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If I wear a canine head, I’ll become hard like a rock.

But if I wear a cervid head, I’ll be almost as soft as a sock.

If I wear a fish tail, I’ll be dead and rotting on a plain.

But if I wear a hominid tail, I’ll become lush and green again.

What animal am I?

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2 Answers 2

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You are a

ram

If I wear a canine head, I’ll become hard like a rock.

wolf is a canine -> wolfram, the original name for tungsten which is a hard metal

But if I wear a cervid head, I’ll be almost as soft as a sock.

buck is a male deer (cervid) -> buckram, a stiff cotton cloth

If I wear a fish tail, I’ll be dead and rotting on a plain.

pike is the fish -> rampike, a standing dead tree

But if I wear a hominid tail, I’ll become lush and green again.

son is the hominid -> ramson, wild garlic which has green leaves

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  • $\begingroup$ Yep, everything is correct. Nice job! $\endgroup$
    – Chrone
    Sep 23, 2023 at 10:56
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I guess this is a:

Scarecrow

If I wear a canine head, I’ll become hard like a rock.

This line suggests that when the object (a scarecrow) is equipped with a canine head (resembling a dog), it becomes a hard and intimidating presence in the field, scaring away potential threats like birds or animals.

But if I wear a cervid head, I’ll be almost as soft as a sock.

Here, a cervid head (resembling a deer) makes the object appear less threatening and less effective at scaring pests, thus making it "soft" in terms of its effectiveness.

If I wear a fish tail, I’ll be dead and rotting on a plain.

This line implies that when the object has a fish tail, it is ineffective as a scarecrow, and it fails to deter pests. It is described as "dead and rotting" because it can't fulfill its purpose.

But if I wear a hominid tail, I’ll become lush and green again.

When the object is equipped with a hominid (human-like) tail, it becomes effective at its job, scaring pests away. This is described as making it "lush and green again," indicating that it helps protect the crops and keep them healthy.

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    $\begingroup$ Note the wordplay tag here - this suggests you probably need to be looking more at double meanings or synonyms of words in the riddle, or substrings, anagrams, or individual letters provided by words that are being clued here. I strongly doubt the OP envisaged one of these literally wearing a fish tail! $\endgroup$
    – Stiv
    Sep 22, 2023 at 14:37
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    $\begingroup$ Unfortunately, this is not the answer I was looking for. Stiv is right, there is a prominent wordplay element to this riddle. When trying to solve it, consider what the words "head" and "tail" could signify in a wordplay sense. I can assure you that if you find the right answer, you'll know for certain it's correct! $\endgroup$
    – Chrone
    Sep 22, 2023 at 15:05

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