Emperor Akbar always welcomed wise men in his court. Wise men from all over the world used to come to Akbar’s court with many difficult questions and puzzles. Many a time, the courtiers would fail to answer the questions. Then it would be Birbal’s turn to give the right answer. Birbal was able to answer the most difficult questions in a few minutes. He was known all over the world for his ready wit and wisdom.
The King of Egypt was a clever person. He had heard about Birbal’s wisdom. One day, he said to himself, “Let me test Birbal’s wisdom. Let me see how clever he is ! ” So, the King of Egypt wrote a letter to Akbar and requested him to send Birbal to Egypt. Akbar sent Birbal to Egypt.
The minister of the King of Egypt gave a grand welcome to Birbal. He said, “Sir, please come to the court tomorrow. The King will see you then.”
The following day, Birbal went to the court. When he entered the court, he saw not one but five kings! All of them with identical looks and regal splendor! Not a bit of a difference among them! The five kings were seated on five identical thrones. Birbal had a close look at the five kings. After observing them minutely for some time, Birbal walked up to one of the five kings and bowed to him. The King was surprised.
The King said, “Birbal, how did you know that I am the real King?”
Birbal said, “Your Highness, the disguised kings were trying very hard to impersonate you, the real King. They were stealthily watching you all the time and were trying to imitate you. But you did not have to do any such thing. You were sitting calmly. So, I could easily guess that you were the real King.”
The King was pleased with Birbal’s clever reply. Birbal was richly rewarded by the King.