9. Akbar - Birbal Stories

Just One Question

The tales of Birbal’s unparalleled wit and wisdom had reached faraway lands. Once a scholar visited Akbar’s court with the thought of challenging Birbal’s intelligence. The scholar told the king that he is the smartest and even Birbal would not be able to answer his questions. Akbar called Birbal to the court and told him what the scholar claimed. Birbal accepted the challenge that the scholar had posed for him. The scholar asked Birbal, “Do you want to answer a hundred easy questions or one difficult question?” Birbal said that he wanted to answer the difficult one. The scholar said, “Tell me Birbal, what came first, the chicken or the egg?” Birbal thought for a while and said, “Chicken came first”. The scholar mocked Birbal and said, “How can you be sure?” Birbal immediately replied, “I had only promised to answer one question, and therefore, I will not reply”. The scholar felt ashamed of his claim and left with a heavy heart.


Presence of mind helps solve even the trickiest of problems.

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