Farmer's Maths

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, so, they decided to go to a farmer friend who they considered 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 father's will:

1/2 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.

Now add up how many horses they have:

Eldest son 9

Middle son 6

Youngest son 2

TOTAL = 17

 

Now this leaves one horse over, so, the farmer friend takes his horse back to his Farm.

Problem solved!

(Scratch your head over how that was accomplished....and let me know)