Emperor Akbar would often go around his kingdom in disguise. Birbal, the court advisor, warned the king, “Your Majesty, please be careful.”
But Akbar was not worried, “Don’t worry Birbal,” he would say, “nothing will happen,” and continued to go in disguise and talk to people.
One day, Akbar noticed a man following him. Akbar turned around and shouted, “Why are you following me?” “No sir, I am not following you. This is my way home,” said the man.
The man continued, “In fact sir, you look like a stranger in these parts.” Akbar became angry. “Do you know I am your Emperor!” ” he yelled.
“Emperor? Hahaha!” laughed the man, “In these common clothes? Hahaha!” Akbar was annoyed, to prove to the man that he was indeed the Emperor he showed him his signet ring.
The man acted quickly, he snatched the ring and ran. “Help! Help!” cried Akbar. Some people chased the man and caught him. But the man was clever, he showed them the signet ring.
“I am Akbar, your Emperor!” he said. The people believed the man to be their Emperor and bowed to him. Akbar watched all this helplessly and finally returned to the palace.
In the palace Akbar found a small box. He opened it. To his surprise, he saw his ring and a piece of paper that read: With love from Birbal.
“So the man was Birbal in disguise,” laughed Akbar. “He has taught me a lesson. I must follow his advice.”
Emperor Akbar had a parrot that talked. He was very fond of the parrot and asked Birbal to take special care of the parrot.
Birbal appointed two guards to look after the pet. Everyday it was fed and its golden cage cleaned.
Akbar loved the parrot and had declared: If someone ever brings me news that my parrot is dead, he will be hung. One day, the parrot died.
The guards were too scared to tell the Emperor the sad news. They went to Birbal and sought his help.
Birbal then led Akbar to the parrot’s cage and said, “My lord! Your parrot now neither eats, nor speaks. It does not even open its eyes.”
“Do you mean the parrot is dead?” shouted Akbar, shocked and angry. “Yes!” said Birbal. “But I did not say that. You said it, my lord!”
Akbar now understood why Birbal had spoken that way. “I might have put an innocent man to his death for no fault of his,” he thought. He was glad Birbal had opened his eyes.