Once upon a time, a man from Basra, Iraq, had a bedouin as a guest.
The man of the house had a wife, two sons, and two daughters. He also had a lof of chickens. He asked his wife to roast five chickens. When the food was ready, they all gathered and to make fun of the bedouin, they asked him to divide the chickens amongst them.
The bedouin said: “I am not very good with divisions, but if it pleases you, I will make the division!”
They all said: “We approve!”
He said: “Shall I go for an even or an odd division?”
They said: “Go for an odd division!”
He said: “You, your wife, and one chicken make three, and he passed a chicken to them. Your two boys and one chicken make three, and he passed a chicken to them. Your two girls and one chicken make three, and he passed a chicken to them. Myself and two chicken make three.”
They all stared at him and at the two chickens.
He said: “What are you looking at? Maybe you disliked the odd division! This is the only possibility with an odd division. Would you prefer an even division?”
They all said: “Yes.”
He took back all the chickens and said: “You, your two sons, and one chicken make four, and passed a chicken to them. The old lady, her two daughters, and one chicken make four, and passed a chicken to them. Myself and three chickens make four.”
He took three chickens, then lifted his hands towards the heavens and said:
“O Allah, praise be to you!
You taught me and made me understand!”