Child Play :
“Why are you late today, Birbal ?” King Akbar enquired one day as Birbal late in the royal court.
“Your Majesty, I….my son…..,” Birbal faltered.
“Yes. Go on. Tell me what’s wrong?” King Akbar insisted.
“I got late because my four year old son’s toy broke. He did not let me leave the house till I mended it.”
Hearing this, the King and all the courtiers burst out in laughter.
Some commented, “Oh, Birbal got delayed by a child.”
“The great Birbal could not make a child let him leave the house.”
The King said, “Why Birbal, you are the most precious gem of my court. You help me
get out of problems. Couldn’t you get out of a child’s reach.”
Birbal said, “Your Majesty, handling a small child is no child’s play. A child can make a fool of a man. Even elders like us are no match to a stubborn child’s wish.”
“I don’t believe it. Bring your son to the court tomorrow. I’ll show you how to deal with him,” the King said.
Next day Birbal arrived with his four year old son. After welcoming the child, King Akbar asked him, “Dear, what do you want ? I will get anything you desire.”
“I want to eat a sugarcane,” the child requested.
“Get some sugarcane for the child,” the King ordered. Soon the servants brought a plate in which peeled and cut pieces of a sugarcane had been served. The child saw them and said, “I don’t want these. I want the whole sugarcane.”
“Get another sugarcane for him and do not cut it this time.” The King ordered his servant.
The order was followed.
“No..oo....o..oo..!” the child began to cry.
“What’s wrong now dear?” the King asked.
“I want this sugarcane to be put together again. I don’t want the other one.”
“No, dear, that’s not possible. I’ll get a long and sweet whole sugarcane for you,” the King said.
“No...o..o.., I want this to be joined back for me now,” the child insisted and started crying very loudly.
All the King’s words fell on deaf ears. The courtiers and the King kept trying but the
child kept to his request.
Then King Akbar threw up his hands and said, “All right Birbal, you win again.
Now I understand that why even you could not satisfy a child. Fulfilling children’s
wishes is very difficult indeed.”
Akbar and Birbal Stories
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