Friday, January 31, 2014
For those who are smart in math.
A farmer died leaving his 17 horses to his three sons.
When his sons opened up the Will it read:
My eldest son should get 1/2 (half) of the total horses;
My middle son should be given 1/3rd (one-third) of the total horses;
My youngest son should be given 1/9th (one-ninth) of the total horses.
As it’s impossible to divide 17 into half or 17 by 3 or 17 by 9, the three
sons started to fight with each other.
Eventually they decided to go to a farmer friend, whom they considered to be
quite smart, to see if he could work it out for them.
The farmer friend read the Will patiently and, after giving due thought, he
brought one of his own horses over and added it to the 17. That increased
the total to 18 horses.
Now, he divided the horses according to their fathers Will.
Half of 18 = 9 So he gave the eldest son 9 horses.
1/3rd of 18 = 6 So he gave the middle son 6 horses.
1/9th of 18 = 2 So he gave the youngest son 2 horses.
Adding up how many horses they have:
Eldest son 9
Middle son 6
Youngest son 2
Now this leaves one horse over, so the farmer friend takes his horse back to
The attitude of negotiation and problem solving is to find the 18th horse
i.e. the common ground .
Once a person is able to find the 18th horse the issue is resolved. It is
difficult at times; however, to reach a solution, the first step is to
believe that there is a solution. If we think that there is no solution, we
won’t be able to reach one!
That’s what I call clever Mathematics.