What follows is a riddle and query:

An ode to my cat
Ginkgo von Barry.
My sweet little cat
the neighbors find scary.

The mailman’s so scared,
he will always tear,
and then he turns blue,
grinning ear to ear.

“Why do they run”
little Joe, always asks,
“And why do the neighbors
disguise in masks?”

Then one sad day
our Barry ran away.
We miss him dearly
every single day.

He would guard our prized lawn
from dusk till dawn,
but then one morning,
he had up and gone.

Why is my mother
flying into town?
What is so special
'bout some “coffee groun'?”

I don’t see how
this cheers in any way.
But wow, Joe, look!
Kids are out to play!

I hope you are safe
Ginkgo von Barry.
I hope you find friends
who are just as scary.

How is this poor cat so very scary?

Why do the owners and neighbors views vary?

Should he cross your path,
what would call Ginkgo von Barry?


It's not a cat.

Hint 2:

He guards the lawn "from dusk till dawn". It's nocturnal.

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ rot13(Fubhyq V or guvaxvat nobhg Oneel Bonzn naq Wbr Ovqra?) $\endgroup$ Feb 8, 2023 at 1:51
  • $\begingroup$ @DustinG.Mixon I had not intended that correlation. Lol. $\endgroup$
    – Hawkeye
    Feb 8, 2023 at 2:07
  • $\begingroup$ Does this have anything to do with rot13(tvaxtb ovybon)? $\endgroup$
    – Ed Murphy
    Feb 9, 2023 at 0:46
  • $\begingroup$ @EdMurphy rot13(Ab, ohg Tvaxtb "Oneel" jnf n checbfrshyyl pubfra anzr.) $\endgroup$
    – Hawkeye
    Feb 9, 2023 at 1:39
  • $\begingroup$ What about rot13(onevhz), or rot13(n crefba anzrq Oneel)? $\endgroup$
    – Ed Murphy
    Feb 11, 2023 at 18:22

1 Answer 1


It turns out that Ginkgo von Barry

crossed the border to France, where he became better known as Pepe le Peu.

As the author has since revealed in hints/comments,

"polecats" smell bad (much like the trees of Ginkgo's namesake, the ginkgo berry), though not everyone is equally sensitive to it. Masks help block bad smells, and coffee contains nitrogen which helps neutralize them.

Skunks are also active during the night.


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