A Fascinating Short Story

Word Problems of Life

You think you are good at Maths, solve this riddle…

Once upon a time, there was a very rich man who had 3 sons. He wanted to divide his property before dying. He made a will stating half of my property should go to the elder son, one-third of it should go to second son, and one-ninth to the younger one. After a span of few days, he was no more. The sons decided to take their own share and live separately. They divided all the property as it was advised by their father. But they didn’t know how to divide, the remaining part of father’s property of 17 elephants, amongst themselves. They approached many knowns and unknowns, trying to figure out how to solve this complex problem. They were troubled with the situation; they were presented with and were sincerely searching for an answer.

The sons were guided by the elders, to approach a wise sage ~ living in the mountains ~ who has solved many desperate problems and had resolved them in no time. When they went to the sage, he smiled and said, “Please allow me to give a gift to your father my elephant. With one elephant from me, you would now have 18 elephants ~ so with that, go ahead and divide as per your father’s will?” The sons, now had 18 elephants, and they could be easily divided. First son got nine (9) elephants ~ half of fathers total, the second son got six (6) elephants and the youngest received 1/9th of 18 ~ two (2) elephants, which makes it a total (9+6+2=17) of 17. The one elephant, which was left, went back to the sage. The problem was solved, with a timely advise from the ‘wise sage’.

Everyone wondered, how a complex problem got resolved with such ease? This is the truth of life. Life throws upon us various challenges and we surrender to its complexities without even trying to look for solutions. We feel the problems are big and unmanageable but they may have very simple answers, just like the one the sage suggested to the disenchanted and disillusioned sons.

The moral of the story is

The answer to every problem lies within the question itself. Do not run away from the problem ~ ‘Face The Monkey’.”

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