Nursery Rhymes arrow List of Rhymes arrow As I was going to St Ives
As I was going to St Ives

As I was going to St Ives
I met a man with seven wives
And every wife had seven sacks
And every sack had seven cats
And every cat had seven kits
Kits, cats, sacks, wives
How many were going to St Ives ?


The solution to the puzzle is typically supposed to be one: the individual recite the poem was going to St Ives, and everybody besides was going the opposite way. Depending on how the query is interpreted, the reply might also be zero: the individual travelling to St Ives is not any of "kits, cats, sacks, wives". Even by means of this understanding, though, the reply might be one: in the case the storyteller is a wife. Even though it is frequently understood that the man with the wives was leaving away from St Ives, it may well be factual that they were going to St Ives: clearly, on my way to a location, I can assemble somebody going to the identical location; if they were dragging along sacks filled with 2,744 cats and kittens, it would be simple to pass them. In that case, the reply is 2800 or 2801. 

Yet one more answer is that one is in information the proper reply, given that the man and his cadre of wives, cats, and kittens could be living in a home along the way to St Ives, and the storyteller simply paused the length of the way at his home. One more answer would treat the puzzle as a red herring, and state that the standard figure of wives, sacks, cats and kittens travelling to a big marketplace municipality in the 18th century might easily figure a great deal more than the 2801 mentioned in the puzzle. "As I was going to St Ives" is a traditional nursery school poem which is usually thought to be a puzzle. The first recognized published account of it dates to approximately 1730, though a comparable problem appears in the Rhind Mathematical Papyrus, dated to pproximately 1650 BC.