How To Divide

There were two brothers who, unfortunately, lost their mother when they were children. And then, when the elder of the two was twenty and the younger brother fourteen, their father died. Now, all the father left his two sons was a friendly fat cow, a giant coconut tree and a large rug.

The elder brother, who always prided himself on his cleverness, spoke to his brother one evening about the possessions their father had left them.

“Brother, we must divide everything equally, but we cannot cut the cow in two or chop the coconut tree or the rug in two. So what shall we do?”

The younger brother shook his head. “I do not know, so I leave it to you to find an answer.”

“That is clever of you,” said his brother with a smile. “Because I have already thought of a wise solution. You shall have the front half of the cow, and I will have the rear part. As for the coconut tree, you can have the bottom half, and I will have the top half. Now that only leaves the rug you can use during the day, and I will use it during the night.”

“It sounds alright to me,” said the younger brother without much thought.

But the younger brother soon discovered that this division of their possessions was one-sided. While he took the cow out to graze each morning, his elder brother milked the cow every evening and kept the milk for himself.

It was the same with the coconut tree. The younger brother watered the tree daily, and the elder brother gathered the coconuts, which he sold in the market.

As for the rug, the younger brother kept it clean during the day, and the elder brother covered himself with the carpet at night whilst his brother shivered.

All this puzzled the younger brother at first, but he began to get ideas of his own, which he felt would be fairer.

So the following evening, when the elder brother was milking the cow, the younger brother took a stick, and COW gave them a good whack on the head. Immediately, the cow kicked out, and the elder brother and the milk pail sailed through the air.

When the elder brother, drenched with milk, managed to stand up, he shouted at his brother. “Why did you do such a silly trick?”

The younger brother just shrugged his shoulders. “You forget, the front half of the cow belongs to me.”

“Well, do not hit the cow in the future; we will share the milk equally.”

The following day the elder brother climbed the coconut tree, and as he was picking the nuts, he looked down, and there at the foot of the tree was his brother with a great axe!

“Eh! what are you doing with that axe?” he shouted from the tree top.

“I am going to chop down my half of the tree for firewood,” replied the younger brother, giving the axe a flourish.

The elder brother came down the tree as fast as twelve monkeys rolled into one. But before he reached the bottom, his foot slipped, and he landed with a bang at his brother’s feet.

Between his groans, he managed to say, “Please, brother, do not chop down the tree, and in future, we will share the coconuts.”

That night the sore and bruised brother decided to go to bed early. But the rug was soaking wet!

“What’s the meaning of this,” he shouted. The younger brother shrugged his shoulders. “You forget that the rug belongs to me during the day, and I have decided to wash it daily. “

The elder brother could only mutter. “From now on, we will cover ourselves with the rug every night!”

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