Birbal Shortens Road

Once the Emperor Akbar was traveling to a distant place along with some of his courtiers. It was a hot day and the Emperor was tired of his journey. He asked querulously - "Can't any shorten this road for me?" Birbal said - "Yes, I can." The other courtiers looked at one another perplexed. All of then knew that there was no other path through the hilly terrain. The road on which they were traveling, was the only one that could take them to destination. So they were surprised to hear Birbal that he could shorten the road.

The Emperor said - "You can shorten the road? Well, do it." Birbal said - "I will." And he started - "Listen to to this story I will tell you now." And riding beside the Emperor's palanquin, he started telling him a long story that held Akbar and all others listening to it attentively and spellbound. They had arrived at their destination before they could think anything else.

Exclaimed Akbar - "Oh, we have reached, Birbal. So soon?" Birbal grinned - "Well, That is what you wanted - the road to be shortened."