Birbal's Sweet Reply
Akbar used to ask many odd questions from his courtiers and amused himself. One day he entered the Royal Court, settled in his Royal chair, and asked his courtiers:
"What punishment should be given to a person who pulls my mustache?"
One said, "He should be beheaded."
Another said, "He should be flogged."
Yet another said, "He should be hanged."
"What do you think, Birbal?" the Emperor asked Birbal.
Birbal kept quiet for a moment, then said, "Jahaanpanaah, he should be given sweets."
"What, Birbal? Have you gone crazy? Do you know what are you saying?"
Birbal replied politely, "I am not crazy, Jahaanpanaah. And I know what I am saying."
"Then how can you talk like this?" the King asked in anger. Birbal again replied politely, "Because, Jahaanpanaah, the only person who can dare to do this is your grandson."
Akbar was so pleased with this answer, that he gave his ring to Birbal as a reward.