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Sayings and Proverbs

Culture > Sayings and Proverbs > Solomon riddle

805: Culture > Sayings and Proverbs

submitted by Eleni Harou on 30.11.2003

Solomon riddle

What are you and what am I?
What is that and where are you taking it?
Sit there and shut up!

Answer: There was once a simple and humble man, in love with three women, but unable to decide between them. One was the daughter of an aristocrat, the other very rich and the last very beautiful. In desperation he decided to visit Solomon the wise and ask for his counsel. On arriving he found the wise man sitting and playing with some fruit. Having placed his question he waited for the answer. But Solomon did not even look up, but continued playing with the fruit and muttering: “What are you and what am I? What is that and where are you taking it? Sit there and shut up!”
Bewildered and irritated the man headed for the exit, where he met Solomon’s father, David, who asked him if he had got a satisfactory answer from his son. The man answered negatively and proceeded to describe Solomon’s behaviour, at which David laughed and explained that his son had given a perfectly satisfactory answer: If he chose the aristocrat she would be forever overriding his opinions and saying: “What are you and what am I? I am an aristocrat and you are but a commoner, therefore what I say goes.” If he were to take the rich one for her money she would be forever noticing him filching and asking: “What is that and where are you taking it?” and he would never get a moments peace. On the other hand if he decided on the beauty she would be so full of herself and always scolding and saying: “Sit there and shut up!”
This is also possibly where the saying: “Take a shoe from your homeland even if it is not fair.” Meaning it is always wiser to choose a companion of equal status with your self.

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