Would You Have Thought of This Solution?


A father left 17 camels as an asset for his three sons. When he passed away, his sons opened up the Will.

The Will stated that the eldest son should get half of the 17 camels, the second son should be given 1/3rd of the 17 camels, and the youngest son should be given 1/9th of the 17 camels.

As it is not possible to divide 17 into half or 17 by 3 or 17 by 9, the sons started to fight with each other. To settle the matter, they decided to go to a wise man.

The wise man listened patiently as they read him the Will. After giving it some thought, he brought one of his camels and added it to the 17. Making the total number of camels 18.

He then asked them to read the Will again. As they read the Will, he divided the camels amongst them.

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

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

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

Now let’s add this up:

9 + 6 + 2 = 17

This leaves 1 camel, which the wise man took back.


The attitude of negotiation & problem solving is to find the 18th camel. That is, to find the common ground. Once a person is able to find the common ground, the issue is resolved. It is difficult at times but we must strive to work towards it.

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.

Share on facebook
Share on google
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on pinterest