One day, Akbar decided to test Birbal’s wisdom. He removed the ring from his finger and entrusted it to one of his courtiers. Akbar said to him, “You must hide this ring safely with you. See that no one comes to know about it.”
As soon as Birbal came to the court, Akbar said, “Birbal, I have lost my ring this morning. It was given to me by my father as his remembrance. Do whatever you must, but you have to find my ring.”
Birbal requested Akbar to give him the details. Akbar did not say much. He kept on repeating, “I do not remember anything at all. You must find my ring.” At last, Birbal assured him, “All right, Your Majesty! I will find your ring right now.”
Birbal closed his eyes and pretended to chant some mantras. He said, “Your Majesty, your ring is somewhere here in this court. It is with one of the courtiers. The one who has your ring has a straw in his bread.”
The courtier who had the emperor’s ring was alarmed. On hearing Birbal’s words, he immediately moved his hand over his beard. Birbal’s sharp eyes noticed this act of the courtier. Pointing towards him, Birbal said, “Your Majesty, please search this man. You will certainly find your ring with him.”
Akbar was puzzled. He did not understand how Birbal had managed to find his ring. But once again, Akbar accepted the fact that Birbal was indeed very clever.