Farmer Longmore had a curious aptitude for
arithmetic, and was known in his district as the "mathematical
The new vicar was not aware of this fact when, meeting his worthy
parishioner one day in the lane, he asked him in the course of a short
conversation, "Now, how many sheep have you altogether?"
therefore rather surprised at Longmore's answer, which was as
"You can divide my sheep into two different parts, so that the
difference between the two numbers is the same as the difference
between their squares.
Maybe, Mr. Parson, you will like to work out the
little sum for yourself."
Can the reader say just how many sheep the farmer
Supposing he had possessed only twenty sheep, and
he divided them
into the two parts 12 and 8.
Now, the difference between their squares,
144 and 64, is 80.
So that will not do, for 4 and 80 are certainly not
If you can find numbers that work out correctly, you will
know exactly how many sheep Farmer Longmore owned.