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A Parody or the Sad Truth?

A rope overhangs a pulley with a weight on one end and a monkey of the same weight on the other end.

The rope weighs 4 ozs. per foot and the monkey weighs as many pounds as its mother is years old.

The ages of the monky and its mother add up to four years.

The monkey's mother is twice as old as the monkey was when the monkey's mother was half as old as the monkey will be when the monkey is three times as old as the monkey's mother was three times as old as the monkey.

The weight of the weight and the weight of the rope together are half as much again as the difference between the the weight of the rope and the weight of the monkey.

How long is the rope?.

Source: Student magazine (cited in D. MacHale's Comic Sections, 1993, pp. 23-24)