From the Super Mario Wiki, the Mario encyclopedia
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Merle is Merlon's son and Merluvlee's, Merlow's, and Merlee's father. He lives in Starborn Valley and, along with the Ninjis and certain Toads, watches over the Star Kids until they are old enough to enter Star Haven.
During the events of Paper Mario, Star Kids could not ascend because of the trouble Bowser caused in Star Haven. Merle helps Mario and his partner in their quest to vanquish Bowser and his minions by providing them the Scarf, one of the two keys to unlocking the door to Shiver Mountain and the Crystal Palace (the other being a Bucket, provided by Mayor Penguin in Shiver City a little later). The aforementioned quote is a riddle Merle recalled which is imperative to Mario finding Madam Merlar, ancestor of Merle and Merlon.
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