What goes up the chimney down
but will not go down the chimney up?
An old, old riddle she learned as a child,
when words had her innocent mind beguiled.
Her uncle, who posed it, would not give a clue;
she puzzled and worried 'til night sky turned blue.
Next morning at breakfast she nibbled on toast,
tapped Dad on the shoulder (deaf as a post);
repeated the riddle. Dad, knowing, smiled.
He'd heard, like his brother, when only a child.
'I cannot help. Work it out on your own.
It would not be right if the answer you're shown.'
All day the little girl worried and fretted.
'I knowed,' brother stammered, 'But I just forgetted.'
She poked 'round the fireplace for thoughts and ideas,
very frustrated and quite near to tears.
Mama came in from her day in the city;
her new shoes were wet and that was a pity.
Mum's blue suit and hat were amazingly dry;
she looked for a reason, saw Dad wink an eye.
The answer was simple, she suddenly knew,
looking at Mummy's accessories too.
'Mum's new umbrella fits down the chimney.
That was a tricky one Uncle, by Jimminy!
It won't fit if it's up but will if it's down.
I'm so glad that Mummy just came in from town.
Still the child puzzled the logistics of it.
Still she was worried, everything did not fit.
There's something wrong, Uncle,' she said with a frown,
'It also only goes up the chimney if down!'
Mum's new umbrella fits down the chimney.
© 2011 cherryk
(All rights reserved)