Wed 21 Sep 2011
There once was an old Bedouin, who, sensing that his death was imminent, gathered together his three sons and signified his last wishes to them. To the eldest, he bequeathed half his inheritance, to the second one quarter and to the third one sixth. As he said this, he died, leaving his sons in perplexity, for the inheritance in question consisted of eleven camels.
How were they to respect the old man’s will? Should they kill those of the camels whose division seemed prescribed, and share the meat among them? Was this the required filial peity? Did their father really want them to prove their love by accepting this loss? Or had he made a mistake, distracted or weakened by his imminent death? [...] they went to see the old sage who so often plays a role in such stories. The old sage, on this occasion, told them that he could not do anything for them except to offer them what might perhaps help them: his old camel, skinny and half-blind. The inheritance now counted twelve camels: the eldest took six of them, the second three, the youngest two, and the old camel was returned to the old sage