.
What tree is an insect? Locust.
Whoever typed up their own list of tree riddles obviously took some inspiration from the above passage in "The Fun Encyclopedia". Some clues are similar, while others are new. How many can you figure out?

1. Just this week, there have been some news reports about the (possibly premature) death knell for typewriters. See, for example, "The typewriter's day is nearly done" and "Last typewriters for sale? Not so fast, U.S. firm says".
2. Harbin writes: "Believe it or not, being a hostess can be fun. ... A 'charming hostess' is marked by the following qualities: modesty, sincerity, poise, sympathy, tact, perfect manners, ingenuity, and good taste."
3. Milady (from "my lady") is an English term of address to a noble woman. It is the female form of milord.

No comments:

Post a Comment