There was once a small cog who turnd round by day.
He did without pressure nor greese.
I asked the small cog "Why you do such round things?"
He just smild and he turnd with such ease.

He turnd and he turnd with such effortless grace,
Then he went and he turnd round some more.
I thought "Turn with no greese? There's no end to this! Cease!"
But he turned and turnd sin decor.

He eventually seized, and I sat there and cried.
"My small cog, what a waste; I shall miss."
And that, my small friend, is what comes to an end
To a great cog who grinds with dismiss.


C'mon, take a guess! It's probably right.

  • $\begingroup$ There are 2 extra e's and 6 missing. $\endgroup$
    – Duck
    Commented Dec 28, 2019 at 17:38
  • $\begingroup$ 24 hours later and I would suggest some sort of signal gun. $\endgroup$
    – Jasen
    Commented Dec 28, 2019 at 22:31
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ The italicized letters spell out "pay good work". $\endgroup$
    – Duck
    Commented Dec 29, 2019 at 20:49
  • $\begingroup$ Can we get a hint? $\endgroup$
    – Duck
    Commented Jan 6, 2020 at 3:33
  • $\begingroup$ Love the poem. But it's unclear to me what exactly we are supposed to be guessing. $\endgroup$
    – Earlien
    Commented Jan 18, 2020 at 10:57

3 Answers 3


Maybe the answer is

a volunteer worker who gets dismissed.

Firstly, we have the title and italicised hint:

the title about getting fired, and the italic letters read "pay good work" because someone who does good work should get paid for it.

The cog in the machine

is a common metaphor for referring to workers who do a job as part of some greater whole (like a factory or any other workplace with many employees).

Turning without grease

means working without getting paid, i.e. volunteer labour. You ask the cog/worker why he keeps going without grease/payment, and say there's no point.

Eventually the cog seizes,

and the volunteer worker gets fired from their job. I say fired instead of quit, because of the word "dismiss" at the very end of the poem.

On a meta level, could this be

a reference to the situation of Monica Cellio, a volunteer moderator who did a lot of unpaid work maintaining Stack Exchange sites until she got fired a few months ago?

  • $\begingroup$ You know, I like your answer better. Nice job:) $\endgroup$
    – MacGyver88
    Commented Jan 20, 2020 at 16:35
  • $\begingroup$ Yeah, I felt like this is hinting towards some connection a bit more *abstract*/indirect than your answer(s). $\endgroup$ Commented Jan 20, 2020 at 16:37
  • $\begingroup$ Oh, I can definitely see that now. Darn hindsight. Perfect answer. $\endgroup$
    – MacGyver88
    Commented Jan 20, 2020 at 16:39

New guess

A moon face accessory dial on a clock (grandfather clock)


It rotates each day with the time movement
clocks have gears (cogs)
The moon, if I remember correctly, has a face (man in the moon)
It will stop if you don't wind the clock

As for getting fired tomorrow, you may have been in charge of winding the clock.(tomorrow could reference time/clock)
"pay good work" found from the comments by Duck suggests you will not get paid.

Previous guess

A quarter (or dime)
Cog shaped, you can flip it all day with your finger
Has a face on one side and decorations on the other
Must have spent it or lost it

I don't know why you would get fired unless you were guarding Uncle Scrooge's lucky dime and lost it.


Is this:

A tribute to Shog9? Maybe to draw attention to the go fund me page

Basically for similar reasons to Rand al'Thor but a little more specific.


The whole poem is about a volunteer who gets dismissed Italics spell out paygoodwork maybe a request by op for SE to pay community managers?


There are 9 typo's throughout the post (missing e's or and an e where there should be an a)

  • 2
    $\begingroup$ It looks like this riddle was posted 2 weeks before that specific event was made public. $\endgroup$
    – MacGyver88
    Commented Jan 20, 2020 at 16:56
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ @MacGyver88 oops you're right - this is why I shouldn't answer questions at the end of the day... Unless the OP knew something we didn't! $\endgroup$
    – Gamora
    Commented Jan 20, 2020 at 16:57
  • $\begingroup$ I thought of this too, but ... yeah, what @Mac said :-) $\endgroup$ Commented Jan 20, 2020 at 16:57

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