The old “Chicken, Fox and Grain” riddle goes a little something like this…
The farmer needs to get across the river, but he can only take thing at a time with him in the boat.
However, he has a fox, a chicken and a bag of grain.
If he takes the grain first and leaves the fox with the chicken – the fox will eat the chicken. And the farmer doesn't want his chicken to be cockerel meat!
If he takes the fox first, then the chicken will eat the grain.
So what should the farmer do?
The most frequent initial answer to this is to take the chicken first to the other side. However, when he goes back to take either the fox or the grain to the other side…he cannot leave the chicken with either the fox or the grain.
And this is the head-scratching moment of this puzzle.
Chicken, Fox and Grain Riddle Answer
1. The farmer takes the chicken first, then he goes back and takes the grain.
2. He leaves the grain and then takes the chicken back with him.
3. He then leaves the chicken and takes the fox to wait with the grain.
4. He then goes back and gets the chicken…and then probably has a well earned rest.
If you enjoyed this ‘chicken fox grain' riddle, you can check out this great riddle audiobook for free:
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How to Use the “Chicken, Fox and Grain” Riddle
The ‘Fox Chicken Grain' riddle can be used as a co-working bonding activity if you are teaching a classroom of students…or it's also great for a solo riddle if you teach one on one. The nature of online teaching is getting students to have fun with the English language. That's why games like the fox, chicken and grain game (AKA chicken, fox and corn riddle) always work so well…as well as numerous other games.
The riddle is also titled in slightly different ways such as –
- Crossing the River Riddle
- Fox, Goose, Grain, Farmer Riddle
- Chicken, Fox and Corn Game
- Wolf, Chicken and Grain Riddle
It doesn't really matter which one you want to refer to it as…
However, I prefer to tell the riddle with a wolf rather than a fox.
The wolf version is one I took great inspiration from when it came to writing short story plot ideas.
When playing the wolf version of the riddle in one of my ESL classrooms, it got me thinking about simple story ideas.
And soon I was writing animal story books. I wrote a children's fantasy novel all about the adventure of a wolf, chicken and (a man called) Grain.
I wanted to write what would happen if the farmer was no longer around and the three elements of the riddle were all left together.
War Drum – Wolf, Chicken and Grain Story
Feel free to check it out by clicking the image below of the Wolf, Rooster and man called Grain enjoying their adventure together:
I always like to encourage creative writing in online classes by re-imagining old folktales or riddles into something completely new.
Whether it's a farmer trying to get across a river, or any other simple story idea, there is a world of possibility.
Click the image below if you'd also like to learn how you can earn by teaching online using games and riddles: