# Inconsistent yet true. What am I?

High as a house

But small as a mouse

Smooth and shiny I'd say

But so prickly you'll throw me away

What am I?

Hint:

I am from Germany and someone actually told me this riddle in kindergarten on a beautiful day in autumn. It made a lot of sense to me back then.

• This is the first riddle i posted. If you downvote please explain me why you do it. Also there is a legitimate answer. Jul 29, 2016 at 19:11
• I've downvoted this question because I think it follows a pattern that doesn't lend itself very well to high-interest riddles - primarily, it relies solely on recognizing an object by a few aspects of it that have been alluded to in individual lines. Riddles of this type tend to be straightforward to solve by recognition and prior knowledge alone, rather than pushing the reader for metaphorical reasoning.
– user20
Jul 29, 2016 at 20:31
• (SPOILER) I disagree. If you look at the accepted answer you'll see, that this riddle does not describe only one object and its properties but rather 3 different objects which share a name and are closely related to each other. Simple recognition is not enough to solve this. Jul 30, 2016 at 12:52
• (SPOILER) I'm not sure I agree. "High as a house" refers to the fact that they grow high up. "Small as a mouse, smooth and shiny, prickly" is a list of adjectives describing the horse chestnut. "A beautiful Autumn day" directly describes the time of year they ripen. Each one of these is direct recognition of some aspect of the answer, and thus the answer relies primarily on straightforward recognition.
– user20
Jul 30, 2016 at 16:52
• (SPOILER) I get what you mean and it could have been done better. But this riddle is (freely) translated from a german riddle and the hint is actually entirely true. I memorized it only because i liked the form which - at first - creates cognitive dissonance. I wouldn't have felt comfortable changing that. Jul 31, 2016 at 15:54

Are you:

A Horse Chestnut?

High as a house

Chestnut trees grow high

Small as a mouse, smooth and shiny, prickly

Horse chestnuts are all of these.

A beautiful Autumn day

They ripen in Autumn.

• Correct! Very good. Jul 29, 2016 at 20:15
• Charlok's answer gave me the idea of something small up in a tree. Jul 29, 2016 at 20:16
• I don't recall even being discouraged by horse chestnut prickles, I recall them being soft, not fierce. Jul 31, 2016 at 2:01
• Depends. If they were dried it was entirely possible to get hurt. Also it depends on the specific kind. Fruits of the "Castanea sativa" for example are not so soft. Jul 31, 2016 at 16:07

I would guess you are

An egg

High as a house

In a nest

But small as a mouse

A bird's egg would be small like that

Smooth and shiny I'd say

An egg is smooth and perhaps shiny while whole

But so prickly you'll throw me away

After it hatches one may throw away the (prickly) pieces

• This is actually a really good idea, but there is a better answer. Jul 29, 2016 at 19:40

I would guess you are

A cactus

High as a house

But small as a mouse

Smooth and shiny I'd say

But so prickly you'll throw me away

While cactuses are often grown as plants, they become very prickly and the owner—not wanting to get hurt—may well throw the cactus away.

• Argh. This is good. Still not the answer. Somehow correct though. Jul 29, 2016 at 20:02