On a pleasant evening, Emperor Akbar and Birbal were strolling in the garden. Suddenly, the emperor spotted a stick on the ground. Soon, an idea flashed in his mind. He picked up the stick, showed it to Birbal and said, “Birbal! Can you make this stick smaller without breaking it?”
     Now, Birbal was well aware that the emperor liked to test his presence of mind now and then Birbal too liked to prove his intelligence by giving be fitting reply to the emperor. As emperor Akbar looked at Birbal curiously, Birbal got busy looking around the garden, as if he was searching for something.
     After a while, Birbal ran in the direction of the gardener who was working with a staff in his hand. He went there, grabbed the stick from the gardener’s hand and ran back to the emperor. Emperor Akbar was at loss to understand Birbal’s intentions but still continued to look at his out of curiosity.
     After Birbal reached the emperor, he took the stick that was in the Emperor’s hand, placed it beside the gardener’s stick and said, “my Lord! Please notice how small your stick had become.” But when emperor Akbar failed to understand what Birbal meant, Birbal smiled at him and explained, “Your Majesty! You wanted me to make this stick smaller without breaking it and I have exactly done so. Just look at both the sticks, doesn’t your stick look smaller when placed beside the gardener’s staff?”
     Having understood Birbal’s intelligence and presence of mind, emperor Akbar was greatly thrilled and showered appreciations on Birbal.

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