Kids really do say the darndest things, especially when being tasked with answering a seemingly complex riddle.
“I am the beginning of everything, the end of everywhere,” were the words written on first-grade teacher Bret Turner’s whiteboard. “I’m the beginning of eternity, the end of time & space. What am I?”
Turner posed the question to his group of first-graders as the class’s “puzzle of the week,” according to USA Today. And while Turner may have expected a variety of entertaining answers from his first-graders, he had no idea that one student’s response would be so captivating that it would go viral on social media.
As Turner revealed in a tweet, one student provided a “somber” answer to the lighthearted riddle.
“The first guess from one of my 1st graders was ‘death,'” Turner wrote, adding that “an awed, somber, and reflective hush fell over the class,” preventing him from revealing the actual answer “which just seemed so banal in the moment.”
The answer Turner was looking for is the letter “E,” but as is the case with most riddles, people often search for a deeper meaning missing the answer that should be obvious.
Nonetheless, Turner eventually provided the correct answer to his “largely unimpressed audience” after receiving a variety of “existential” guesses from his class.
While there are typically no concrete wrong answers when it comes to riddles, this student’s response was one that captivated many on social media, leading to a varied assortment of responses.
One Twitter user even provided their own faith-based answer to the question.
As reported by Today, Turner stated that the extremely deep answer coming from such a young person is an example of how the mind of a child cognizes life and death.
“Young kids talk about death all the time — grandparents, relatives, especially pets,” Turner stated. “It’s fascinating to them, and also normal. A day in first grade is filled with funny, curious, bizarre, extremely deep, introspective, existential, eyebrow-raising quotes. It’s one of the best parts of the job, and rolling with it is a blast.”
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