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Once I met a friend
Of a quiet bent
I followed at his heel
Everywhere he went

Til we came upon a door
And our ways did part
To me it was an ending
He thought of it a start


Hint 1:

The wordplay tag is important.

Hint 2:

The answer is one, pretty short word.

Hint 3:

The friend is also one word. As to who he is, that he's often thought of as quiet is your only clue.

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  • $\begingroup$ Lock (and the friend is key)? $\endgroup$ – Thirupathi Thangavel Dec 27 '16 at 20:58
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Are you

Mary's little lamb?

Once I met a friend
Of a quiet bent
I followed at his heel
Everywhere he went

Til we came upon a door
And our ways did part
To me it was an ending
He thought of it a start

This is almost exactly a description of the nursery rhyme: the lamb follows Mary everywhere until she goes to school, when the day ends for the lamb (it's no longer with its beloved Mary) but Mary's working day is just starting.

The only difficulty is that

this riddle says "he" and not "she". Perhaps it's Mario's little lamb?

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  • $\begingroup$ I like it, but no. I should maybe add the wordplay tag. $\endgroup$ – user1566694 Dec 16 '16 at 23:50
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You are ...

A cat.

Once I met a friend
Of a quiet bent
I followed at his heel
Everywhere he went

Your friend is as quiet as a mouse, because he is one.
That makes you a cat, chasing him—right on his heels.

Til we came upon a door
And our ways did part
To me it was an ending
He thought of it a start

The mouse goes into his mousehole. That's the beginning of his house, and the end of your chase, as you cannot follow him inside.

The hints finally did it. :)

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  • $\begingroup$ Oh, but the real answer fits so well you'll hate it... except for tiny bit of spelling... $\endgroup$ – user1566694 Jan 12 '17 at 22:17
  • $\begingroup$ I know. I've been trying to leave hints in comments, but I'll do better. $\endgroup$ – user1566694 Jan 12 '17 at 22:48
  • $\begingroup$ You're so close... Actually, that fits so well I'm a little disappointed it's not what I was thinking... You definitely get an up vote (and maybe the answer if yours is better) but what I had in mind isn't quite so literal. $\endgroup$ – user1566694 Jan 13 '17 at 23:36
  • $\begingroup$ Other than making "a friend" even more literal by going with, say, "Tom & Jerry", I'm not sure how this answer could get any closer to matching your riddle. You might want to either concede that your riddle is broad enough that my answer is "correct" even if not the intended answer, or update the riddle to differentiate its intended answer from this one (and, ideally, in a way that gives a nudge in the right direction). $\endgroup$ – Rubio Jan 24 '17 at 18:41
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @user1566694 Were you planning on either updating the riddle or giving a more narrowly defined hint, so your intended solution can be found? $\endgroup$ – Rubio Feb 22 '17 at 0:36
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I think you may be

a shadow.

$ $

Once I met a friend

"friend" suggesting they are close. A person and his shadow are pretty intimately acquainted.

Of a quiet bent

This line I can't quite explain. I would think the shadow would be the quiet one, not the friend, but the answer wouldn't fit the rest as well that way.

I followed at his heel
Everywhere he went

The shadow follows the person casting it everywhere he goes, and they are always joined at the heel.

Til we came upon a door
And our ways did part
To me it was an ending

"He" walked through a door from a sunny day into a place uniformly well-lit from above, say an office with fluorescent lighting behind diffuser panels. This type of lighting generally won't throw shadows, so "his" shadow disappears ("to me it was an ending").

He thought of it a start

of his day, or a new job, or something.

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  • $\begingroup$ Not what I was thinking, tho it fits the "heel" part really well. I'm wondering if I should've put "door" in quotes... It's key anyway. And somewhat misused. $\endgroup$ – user1566694 Dec 19 '16 at 15:55
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Lock is the friend of a quiet locked room (or vehicle) whom key meets and rotates along with its internal levers. Finally when the lock is unlocked and open, key is trapped within.

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I have here stated my final and my initial answers.

My final (and potentially "rude") answer - This is an answer that could be it's opposite:

Are you

Belief /Religion/faith (or lack thereof)?

Once I met a friend

A relation or connection is established between the individual and the religion/belief. Religion is a friend to many "in need".

Of a quiet bent This is the potentially rude part

Somewhat delusional (in a scientific perspective) or troubled/poor/traumtized/of misfortune (statistics show that people that are 'worse off' tend to be more religious than people that are 'well off'. sorry for the current lack of source(s), but I want to submit my answer!). This could also simply be misinformation / Misunderstanding. Beliefs and understands are quiet until stated or preached.

I followed at his heel

Your belief is with you always.

Everywhere he went

see above.

Til we came upon a door

In the case of Religion/Belief, this would be enlightenment/education/scientific proof against said belief. In the case of LACK of belief, this could be "the door to the church" both physically and mentally/spiritually through -> achieving an altered state of mind.

And our ways did part

the result of a new state of mind: they no longer go together. (to suddenly have faith would mean he leaves his previous state of mind behind.

To me it was an ending

religious no more (end of any belief) / no longer without faith = The end of the previous state of mind.

He thought of it a start

The beginning of a life based on scientific proof / new understanding OR spiritual enlightenment / a new found faith.

Belief fits on its own, since belief needs not be religious.

Initial answer:

Are you

a footstep?

Once I met a friend

they are close (physically)

Of a quiet bent

The shoe or foot bends slightly physically, and the movement is usually quiet

I followed at his heel - obvious Everywhere he went - as above

Til we came upon a door - this is where it stops making sense, and also, it seems too literal.

this answer only makes sense in the case of

a footsteps that would be only heard or seen outside..

EDIT: Figured out how to hide the answers, moved first answer to the bottom, small edits to clarify and clean up layout.

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Another answer - are you a

Royalist? And is he a King?

Once I met a friend

Royalists are friends of a monarch.

Of a quiet bent

"Friend of quiet" could mean "solitary". And the wordplay could be that an angram of "solitary" is "royalist". Bent is the keyword to indicate an anagram.

I followed at his heel
Everywhere he went

Royalists may be avid followers or servants to a monarch?

Til we came upon a door
And our ways did part

Not sure about this one. It could be to do with all the wars fought by royalists vs republicans, and lots of them dying.

To me it was an ending
He thought of it a start

It was the end of your life, but only the start of the King's rule.

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Are you a

Wolf? And is your friend man?

Once I met a friend

Men domesticated wolves, fed them, and became known as man's best friend later on

Of a quiet bent

When Wolves are hunting they are known to be very silent so they will not scare away the prey.

I followed at his heel
Everywhere he went

Again, men domesticated wolves

Til we came upon a door
And our ways did part

Men bred wolves to make them into modern day dogs, which was the end of their free roaming lives. Men also hunted and killed wolves.

To me it was an ending
He thought of it a start

Domestication was the end of their free roaming lives. But for men, they turned into dogs, which was the start of a friendship that is still running strong today.

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