A Fulani chain riddle from northern Nigeria. This is a word game for two people. One makes up a line, and the other has to add a second line beginning with the last word of the first. In the process, the players are constantly devising fresh metaphor.

The foreigner salutes you?
Salutes imply royalty?
Royalty is obeyed?
It obeys you, a lamb?
A lamb is reared?
Reared is wheat?
Wheat is scattered?
Scatter do gazelles?
Gazelles cover the ground?
Cover the ground do bush-cows?
Bush-cows are dark?
Dark is the skin?
The skin is lined?
Lined is the earth?
The earth is kneaded?
Kneaded are flour-balls?
Flour-balls are white?
White is milk?
Milk is fluid?
Fluid is water?
Water is black?
Black is a pot?
A pot is deep?
Deep is a well?
A well is drawn from?
Drawn with is a bucket?
A bucket is pulled tight?
Tight is a drum?
Drum music is sweet?
Sweet is honey?
Honey is golden?
Golden is the sun?
The sun is far off?
Far off leads a road?
A road dies out?
And death is of Allah! (1)

from “Proverbial Lore and Word-play of the Fulani”,
D.W. Arnott,
Africa 27 (1957)


  1. There is no riddling with Allah, and the game ends.