Five Gold Rings Making Math Wrong

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Oh nelly, oh noodle, hypothetical audience, on my educational Christmas quest it seems I have made a perpetual blunder. When examining the origins of the famous five-gold-rings given on the fifth day, I discovered that the objects in question are not pieces of jewelery, but are in fact pheasants. Pheasants are birds. The “rings” refer to the patterned circle around the top of the animal’s neck. Why is this an issue? Well, it means that the mathematical queries I answered in this post, are incorrect, because the rings are now birds which have feet.

So, let’s make the necessary alterations to the equations, and determine the correct number of birds and legs you would receive for Christmas, because I know it’ll bother you my dear hypothetical audience; not for my sake. I wouldn’t be phased at all.


We already know in one complete set of gifts of the Christmas song  The Twelve Days of Christmas with all the other birds taken into consideration, you would receive 216 birds. Now we need to work out how many gold-rings are given in the entire song. These crafty birds make their appearance in verse five, and are therefore given  8 times during the entire song. Each day five rings are gifted, nice easy math: 8 x 5 = 40. That’s 40 pheasants altogether, added to the original total of 216.

216 + 40 =  256.

Same principal with the legs issue. Obviously five-rings on five pheasants equates to ten more legs scrambling for space under the festive underbelly of a Christmas tree. Our grand total of legs prior to this unpleasant pheasant discovery was 768, and thanks to the previous problem we know the birds appear in the song 8 times. That’s another 80 legs ( 8 x 10) to throw into the mix.

768 + 80 =  848.

848 legs received for Christmas.

There now, don’t we all feel much better?


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