Bedouins Breaking Bread

The Puzzler

RAY: This was sent into me by Richard Neilson. Two Bedouins were traveling across the desert to a distant village. In the middle of the day, they sat down to eat the loaves of bread that they had brought with them for lunch. One of them had five loaves and the other had three.

Just as they were ready to eat, a stranger came along and asked if he might share their meal.

He said he had plenty of money but no food. The two agreed to divide their loaves equally among the three of them.

After the meal was finished, the stranger laid down eight coins of equal value for what he had eaten and he went away. The traveler who had five loaves took up five coins and left three for the other guy. But the other guy disputed it, saying, "We shared the bread, we should each get four coins." Since they could not agree, they called in a magistrate.

TOM: Let me get this straight. They're out in the middle of the desert and there happens to be a wandering magistrate?

RAY: It happens. The magistrate listened to the story and then figured out who should get what.

The question is, who's right? Or, is neither of them right?

Think you know? Drop Ray a note!

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