17
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Shoot at me, and I'll back off,
Make me cross, and I'll shoot back at you,
Tie me up, and I'll wring your neck,
Put me down, and I'll show you some respect,

Who / What am I?

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You are a

BOW.

Shoot at me, and I'll back off,

A shot across the bow(s).

Make me cross, and I'll shoot back at you,

A crossbow.

Tie me up, and I'll wring your neck,

A bow tie.

Put me down, and I'll show you some respect,

Bowing down.

... And Stiv points out in comments that the title might be referring to

a rainbow.

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  • 2
    $\begingroup$ Nice. And of course, as for the title, your 'colourful character' could be a rot13(envaobj)... $\endgroup$
    – Stiv
    Feb 3 '20 at 10:10
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ True enough. (For some reason I usually forget to think about the title when solving riddles.) Edited accordingly; thanks! $\endgroup$
    – Gareth McCaughan
    Feb 3 '20 at 10:12

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