The Foolish Thief (Akbar and Birbal)
Once upon a time, a rich merchant was robbed in King Akbar’s kingdom. The grief-stricken merchant went to the court and asked for help. Akbar asked Birbal to help the merchant find the robber. The merchant told Birbal that he was suspicious of one of his servants. On getting the hint from the merchant, Birbal summoned all the servants and told them to stand in a straight line. When asked about the robbery, everyone denied doing it, as expected. Birbal then handed over one stick of the same length, to each one of them. While dispersing, Birbal said, “By tomorrow, the robber’s stick will increase by two inches”. The next day when Birbal summoned everyone and inspected their sticks, one servant’s stick was shorter by two inches. On being asked by the merchant about the mystery of finding the real thief, Birbal said, “It was simple: the thief had cut his stick by two inches, fearing that it would increase in size”.
Truth always prevails.