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Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Deathbed

A man on his deathbed informs his three sons that he will leave them his horses. To the eldest son he leaves half of his horses. To his second son he leaves one third of them, and to his youngest, he leaves one ninth. After he passes away, the three sons went to get their horses, but discovered there were 17 animals. They did not want to sell or kill any of the horses, an they could not think of a way to divide the horses exactly as their father wished. Just then their next door neighbor came riding along on his horse and listened to their problem. Immediately the neighbor thought of a way to divide the horses just as their father had wished. What was his easy solution?

Answer: The neighbor added his horse to the sons' horses, which brought the total to 18. Then the oldest son took half, which is 9, the second son took 6, which is one third, and the youngest took 2, which is one ninth- the total being 17. The neighbor then rode off on the same horse he arrived with.