17 CAMELS AND 3 SONS

Weekly Trust - - Weekend -

Long ago, there lived an old man with his three sons in a de­serted vil­lage, lo­cated in the vicin­ity of a desert. He had 17 camels, and they were the main source of his in­come. He used to rent out camels as a means of ship­ping in the desert. One day, he passed away. He had left a will, leav­ing his as­sets for his three sons.

Af­ter the fu­neral and the other obli­ga­tions were over, the three sons read the will. While their fa­ther had di­vided all the prop­erty he had into three equal parts, he had di­vided the 17 camels in a dif­fer­ent way. They were not shared equally among the three as ‘17’ is an odd num­ber and a prime num­ber, which can­not be di­vided.

The old man had stated that the el­dest son will own half of the 17 camels, the mid­dle one will get one third of the 17 camels, and the youngest one will get his share of camels as one ninth!

All of them were stunned to read the will and ques­tioned each other how to di­vide the 17 camels as men­tioned in the will. It is not pos­si­ble to di­vide 17 camels and give half of the 17 camels to the el­dest one. It is not pos­si­ble also to di­vide the camels for the other two sons.

They spent sev­eral days think­ing of ways to di­vide the camels as men­tioned in the will, but none could find the an­swer.

They fi­nally took the is­sue to the wise man in their vil­lage. The wise man heard the prob­lem and in­stantly found a so­lu­tion. He asked them to bring all the 17 camels to him.

The sons brought the camels to the wise man’s place. The wise man added a camel owned by him and made the to­tal num­ber of camels 18.

Now, he asked the first son to read the will. As per the will, the el­dest son got half the camels, which now counted to 18 / 2 = 9 camels! The el­dest one got 9 camels as his share. The re­main­ing camels were 9. The wise man asked the sec­ond son to read the will. He was as­signed 1 / 3 of the to­tal camels.

It came to 18 / 3 = 6 camels. The sec­ond son got 6 camels as his share.

To­tal num­ber of camels shared by the elder sons - 9 + 6 = 15 camels.

The third son read out his share of camels: 1 / 9th of the to­tal num­ber of camels - 18 / 9 = 2 camels.

The youngest one got 2 camels as his share.

To­tally there were 9 + 6 + 2 camels shared by the brothers, which counted to 17 camels.

Now, the one camel added by the wise man was taken back.

The wise man solved this prob­lem smartly with his in­tel­li­gence.

Moral: In­tel­li­gence is noth­ing but find­ing a com­mon ground to solve an is­sue. In short, ev­ery prob­lem has a so­lu­tion.

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