The Riddle of the Sphinx

Adrian Ashwah

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What is the creature that walks on four legs in the morning, two at noon, and three in the evening?

The answer, which allowed the Greek King Oedipus to defeat the sphinx, is humankind. In our infanthood we crawl, from our childhood to old age we walk on two legs, and at the end of our days (the evening), we might use a cane to support ourselves.

While the fifth-century-BCE riddle might reference human physiology, I take it to mean something else.

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