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Akbar and Birbal – Persian Lion

The Persian king has a challenge for Akbar! Can Akbar live up to his name or does something unlikely happen?

Once upon a time, the great king Akbar was wondering why he had not heard from the Persian king for a long time. One of the ministers then made a suggestion that they could send a messenger from here in order to enquire about the Persian king. Akbar then told him that he will consider this solution later and continued to think. At this time, a guard walked in saying that a messenger had arrived from Persia. Akbar then told him to bring the messenger in.

The messenger came in and exchanged greetings with the king. After they spoke for some time, the messenger ordered his guards to bring in the gift. The guards came in carrying a lion in a cage. It was no ordinary lion. It was a lion made of gold. The messenger then presented the gift to Akbar.

But the messenger still had something left to say! He said that this was in fact a challenge presented to Akbar by the Persian king. Akbar was highly amused and accepted the challenge. The messenger went on to say that for a king who has the “Navratna” in his court, it should be child’s play. The king then called upon a minister to open the cage and take the lion out. But, the cage had no door!

This left the king and all the ministers shocked. They were all perplexed now and Akbar had no other choice other than to call upon Birbal. He came and went close to the cage in order to examine it. Birbal then asked a guard to bring him a hot iron rod. After some time, the guard came with the hot iron rod and gave it to Birbal. Taking the rod, Birbal kept it on the lion inside the cage. Instantly, the lion melted and lay down on the floor of the cage.

The king was surprised and asked Birbal as to how this was possible. Birbal said that the lion was made of wax and it was just given a gold coating. Akbar praised his intelligence and the messenger too was impressed with his wisdom. The messenger said that he was fortunate to be in the company of great men like Birbal. Just as the messenger was about to leave, Akbar told him to take back the cage with the melted lion as a reply to the Persian king in order to show that they had successfully won the challenge.

Moral – If one can keep calm in any situation, he can surely find a solution to any problem.

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