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an early-morning smile

Poster: "Rowanwald Central" <rownwald@gte.net>

Here's a riddle from the "Exeter Book", an 11th century book written in a
monastery, although that's hard to tell sometimes, by the subject matter...

I am a strange creature, for I satisfy women...
I grow very tall, erect in a bed,
I'm hairy underneath. From time to time
A beautiful girl, the brave daughter
Of some fellow dares to hold me
Grips my reddish skin, robs me of my head
And puts me in the pantry. At once that girl
With plaited hair who has confined me
Remembers our meeting. Her eye moistens.

Can you guess? Remember, this was written by monks....
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