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The Farmer's Oxen


A child may propose a problem that a sage cannot answer. A farmer propounded the following question: "That ten-acre meadow of mine will feed twelve bullocks for sixteen weeks or eighteen bullocks for eight weeks. How many bullocks could I feed on a forty-acre field for six weeks, the grass growing regularly all the time?"

It will be seen that the sting lies in the tail. That steady growth of the grass is such a reasonable point to be considered, and yet to some readers it will cause considerable perplexity. The grass is, of course, assumed to be of equal length and uniform thickness in every case when the cattle begin to eat. The difficulty is not so great as it appears, if you properly attack the question.

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