The Wise Mathematician and the 17 Cows

Once, in a small village, three friends – Tom, Dick, and Harry – inherited 17 cows from a wealthy farmer. However, their inheritance came with a complex set of instructions in the will:

  • Tom, the eldest, should receive half of the cows.
  • Dick, the middle brother, should inherit one-third of the cows.
  • Harry, the youngest, should be given one-ninth of the cows.

Confused and unable to divide 17 accordingly, the brothers sought the wisdom of an elderly mathematician in their village. After examining the will, the wise man pondered for a moment, then offered a solution.

He generously donated one of his own cows to the cause, making the total number of cows 18. Now equipped with a divisible number, the brothers proceeded to follow the instructions:

  • Tom received half, which is 9 cows.
  • Dick inherited one-third, which is 6 cows.
  • Harry got one-ninth, which is 2 cows.

The sum of 9, 6, and 2 equaled 17, leaving one cow from the mathematician’s donation. The brothers happily divided the remaining cow among themselves, avoiding any further dispute.

In the end, they realized that sometimes, seeking the advice of others can lead to harmonious solutions, even when faced with seemingly impossible divisions.

Dividing Cows and Conquering Confusion: A Farmer’s Legacy Unraveled

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