nce upon a time there were 4 little monkeys. They lived in a little treehouse near a large banana plantation in a small Latin American country. Which was very fortunate for them as they dearly loved eating bananas. Bananas for breakfast, bananas for lunch, bananas for supper, it made no difference to them. When it came to eating bananas, they were all business, believe me!

     One evening they went to the banana trees to gather some for their following day's meals. They put all the bananas in a large basket and carried it back to their home, then went to bed.

     At midnight, Greedy George woke up with a craving for a banana. So he stole out of his bed and went to the basket of bananas. He was so hungry that he couldn't stop eating until he had consumed one-third of the fruit. (Yes, one-third is more than his fair share, but I said he was greedy, didn't I?) Feeling very satisfied, he returned to his bed and fell fast asleep.

     At one o'clock, Gabriel woke up wanting a snack, too. So he went to the banana basket and began eating. Noting that there were fewer bananas than had been picked, and being a little less greedy than George, he decided to eat just one-third of what was available. After doing so, he returned to bed.

     At two o'clock, Gruber woke up and (you guessed it!) went to eat some bananas. Of course, he didn't find as many as he expected. Though he did feel a little greedy when it came to matters of food, he still felt it would be better not to eat so many as his brothers. But, he still ate one-third of the bananas that were in the basket before returning to his bed.

     Finally, at three o'clock, Frances (a.k.a. Frances the Fair) woke up with her own desire for a bite to eat. But great was her surprise when she saw how few bananas were now in the basket. Nonetheless, fair is fair. She wasn't going to let her greedy brothers change her sense of fair play. So she decided to eat just what would be fair for her, given the present number of bananas in the basket. After eating some of the fruit and with a clear conscience, she too returned to bed.

     Now, dear reader, tell me how many bananas had been picked by the four monkeys.

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