Splitting Elephants

Once there was a king who had seventeen strong and healthy elephants. The king died, and left the elephants to his three sons, his wish was that the oldest son would get half of them, the middle son one-third, and the youngest one-ninth.

The princes were confused. Half of seventeen? A third? A ninth? What were they supposed to do?

Cutting up an elephant was unthinkable.

The king’s chief advisor learned of their dilemma and generously offered one of his strong elephants so they would have 18.
The eldest son happily led nine elephants away. The middle son claimed six. The youngest one took his two. And the chief advisor took his own elephant back to its stable, and the king’s wish was achieved.

Yes this is a clever riddle about prime numbers, but for me the point of this story is, you get what you put into things. And often, your contribution, your effort, a gift and even a loan can make something greater than the sum of the parts. When we give what we can, what we have, no matter how small, the consequences can surprise and delight us. The benefits may never be fully understood or appreciated. And sometimes everyone gets what they want. 

Our untapped generosity may be the elephant in the room. 🙂

Cloudy with a chance of Joy! I love clouds. Nothing better than to lie down and to watch the clouds!

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