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Finding The 18th Camel

Domesticated Egyptian camels at the Pyramids o...

Domesticated Egyptian camels at the Pyramids of Giza (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I don’t know who wrote this but it’s pretty nifty.  🙂


There was a father who left 17 camels as an asset for his three sons.  When the father passed away, his sons opened up the Will.  The Will of the father stated that the eldest son should get 1/2 (half) of total camels while the middle son should be given 1/3rd (one-third) and the youngest son should be given 1/9th (one-ninth) of the total camels.

As it was not possible to divide 17 into half or 17 by 3 or 17 by 9, the three sons started to fight with each other. So, the three sons decided to go to a wise man. The wise man read the Will patiently. The wise man, after giving due thought, brought one camel of his own and added the same to 17. That increased the total to 18 camels.  Now, he started reading the deceased father’s Will.

Half of 18 = 9. So he gave the eldest son 9 camels

1/3rd of 18 = 6. So he gave the middle son 6 camels

1/9th of 18 = 2. So he gave the youngest son 2 camels.

Now add this up: 9 plus 6 plus 2 is 17 and this leaves one camel, which the wise man took back!

Moral: The attitude of negotiation and problem solving is to find the 18th camel i.e. the common ground. Once a person is able to find the 18th camel the issue is resolved. >>> >>> It is difficult at times. However, to reach a solution, the first step is to believe that there is a solution. If we think that there is no solution, we won’t be able to reach any!


9 comments on “Finding The 18th Camel

  1. IdealisticRebel
    October 5, 2013

    What a great story and so nice of you to share it with all of us. Hugs, Barbara


    • Judy
      October 5, 2013

      Thanks Barbara that is so nice of you cheers Judy 🙂


  2. dorannrule
    October 6, 2013

    Good one! I’m forwarding this to the few mathematical geniuses I know. 🙂


  3. Alisha
    October 6, 2013

    very true..there is solution to each and every problem we come across..main thing is we need to think we can solve it with positive attitude…great post..thanks 🙂


    • Judy
      October 7, 2013

      Yeah whoever came up with that was pretty clever cheers Judy 🙂


  4. Reception @ Ormiston Medical Centre
    October 8, 2013

    I love that, if definately gave me something to think about xoxoxo


  5. advocatemmmohan
    October 9, 2013

    this story is very popular in our Tenali Ramalinga Story who was poet in the Kingdom of Lord Sri Krishna Devaraya – Elephants were used to this problem. Here you used camels….. thanks for your post which gave a sweet memory of old story
    with regards


    • Judy
      October 9, 2013

      Great to hear about that. Elephants sound better don’t they? cheers Judy 🙂


  6. Rudolf Parnigoni
    November 24, 2013

    If the USA could find just one wise man – the world would live easier.


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