One day, as soon as Emperor Akbar came to his court, he looked at his courtiers and said, “Today somebody has pulled my beard. Tell me, what punishment should I give to that person?”
The courtiers were puzzled. They started discussing the matter among themselves. After some time, one of the courtiers said, “Your Majesty, the person who dared to pull your beard should be beheaded.”
Another courtier suggested, “Who is that fool who dared to do such a thing? He should be trampled under the feet of an elephant.”
Each courtier had a different suggestion to make. Akbar was bored to hear so many suggestions. Finally, he turned to Birbal and said, Birbal, what do you have to say? How should I punish the one who pulled my beard?”
Birbal looked at Akbar and smilingly said, “Your Majesty, you should offer sweets to that person. This is the only punishment for this offence.”
All the courtiers were baffled by Birbal’s reply, but Akbar was very pleased to hear the suggestion. He said, “You are absolutely right, Birbal. But can you guess who could have pulled my beard?”
Birbal said, “Your Majesty, none but your darling little prince would dare beard. He must have done that can you punish him?”
Birbal was right. Early that Emperor was carrying his little prince in his arms While playing, he had pulled Akbar’s beard. Akbar was very happy to hear the clever suggestion made by Birbal. The rest of the courtiers were ashamed of their suggestions.