A primary school teacher in the US has gone viral after a riddle he set his class took on a deeper and darker meaning thanks to one of his pupil’s responses.
Bret Turner’s puzzle went: “I am the beginning of everything, the end of everywhere. I’m the beginning of eternity, the end of time and space. What am I?”
One of his young students, who would be aged between five and seven, responded with “death”.
The first guess from one of my 1st graders was âdeathâ and such an awed, somber, reflective hush fell over the class that I didnât want to tell them that actually the answer is the letter e, which just seemed so banal in the moment pic.twitter.com/7sYFxHNcZk— Bret Turner (@bretjturner) January 2, 2018
The actual answer to the riddle was the letter “e”, but the student should get credit for thinking outside the box.
Before you go thinking this was just one morbidly aware student however, it turns out the class was filled with budding philosophers – with other answers including “not everything”, “the end” and “all stuff”.
Before I finally revealed the "correct" answer to the riddle, to a largely unimpressed audience, I fielded other guesses that continued along a similarly existential vein. There was "NOT everything," "all stuff," "the end," and maybe my favorite, "nothingthing."— Bret Turner (@bretjturner) January 3, 2018
Naturally Bret’s remarkable tale of existentially curious children has been shared hundreds of thousands of times, and started some distinctly highbrow discussions.
That goes into my next unit, "Cushioning Banality Through Germanic And Norse Mythology."— Bret Turner (@bretjturner) January 3, 2018
Maybe wait until next year Bret.