The Sheep’s Will

A farmer dies leaving a will dividing his flock of nineteen sheep with the following ratios:

Half to his oldest son, a quarter to the middle son and one fifth to his youngest son.

Without cutting any sheep up, how did the executor of the will fulfill the farmer’s wishes?

The executor went to the neighbouring farm and asked to borrow a sheep for a few minutes. Then he returned to the sons and said, “Half of the (now) twenty sheep is 10. A quarter of the twenty sheep is 5. A fifth of the twenty sheep is 4. 10 + 5 + 4 = 19. Then the executor took the borrowed 20th sheep back to the neighbour.

Thanks to Annette for sending this in.

Posted in Brain Teasers


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