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Enigmas & puzzles

By Ian Stewart   May 2003

Riddle of the vanishing camel

Three Arabian princes gathered around the aged Sheikh’s deathbed to witness their father’s final bequests. The family had fallen on hard times, but the Sheikh still owned a number of fine camels.

“To you, my eldest son Fuad, I bequeath half my camels,” intoned the Sheikh. “Use them wisely.”

“I will, O my father,” said the boy, close to tears.

“Next, to my second son Khalid, I bequeath one third of my camels.” In a hoarse voice, Khalid thanked the old man for his generosity.

“Finally, to my youngest son Ahmed- one ninth of…

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