# 1 rabbit saw 6 elephants.

There is a popular maths riddle that goes like.

1 rabbit saw 6 elephants while going towards a river. Every elephant saw 2 monkeys going to the river. Each monkey had 1 parrot. How many animals went to the river?

##### Analysis.

Let’s analyze the question first.

1 rabbit was going to the river according to the first statement. That is one animal going to the river. In the second sentence, we are not told that the elephants were going to the river. Maybe they were on the bush feeding. We are told that the rabbit just saw them. Six elephants saw 2 monkeys going to the river. So there are now 3 animals going to the river; 1 rabbit and 2 monkeys. Each monkey had 1 parrot each. Where? That statement is the catch.

Were the monkeys carrying their parrots with them? Or did they leave them behind and went alone to the river. Again are parrots animals? The question is asking how many animals went to the river.

##### Answer/s.

This question has missing information so the answer/s will have an ‘if’ attached.

If the parrots are counted as animals and the monkeys carried them along, then, 5 animals went to the river (1 rabbit, 2 monkeys 2 parrots).

If the parrots are not counted as animals then the answer is 3 (1 rabbit and 2 monkeys).

If the monkeys were not carrying the parrots then the answer is 3 (1 rabbit and 2 monkeys).

Now there is another argument that we don’t know whether the rabbits and the monkeys ended up to the river. They might have changed their mind and gone elsewhere because the question only asks the number of animals that went to the river. The rabbit might have been eaten on the way before reaching the river. So in this instance, we don’t know how many animals really reached the river.