"My eldest son should get 1/2 (half) of total horses; My middle son should be given 1/3rd (one-third) of the total horses; My youngest son should be given 1/9th (one-ninth) of the total horses".
As it was impossible to divide 17 horses into half (or 17 by 3, or 17 by 9), the three sons started to fight with each other.
Finally they decided to go to a farmer friend who they considered very intelligent to see if he could work it out for them.
The farmer friend read the Will patiently. After giving it much consideration, he came up with a solution. He brought one of his own horses over and added it to the 17 (increasing the total to 18 horses). He then divided the horses according to the father's Will as follows.
Half of 18 = 9. So he gave the eldest son 9 horses.
1/3rd of 18 = 6. So he gave the middle son 6 horses.
1/9th of 18 = 2. So he gave the youngest son 2 horses.
Now, add up how many horses they have between them:
Now this leaves one horse over, so the farmer friend takes his horse back to his farm.