The stories of Akbar and Birbal have mesmerized children since generations. Akbar’s challenges to his loyal courtier Birbal and the latter’s witty and smart ways of facing them not only bring smiles but also teach some valuable life lessons to children.
This attribute makes Akbar and Birbal stories one of the must-reads. MomJunction shares some of the best Akbar Birbal stories for kids. Let your children be amazed at the smartness of Birbal!
Funny Akbar Birbal Stories
Here are some stories that display Birbal’s wit and intelligence at its funniest best.
1. The crows of the kingdom
One day Akbar and Birbal were taking a stroll in the royal gardens when Akbar happened to see a group of crows on the tree.
“Wonder how many crows are there in the kingdom, Birbal?”
“There are ninety-five thousand, four hundred and sixty-three crows in our kingdom, sir.”
Akbar looks at Birbal with amazement. “How do you know that?”
“I am pretty sure your majesty. You can get the crows counted,” says Birbal confidently.
“What if there are fewer crows?” asks Akbar skeptically.
“Jahanpanah, it means that crows have gone to meet their relatives in neighboring kingdoms.”
“Hmm… But Birbal what if there are more crows than the number you said?”
“Well, in that case, crows from other kingdoms have come to visit their relatives in our kingdom.”
Birbal’s reply leaves Akbar smiling.
2. Only one question
A scholar from faraway lands once visits Akbar’s court. He declared that he is a smart one and no one can answer his questions. The scholar challenges Birbal to answer his question and prove that he is the smartest.
“Would you prefer to answer a hundred easy questions or just a single difficult one?” said the scholar in a pompous tone.
Akbar could sense that the scholar wanted to belittle Birbal.
But Birbal replies with confidence, “Ask me just one difficult question.”
“Alright. Tell me what came first, the chicken or the egg?”, asks the scholar with a thunderous voice.
“The chicken,” Birbal replies.
“How do you know?” the scholar asks mockingly.
“We agreed that you will ask only one question, which you have already done,” says Birbal in response.
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3. Birbal’s imagination
“I fancy a painting Birbal. Please make one and give it to me in one week.”
Akbar’s order leaves Birbal perplexed.
“I am a minister, my lord. How am I going to make a painting?”
“Are you dismissing my order?” asks an angry Akbar. “You have one week to make an imaginative painting otherwise you will be hanged,” he commands.
Birbal gets an idea. One week later, he comes to the court with a painting wrapped in cloth. He uncovers the painting, and to the surprise of Akbar, there is nothing but a painting of ground and sky on the canvas.
“What is this, Birbal?” the emperor asks.
“Your majesty, it is the painting that I did with imagination. As you can see, it is a painting of a cow eating grass.”
“But where are the cow and the grass?” asks the annoyed Akbar.
“The grass was eaten away by the cow.”
“So where is the cow?”
“Jahanpanah, now that the cow has eaten away all the grass, what would she do on a piece of barren land? So she left to her shed.”
4. The list of blinds
One day emperor Akbar decides to give alms to all the visually challenged people in the kingdom. He orders his courtiers to make a list of all such people. The courtiers make the list ready and share it with the emperor.
Akbar takes a look at the list and says, “Very well. Take this list to Birbal. Make sure that these people get good alms tomorrow at the bazaar.”
Birbal looks at the list, goes to Akbar and remarks, “Your majesty, this list is incomplete.”
“What do you mean incomplete?” exclaims Akbar.
“Your majesty the list must be longer as we missed several such people. Give me a day’s time and I will prove it,” says Birbal.
Akbar agrees. The next day, Birbal takes a frame of an old cot, sits at the crossroads of the bazaar, and begins weaving the cot with a string. A servant stands next to Birbal with a pen and a scroll.
A courtier passing by the bazaar sees Birbal, asks, “Hey Birbal! What on earth are you doing?” Birbal does not reply but mumbles to his servant, who then scribbles something on the scroll.
Soon, a crowd gathers around Birbal. Each time someone enquires Birbal, he mumbles to his servant, who then writes on the scroll. The news of Birbal’s antics reaches the court and Akbar arrives at the bazaar.
“What are you doing Birbal??” he asks.
Without replying, Birbal continues to weave the cot, takes the scroll from the servant’s hand, and hands it over to Akbar.
“Here is the list of blinds your majesty.”
Akbar looks at it and is shocked to see his name at the very end of the list.
“What nonsense is this?! Why is my name on the list?” the irked emperor asks.
“Jahanpanah, you and all the others in the list asked me what I was doing despite it being evident that I was weaving my cot. So, don’t you all deserve a place on the list?”
Akbar understands his folly and bursts into laughter. “Well done Birbal. You just opened my eyes by proving me blind!” says the amused Akbar.
5. The rooster and the hens
Akbar decides to test Birbal’s wit by playing a trick on him. He secretly calls his courtiers, explains them a plan, and gives them an egg. Akbar asks all the courtiers to bring the egg concealed in their clothes the next day.
