What we caught we threw away, and what we didn’t catch we kept

May 29, 2017 7:22 pm Last Updated: May 29, 2017 7:22 pm

What we caught we threw away, and what we didn’t catch we kept. 

What is it?

This is the riddle that supposedly killed the epic poet Homer.

As the story goes, Homer once visited the Oracle of Delphi to learn where he was born.

He was told: “The isle of Ios is your mother’s country and it shall receive you dead; but beware the riddles of young children.”

Near the end of his life, as an old man, the poet who wrote the “Illiad” and “The Odyssey” visited Ios.

In one version, Homer asked a fisherman coming back from sea what he caught, and the fisherman responded with the riddle. Homer, perplexed, spent the rest of his life on that island, and could not figure out the answer.

In another version, Homer was sitting on the shores of the island when some children of fishermen were playing nearby when Homer asked them what they caught. They responded with this riddle, and while Homer was trying to figure it out, he remembered the Oracle’s words and slipped, bumped his head, and died.

The answer?

Lice.