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.
Each wife had seven sacks,
Each sack had seven cats,
Each cat had seven kits.
Kits, cats, sacks, and wives,
How many were going to St. Ives?

Comment

This rhyme is a riddle. Can you tell me how many people were going to St. Ives?

The answer to the riddle is a bit of a conundrum. Let’s break it down
1 Man
7 Wives
343 cats
2,401 kits (kittens)
That is a total of 2,801 and there was only 1 man.

The answer to the riddle is used to help improve logical thinking in children… and adults!

Since he met them whilst he was going to St. Ives, they were going the other way.

Only 1 man was going to St. Ives!

St. Ives refers to a village in Cornwall, England.

This riddle can be traced back to 1730.