A Hairy Problem

goat 2A shepherd died and left his small flock of seventeen goats to his three sons with a particular stipulation in his will.  To the eldest, he would give half his goats, to the second son, one third.  The youngest was to receive one ninth of the herd.

Of course the difficulty of carving up the inheritance caused great frustration which escalated into conflict.  A wise old woman from the village overheard the dilemma and asked if she could help.  She suggested that she offer her own goat to the boys to make their equation easier.  They gratefully accepted.  The eldest received his half of eighteen goats and walked away with nine.  The second son received his third of eighteen and counted six. The youngest somewhat begrudgingly accepted his lot of a mere two goat from the eighteen.

This, however, gave one leftover goat, which the sons were only too pleased to present back to the old woman!

No conflict is ever too hard to solve when we are willing to find a way.


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