Professor Layton Reads a Bedtime Story

Luke flopped into his chair with a loud sigh.

"The professor wants to read me a bedtime story tonight," Luke groaned.

"And you think you're too old for stories?"

"No, it's—oh, never mind, you wouldn't understand."

Flora's curiosity was piqued, so she went to Luke's room that night to see what was so bad about Professor Layton reading bedtime stories.

"Jack and the Beanstalk," Professor Layton read. "Once upon a time, there was a boy who lived alone with his mother."

I don't see anything wrong with that... Flora thought to herself.

"That reminds me of a puzzle I heard once!" Layton said enthusiastically. "See, a boy says to his mother, 'Mom, if you triple my age and cut your age in half, we'd be the same age. But if we double my age—'"

"Professor!" Luke whined. "Can you get back to the story?"

"Now, now, Luke, my boy," Professor Layton said. "This is an important puzzle. How else will we know how old the mother and the son are?"

"She's his mother! She should know how old he is!"

"That may be true, but—"

"The mother is six times older than the son," Flora interrupted.

"Correct! Critical thinking is the key to success!" Professor Layton smiled. "Now where were we? Ah, yes. The two of them were very poor, and they only had one cow. Oh! That reminds me of another puzzle! There are twenty cows in a field and you want to separate them into groups of five—"

"Professor!"

"What is the fewest number of fences you have to build?"

"I dunno, two?"

"CORRECT! Critical thinking is the key to success! Now, Jack's mother wanted him to go to the market and sell the cow...by the way, have you heard this puzzle about a person who is selling something?"

The Professor started telling a puzzle, which reminded him of another puzzle, which reminded him of two more puzzles. Meanwhile, Jack and the Beanstalk was lying on the ground, forgotten.

"He's never going to finish the story, is he?" Flora asked Luke.

"He's never finished any of the stories he's tried to read," Luke said. "It's horrid. I love the professor, but he's the worst bedtime story reader ever."

"Don't worry," Flora said. "As soon as he's done, I'll read the story to you."