The next day, Akbar tells the court that he had a dream last night that the best way to test the honesty of his courtiers is to ask them to bring an egg. Therefore, he tells all his courtiers to go to the royal pond and bring one egg at a time. Those who find the egg are loyal while those who can’t aren’t, he says.
The courtiers go to the pond and bring back the concealed egg in their hand one at a time. It is soon Birbal’s turn. He goes to the pond but finds no eggs. He searches around the pond, under the bushes, and trees, but finds no eggs.
Birbal returns to the court wondering about the situation. He notices courtiers giving him sharp glances and smiling among themselves. Soon the situation is clear. As Birbal approaches Akbar’s throne, he bursts into the call of a rooster. The sudden act takes the emperor and courtiers by surprise.
“Why did you do that Birbal?” asks Akbar.
“Your majesty, only hens produce eggs. Since all the courtiers presented an egg, they are all hens. As I am the rooster, I couldn’t produce any eggs.”
There is silence for a few seconds and soon Akbar begins laughing, followed by the courtiers. Birbal proves his wit yet again.
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Akbar Birbal Short Stories
These stories are short but they are enough to display Birbal’s intelligence.
6. Who is the emperor?
Birbal once visited a kingdom as an ambassador of Akbar. The ruler of the kingdom, who heard a lot about Birbal’s intellect, wanted to test it. The king got a dozen lookalikes to dress like him and made them sit on a throne identical to the real throne.
Birbal entered the court. He had never seen the king, and now he was greeted by 13 rulers! Birbal knew he was being tested. He panned his head around to take a look at the “kings”. He set his gaze on one of the kings. Birbal walked towards him, bowed, and said, “Greetings your majesty.”
The king was astonished and so were the lookalikes.
“How did you know I was the real king? We have never met before?” said the amazed ruler.
“Your majesty, the confidence on your face set you apart. While your lookalikes kept giving you glances to see your reaction, you continued seeing straight without the need to see the reaction of others. Only an emperor can display such fortitude, and that is how I identified you.”
7. The daring culprit
“I have a problem to share and want a solution right away,” Akbar announced in his court one day.
“Last evening, someone dared pull a hair from my mustache. What punishment should the person be given?”
There was murmuring in the court.
“He should be flogged!” came the reply from the prime minister.
“No, he should be banished from the kingdom!” exclaimed the treasury minister.
There were demands for the maximum punishment for the culprit. Amidst all the noise, Birbal stayed silent.
“Don’t you have anything to say, Birbal?” asked Akbar.
“Jahanpanah. I recommend you to give the culprit some sweets.”
There was silence in the court. The courtiers were astounded by Birbal’s reply.
“I am surprised, Birbal. How do you expect me to reward someone who dared to pull my mustache?” asked Akbar.
“Your majesty, the only person who can dare to touch your mustache is your grandson. I am pretty sure you will not mind giving him sweets,” replied Birbal with a smile.
8. The pot of wit
One day, Akbar had an argument with Birbal and asked him to leave the kingdom. Birbal obeyed the emperor’s order and left. Days turned into weeks and months.
Akbar realized his mistake and began to miss Birbal. He asked his guards to look for Birbal at his home and relatives’ houses but found him nowhere.
The emperor came up with a plan. He sent an order across the kingdom that every village should send a pot of wit to Akbar in three months of time. If they are unable to fill it with wit, then they must fill it with diamonds and precious jewels.
The chieftain of a village sat down to discuss the order with the council members as to how poor villagers could give diamonds.
Birbal, who was hiding in the very village, said, “I will provide a pot of wit.”
The village chief decided to give Birbal a chance. Birbal took a pot and covered a small watermelon with it, without cutting it away from the plant. Within three months, the watermelon grew big enough to cover the entire pot from inside.
Birbal separated it from the plant and sent the pot to Akbar with a note, “Remove the wit without cutting it or breaking the pot.”
Akbar understood it that the pot was from Birbal. He sent guards to bring Birbal from the village from where the pot had come.
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9. The other guest
Once, a rich man invited Birbal for dinner. When Birbal arrived at the man’s house, he noticed that there were several people already present.
“Oh, I didn’t know you had invited so many other guests.”
“No sir, Birbal. These are not guests, but my employees who are joining me for dinner tonight. But one among them is a guest just like you. Can you guess who?” said the man with a smile.
“Please tell them a joke, and I will tell you who the guest is,” replied Birbal.
The man told a joke, and all the guests in the house burst into laughter.
“That man over there is the other guest,” Birbal said pointing towards a man.
“Yes! He is the one. But how did you guess it?” the amazed host asked.
“The joke you said was not so funny. Still, everyone laughed. But the guest only smiled, and that is how I could identify him,” replied the smart Birbal.
10. The well
Once, a blacksmith bought a well from his neighbor, a farmer. Despite the sale, the farmer continued to draw water from the well. This angered the blacksmith and they both approached Akbar’s court for justice.
