The Three Questions

The Three Questions

King Akbar was very fond of Birbal. This made a certain courtier very jealous. Now this courtier always wanted to be chief minister, but this was not possible as Birbal filled that position.  One day Akbar praised Birbal in front of the courtier. This made the courtier very angry and he said that the king praised Birbal unjustly and if Birbal could answer three of his questions, he would accept the fact that Birbal was intelligent. Akbar always wanting to test Birbals wit readily agreed.

The three questions were

1. How many stars are there in the sky

2. Where is the centre of the Earth and

3. How many men and how many women are there in the world.

Immediately Akbar asked Birbal the three questions and informed him that if he could not answer them, he would have to resign as chief minister.

To answer the first question, Birbal brought a hairy sheep and said, “There are as many stars in the sky as there is hair on the sheep’s body. My friend the courtier is welcome to count them if he likes.”

To answer the second question, Birbal drew a couple of lines on the floor and bore an iron rod in it and said, “this is the center of the Earth, the courtier may measure it himself if he has any doubts.”

In answer to the third question, Birbal said, “Counting the exact number of men and women in the world would be a problem as there are some specimens like our courtier friend here who cannot easily be classified as either. Therefore if all people like him are killed, then and only then can one count the exact number.”


Moral:

There is Always a Way.

The old Lion and the Fox

An old Lion, whose teeth and claws were so worn that it was not so easy for him to get food as in his younger days, pretended that he was sick. He took care to let all his neighbors know about it, and then lay down in his cave to wait for visitors...

The Ass, the Fox and the Lion

An Ass and a Fox had become close comrades, and were constantly in each other's company. While the Ass cropped a fresh bit of greens, the Fox would devour a chicken from the neighboring farmyard or a bit of cheese filched from the dairy...

The Lion, the Ass and the Fox

A Lion, an Ass, and a Fox were hunting in company, and caught a large quantity of game. The Ass was asked to divide the spoil. This he did very fairly, giving each an equal share...

The Bull and the Goat

A Bull once escaped from a Lion by entering a cave which the Goatherds used to house their flocks in stormy weather and at night. It happened that one of the Goats had been left behind...

The Cock and the Fox

A Fox was caught in a trap one fine morning, because he had got too near the Farmer's hen house. No doubt he was hungry, but that was not an excuse for stealing. A Cock, rising early, discovered what had happened...

The Serpent and the Eagle

A Serpent had succeeded in surprising an Eagle and had wrapped himself around the Eagle's neck. The Eagle could reach the Serpent, neither with beak nor claws. Far into the sky he soared trying to shake off his enemy...

The North Wind and the Sun

The North Wind and the Sun had a quarrel about which of them was the stronger. While they were disputing with much heat and bluster, a Traveler passed along the road wrapped in a cloak...

The Dog and the Oyster

There was once a Dog who was very fond of eggs. He visited the hen house very often and at last got so greedy that he would swallow the eggs whole...

The two pots

Two Pots, one of brass and the other of clay, stood together on the hearthstone. One day the Brass Pot proposed to the Earthen Pot that they go out into the world together...