Translator: Andrea McDonough
Reviewer: Bedirhan Cinar Once upon a time in the magical and very round Land of Pi, there lived six swashbuckling musketeers. There names were Parentheses, Exponents, Multiplication, Division, Addition, and Subtraction. But each was known best by his or her mark: the two hands ready to catch a fly of Parentheses, the small and raised digits of Exponents, the mighty X of Multiplication, slash of Division, plus of Addition, and, well, you can guess the symbol by which little Subtraction was best known. The Land of Pi was not necessarily the most peaceful place, and that’s why the numbers of the kingdom needed the musketeers. The Land of Pi had been ruled by the numbers as anarcho-syndicalist commune, each number with a vote, but, one powerful number from what we’ll call the Imperial Senate, engineered a war between some robot things and the knights of the kingdom, and then installed himself as Supreme Emperor, and then Puff the Magic Digit Dragon ate him, and a princess or two, and, well, all the other numbers in the Land of Pi actually. It was kind of a big day. Anyway, the musketeers were called to action to save the Land of Pi from the voracious dragon. They rode towards him on their valiant steeds and attacked. First Multiplication, then Parentheses, but that didn’t work. The dragon continued eating people. So Addition tried, but was thrown aside. Exponents leaped at the beast and was quickly squashed. Nothing was working. The musketeers huddled and formulated a plan. They would attack in sequence, but who should go first? They bickered for a while, the dragon ate a few more princesses, and then they finally agreed. They jumped into the first, smallest parentheses inside the great Puff the Digit Dragon. Parentheses pointed out where to work first and protected Exponents, Multiplication, Division, Addition, and Subtraction while they diced and sliced. First here, then, move over there, then there. Look out! There’s another set! Parentheses pointed and Exponents took the lead. Then, it was Multiplication, Division, Addition, and Subtraction, each in turn, always the same order. P-E-M-D-A-S When they finished that set, they went to another, and another, always working inside the parentheses in PEMDAS order. Pop! Pop! Pop! Pop! Pop! PEMDAS, there is another spot! Don’t forget, there can be parentheses inside parentheses. There’s one! And that tricky exponent. There we go! Finally, the PEMDAS Musketeers had whittled Puff down to his last fearsome roar. But, having vanquished Puff the Magic Digit Dragon, all the empire’s numbers sprang again from this tiny little number one, and they all lived happily ever after. Except for the Emperor Number, which they threw into the mouth of an ancient nesting creature in the desert. The End.