“Why do you draw water from the well when you have already sold it?” Akbar asked the farmer.
“Your majesty, I only sold the well. Not the water in it,” came the reply from the sly farmer.
Akbar sought Birbal’s opinion.
Birbal turned to the farmer and asked, “So you are saying that the well belongs to the blacksmith, but the water within belongs to you?”
“That’s right sir,” said the farmer.
“Well, in that case, you will have to pay rent to the blacksmith for keeping your water in his well,” Birbal announced.
The farmer was at his wit’s end.
11. Justice or the gold coin
One day Akbar asked Birbal what would he choose if he were given a choice between a gold coin and justice.
“I will certainly choose the gold coin Jahanpanah,” came the quick reply from Birbal.
Akbar was surprised. There was silence in the court. Everyone was surprised by Birbal’s reply.
“I did not expect that reply, Birbal. Justice is more important than a meager gold coin,” Akbar said with a tone of disappointment.
“I am sorry, your majesty. But I believe one must ask for what one does not have. Your rule has ensured that there is justice everywhere. However, I am running short of money. Therefore, I chose the gold coin.”
Akbar broke into a warm smile and rewarded Birbal with 100 gold coins.
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12. Fear or love?
“I think my people love me,” beamed Akbar during his stroll with Birbal in the royal garden.
“You are right your majesty. But people also fear you,” came the reply from Birbal.
Akbar frowned, “I do not believe it.”
“I will prove it Jahanpanah,” Birbal said and shared his plan with Akbar.
The next day, Akbar announced that he is going to the jungle for a dangerous hunt. As a prayer, his subjects should pour a cup of milk into the large tub placed at the center of the royal palace courtyard.
The next day, Akbar found that the tub was filled with watery milk. Several subjects only poured water, assuming that the others would get milk and their water would get camouflaged.
The following day, Akbar made a similar announcement but this time said that he will check the people pouring the milk. When Akbar returned, he found the tub overflowing with fresh milk.
“Didn’t I tell you, sir?” asked Birbal. “This time people poured pure milk because they were afraid that you will find out there is no milk in it. Your subjects care for you, but they also fear and that is why they filled the tub with milk this time.”
13. Birbal helps the gardener
One day, Akbar stumbled upon a rock sticking out of the soil in the garden. He felt very embarrassed for falling in front of the guards and courtiers. He ordered the arrest and execution of the gardener for his negligence.
Birbal came to know about the incident and visited the poor gardener in the prison. He said something into the ear of the gardener.
The next day, the gardener was asked his last wish before execution. He said he wanted to see the king. His wish was granted. When he reached Akbar’s court, he walked to Akbar and spat on his feet. The courtiers gasped.
“What nonsense is it?” thundered the angry Akbar.
“Jahanpanah”, interjected Birbal. “The loyal gardener felt sad that you had to use a silly reason to hang him, and your decision might be criticized by the people. Therefore, he decided to give you a grave reason to hang him.”
Akbar understood the intent and pardoned the gardener.
14. Akbar’s challenge
Akbar was once greeted by a consortium of nobles from different parts of the kingdom. They told the emperor that they had come for the position of royal advisor, which has been with Birbal since years.
“You can put a test and pick one of us. We can prove that we are no less than Birbal,” said the leader of the consortium.
Akbar thought for a moment and agreed.
“Alright. I have a test for all of you,” Akbar said removing his waistband.
He lied on the floor, and told the nobles, “Please cover me from head to toe with my waistband cloth. The one who succeeds in doing so becomes my advisor.”
The nobles tried their best, but the cloth was too short to cover the entire body. If they moved the cloth up, the feet left uncovered, and if they pulled it a bit below, the head came into the open.
Akbar presented Birbal with the challenge. Birbal took a look at the cloth and told Akbar, “Your majesty, please fold your knees.”
The emperor did as said. Birbal spread the cloth and this time it covered Akbar from head to toe.
The nobles apologized to Akbar and Birbal, and left the court never to challenge Birbal’s position again.
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15. Shorten the road
Akbar was on a long road journey to a neighboring kingdom on a hot day. The heat vexed him. He complained about the long road to Birbal.
Birbal commented that he could shorten the road.
“Really? Please do that if possible,” said the intrigued Akbar.
“Sure, your majesty. But before that you have to solve five riddles,” came Birbal’s reply.
Akbar agreed. Birbal started asking the riddles one after the other. Akbar would take time to solve the tricky riddles.
Right when Akbar solved the fifth riddle, he said, “Too bad you could not shorten the road and I managed to solve all your five riddles,” he said triumphantly.
Birbal smiled. “But I have shortened the road huzoor. We are at the destination.”
Akbar noticed that they had reached their destination.
Aren’t the stories full of wit and intellect? Such stories help children develop their presence of mind while having a good laugh. And kids can read them at any time – whenever they are bored or feeling low.
What’s your take on Akbar and Birbal stories? Tell us in the comment section below.
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