What walk on 4 legs in the morning 2 legs at noon and 3 legs in the evening?

Riddles have been an integral part of human culture for centuries, challenging our intellect and creativity. Among these enigmatic puzzles, one stands out as a classic conundrum: “What walks on four legs in the morning, two legs at noon, and three legs in the evening?” This riddle, often attributed to the Sphinx in Greek mythology, carries profound symbolism and serves as a metaphor for the stages of human life. In this blog post, we will unravel the layers of meaning behind this riddle, explore its historical context, and reflect on its relevance to our existence.

What walk on 4 legs in the morning 2 legs at noon and 3 legs in the evening?

The answer to the riddle is “Man.” In the morning of life (infancy and childhood), humans crawl on four legs. At noon (adulthood), they walk upright on two legs. In the evening (old age), they use a walking stick, representing the need for a “third leg” for support. This riddle symbolizes the stages of human life.

Certainly, here’s a concise table summarizing the riddle and its interpretation:

Morning4 legsInfancy and childhood, dependence on others.
Noon2 legsAdulthood, independence and self-sufficiency.
Evening3 legsOld age, reliance on support and assistance.

This table breaks down the riddle’s symbolism, representing the stages of human life: infancy, adulthood, and old age.

The Riddle’s Origin

The origins of this riddle can be traced back to ancient Greece, where it is associated with the Sphinx—a mythical creature with the body of a lion and the head of a human. The Sphinx posed this riddle to travelers, and those who failed to solve it were met with a dire fate. The answer to the riddle is “Man,” and it signifies the different stages of a person’s life journey.

Interpreting the Riddle

To fully grasp the depth of the riddle, we must break it down by examining each part: morning, noon, and evening.

  1. Morning (Four Legs): The morning represents the beginning of life—the infancy and childhood stages when a human, metaphorically, “walks” on all fours. This signifies the early years of dependence, when a person is entirely reliant on others for support and sustenance.
  2. Noon (Two Legs): Noon symbolizes the prime of life—adulthood. At this stage, humans stand upright on two legs, signifying independence and self-sufficiency. It represents the period of life when individuals are at the peak of their physical and mental capabilities.
  3. Evening (Three Legs): Evening marks the later years of life, particularly old age. Here, the use of a walking stick or cane serves as the “third leg,” signifying the need for support and assistance in old age. It represents the stage when one may require physical aid and care from others.
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Relevance to Human Life

The riddle’s brilliance lies in its encapsulation of the entire human life cycle within a few words. It serves as a reminder of our mortality and the inevitability of change as we progress through life. Let’s explore its relevance to our existence:

  1. The Circle of Life: The riddle beautifully encapsulates the cyclical nature of human life, from infancy to adulthood to old age. It underscores the inevitability of change and the passage of time.
  2. Dependence to Independence: It highlights the transformative journey from being completely dependent on caregivers during childhood to achieving independence and self-reliance in adulthood.
  3. Aging and Acceptance: The riddle acknowledges the reality of aging and the need for support and care in old age. It encourages empathy and understanding toward the elderly.
  4. Metaphor for Challenges: Beyond its literal interpretation, the riddle can also be seen as a metaphor for the challenges we face at different stages of life. Each stage presents its unique set of hurdles and opportunities for growth.
  5. Reflection and Wisdom: As individuals progress through these stages, they accumulate experiences, knowledge, and wisdom. The riddle encourages reflection on one’s life journey and the lessons learned along the way.


1. What is the answer to the riddle “I walk on four legs when I was little?”

  • The answer to this riddle is “a baby” or “an infant.” Babies crawl on all fours before learning to walk upright.

2. What is it that has 4 legs in the morning and 3 legs in the afternoon?

  • This riddle refers to “Man.” In the morning of life (infancy and childhood), humans crawl on four legs. In the afternoon (adulthood), they walk on two legs. In the evening (old age), they use a cane or walking stick as a “third leg.”

3. What stands on 4 legs in the morning, 2 in the afternoon, and 3 at night?

  • This riddle also pertains to “Man.” It represents the stages of human life: infancy (morning), adulthood (afternoon), and old age (night).

4. What are the riddles about four legs?

  • The riddles about four legs are symbolic of the stages of human life. They emphasize the transformation and challenges faced at different points in our journey from infancy to old age.
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5. What’s always close but never arrives?

  • The answer to this riddle is “tomorrow.” Tomorrow is always in the future and never arrives as today becomes tomorrow.

6. What goes up and down but never moves?

  • The answer is “a staircase” or “stairs.” Stairs allow people to go up and down between different levels but remain stationary themselves.

7. What goes up with three legs and comes down with four legs?

  • This riddle refers to “a person” or “Man.” It signifies the stages of life: crawling on all fours as a baby, walking upright on two legs as an adult, and using a cane or walking stick as an elder.

8. What has a key but can’t open a locked door?

  • The answer is “a piano.” It has keys for playing musical notes but cannot open doors.

9. What two keys can’t open any door?

  • The answer is “a monkey and a donkey.” Monkeys and donkeys have “keys” in their names but cannot open doors.

10. What can be broken but never held? – The answer is “a promise.” Promises can be broken or not kept but cannot be physically held.

11. What can’t be used until it is broken? – The answer is “an egg.” An egg must be cracked open before its contents can be used.

12. What can move but isn’t alive? – The answer is “a car.” A car can move under the control of a driver but is not a living entity.

13. What comes but never goes up? – The answer is “rain.” Rain falls from the sky but does not go back up.

14. What has many teeth but can’t bite? – The answer is “a comb.” A comb has teeth-like structures but is used for grooming, not biting.

15. What goes up the hill with? – This question seems incomplete. Please provide more context or clarification for a complete answer.

16. What has five pairs of legs? – The answer could be “a centipede.” Centipedes are arthropods with numerous legs, often arranged in pairs along their body.

17. What is the name for something with 4 legs? – The term for something with four legs is “quadruped.”

18. What objects have keys but no locks? – Objects like pianos and musical keyboards have keys but do not have locks.

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19. What has 88 keys and can’t open a door? – The answer is “a piano keyboard.” A standard piano keyboard has 88 keys for playing music but cannot open doors.

20. What’s always found on the ground but never gets dirty? – The answer is “a shadow.” Shadows are formed on the ground but do not get dirty as they are not physical objects.


The riddle, “What walks on four legs in the morning, two legs at noon, and three legs in the evening?” is more than a mere brain teaser; it is a profound reflection on the human condition. It encapsulates the essence of our existence, from infancy to adulthood to old age, and serves as a timeless reminder of the passage of time and the ever-changing nature of life. As we ponder its significance, we are encouraged to embrace each stage of life with gratitude and introspection, recognizing the beauty in the journey itself.

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