At the Back of the North Wind Illustrated - online book

A Complete Illustrated children's fantasy book by George MacDonald.

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Mr. Raymond's Riddle            221
" I know what you mean. I make songs myself. They're awfully silly, but they please baby, and that's all they're meant for."
" Couldn't you let me hear one of them now?" said Mr. Raymond.
"No, sir, I couldn't. I forget them as soon as I've done with them. Besides, I couldn't make a line with­out baby on my knee. We make them together, you know. They're just as much baby's as mine. It's he that pulls them out of me."
"I suspect the child's a genius," said the poet to himself, "and that's what makes people think him silly."
Now if any of my child readers want to know what a genius is—shall I try to tell them or shall I not? I will give them one very short answer: it means one who understands things without any other body telling him what they mean. God makes a few such now and then to teach the rest of us.
"Do you like riddles?" asked Mr. Raymond, turning over the leaves of his own book.
" I don't know what a riddle is," said Diamond.
"It's something that means something else, and you've got to find out what the something else is."
Mr. Raymond liked the old-fashioned riddle best, and had written a few—one of which he now read.
I have only one foot, but thousands of toes;
My one foot stands, but never goes.
I have many arms, and they're mighty all;
And hundreds of fingers, large and small.
From the ends of my fingers my beauty grows.
I breathe with my hair, and I drink with my toeo.
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