Birbal Denies Rumor
One day a man stopped Birbal in the street and began narrating his woes to him.
“I’ve walked twenty miles to see you,” he told Birbal finally, “and all along the way people kept saying you were the most generous man in the country.”
Birbal knew the man was going to ask him for money.
“Are you going back the same way?” he asked.
“Yes,” said the man.
“Will you do me a favor?”
“Certainly,” said the man. “What do you want me to do?”
“Please deny the rumor of my generosity,” said Birbal, walking away.
Birbal Identifies Thief
It so happened that once a rich merchant’s house was robbed. The merchant suspected that the thief was one of his servants. So he went to Birbal and mentioned the incident. Birbal went to his house and assembled all of his servants and asked that who stole the merchant’s things. Everybody denied.
Birbal thought for a moment, then gave a stick of equal length to all the servants of the merchant and said to them that the stick of the real thief will be longer by two inches tomorrow. All the servants should be present here again tomorrow with their sticks.
All the servants went to their homes and gathered again at the same place the next day. Birbal asked them to show him their sticks. One of the servants had his stick shorter by two inches. Birbal said, “This is your thief, merchant.”
Later the merchant asked Birbal, “How did you catch him?” Birbal said, “The thief had already cut his stick short by two inches in the night fearing that his stick will be longer by two inches by morning.”
Birbal, Can you identify Guest
Once Birbal was invited for dinner by a rich man. When Birbal reached there, he found himself in a large crowd. The host greeted him warmly and took him inside. Birbal said, “I did not know that there will be so many guests in this gathering.” The host replied politely, “They are not guests, Sir. They are my employees except one who is the only other guest here besides you. Could you tell who is that other one guest here?”
“Maybe, I could. Tell them a joke, and I will observe them.” The rich man told the joke and everybody laughed uproariously. Perhaps this was the worst joke Birbal had ever heard in his life. Now the rich man asked Birbal, “I have told the joke, now you tell me who is the other guest here?” Birbal pointed out towards a man and said, “He is that other guest.” The rich man was very surprised hearing this that how could he recognize the other guest. He said to him, “You are right Birbal, but how did you recognize him?”
Birbal said, “Because only employees can laugh on such a joke. He was the only person who did not even smile on your joke, so I immediately recognized him as the other guest.”