Math Story: Dividing the Herd of Camels

3rd Story

Dividing the Herd of Camels


It’s about the singular episodes of the 35 camels that were to be divided btwn three brothers. How Beremiz made an apparently impossible division that leads the brothers completely satisfied.

the Story Rewritten (Simplified)

Close to an old, half-abandoned inn, there were three men arguing heatedly beside a herd of camels. Amid shouts these men gestured widely, and we heard:

“It cannot be!”

“That’s not fair!”

My friend Beremiz the Man who counted, then approach them and asked what happened.

The oldest said: “we are brothers, and have received these 35 camels as inheritance. My father has left a will to give half (1/2) herd to me, one-third (1/2) to my younger brother and (1/9) to the youngest. But difficulty find us. If half herd is 17 (1/2), and one-third is not precisely an integer, them how can we make the decision?”

the Conclusion:

The herd was divided to the brother’s satisfaction. While Berimiz travelled with me on one camel, we left the brothers with two camels: Berimiz and I each ride one.


Dear readers, it’s your turn to find the solution – do it!

Here is a hint:

The brothers are supposed to get livestock of camels, so camels distributed to each brother has to be an integer. If we start with a herd of camels which is a common multiple of 2, 3, and 9, then there would be no trouble at all ! — By the way, what’s that number?

Alternative Solution:

We shall always try alternatives! It’s fun, and it expands our horizon in thinking.

None of the numbers 2, 3, 9 can divide 35. So if we follow the father’s will, each brother get a fraction. How can we please everyone? If we give each brother more than the portion according to father’s will, for sure he shall not complain.

Fortunately, in the context of this question, it’s possible to do this!

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