the bottom of the Abbey
meads was a small
used to spend many a contemplative hour with rod and line.
they had had very bad luck and only caught twelve fishes amongst them,
Brother Jonathan suddenly declared
that as there was no sport that day
he would put forth a riddle for their entertainment.
He thereupon took
twelve fish baskets and placed them at equal distances round the pond,
shown in our illustration, with one fish in each basket.
gentle anglers," said
he, "rede me this
riddle of the
Start at any basket you like, and, always going in one
round the pond, take up one fish, pass it over two other fishes, and
place it in the next basket.
Go on again; take up another single fish,
and, having passed that also over two fishes, place it in a basket; and
so continue your journey.
Six fishes only are to be removed, and when
these have been placed, there should be two fishes in each of six
baskets, and six baskets empty.
Which of you merry wights will do this
such a manner that you shall go round the pond as few times as
will explain to the reader
that it does not
fishes that are passed over are in one or two baskets, nor how many
baskets you pass.
And, as Brother Jonathan said, you must always go in
one direction round the pond (without any doubling back) and end at the
spot from which you set out.