Thursday, May 27, 2010

Long (ears) Division

A Georgia farmer passed away and left 17 mules to his three sons. The instructions left in the will said that the oldest boy was to get one-half, the second oldest one-third, and the youngest one-ninth. The three sons, recognizing the difficulty of dividing 17 mules into these fractions, began to argue.

Their uncle heard about the argument, hitched up his mule and drove out to settle the matter. He added his mule to the 17, making 18. The oldest therefore got one-half, or nine, the second oldest got one-third, or six, and the youngest son got one-ninth, or two. Adding up 9, 6 and 2 equals 17. The uncle, having settled the argument, hitched up his mule and drove home.

(ok I admit I had to read that one twice! Never did like word problems in HS algebra!)


  1. I had to figure out if those fractions equaled up to a whole, which I guess they don't... took me a couple minutes though :) Very cute.

  2. Yep, and we thought we wouldnt need all that math from high school!