Folk tales play an important part in India. Originally oral in nature, these tales like Akbar-Birbal tales were told widely among kids to highlight some moral at the end. These tales also use some set characters. The Mughal King Akbar and his court advisor Birbal have been used as the models for such witty tales in the Indian subcontinent.
Although there is no historical record of such witty banter between the king and the advisor, yet these stories have gained a cult status. In the stories, Birbal always outsmarts his rivals and even leaves Akbar stunned with his intelligence.
Here is a summary of some of the most famous Akbar-Birbal tales –
- The list of blinds – Akbar decides on giving alms to the blind in his kingdom. The list of names is thus prepared. But Birbal says that the list is incomplete. To prove his point Birbal sits weaving a cot in the middle of the bazaar. As more and more people start gathering and questioning him, Birbal adds all these names to the list. Akbar is also on this list. The point Birbal was trying to make was that many people even with eyes act like the blind. They question something which is clearly happening in front of them.
You can read the full story here – https://www.momjunction.com/articles/akbar-and-birbal-stories-for-kids_00460673/
2. Only one question – In this other humorous tale, Birbal’s sharp wit is visible. A scholar from another kingdom visits Akbar’s court and claims to be the cleverest person. His aim is to test and mock Birbal’s genius. The scholar challenges Birbal if he would prefer to answer a hundred easy questions or a single difficult one, Birbal chooses one difficult question. The man then lays down the time the immemorial question of – Who came first, the chicken or the egg? To this, Birbal replies it was the chicken. When the scholar asks him why very wittily Birbal replies that the deal was to only ask one question and not more.
The full story is available here – https://www.momjunction.com/articles/akbar-and-birbal-stories-for-kids_00460673/
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3. Birbal’s ‘khichdi’ – Akbar once challenges Birbal to find someone who could spend an entire night standing in the lake’s cold water. Birbal finds a poor man who agrees to do it in exchange for a reward. When he successfully finishes it he goes to the court where Akbar asks him how he completed the task. The man replies that by looking at a burning lamp in the distance. Akbar then refuses the man his reward. Birbal gets to know this. The next day he sits beside a fire with a pot full of ‘khichdi’ hanging six feet above. Akbar tells Birbal that it is impossible to cook food like this. Birbal replies that if the poor man could stay warm by a lamp in the distance then even he could cook. Akbar realizes his fault and rewards the man. The moral is that hope is very important.
You can read the story in detail here – https://parenting.firstcry.com/articles/10-best-akbar-birbal-short-stories-with-moral-for-kids/
4. The stick which caught the thief – Once a rich merchant gets robbed in his house and suspects one of his servants. He goes to Birbal for help who asks all the servants who have done it. As expected, no one answers him, so Birbal comes up with a plan to catch the thief red-handed. Birbal gives a stick to each servant and tells them that the robber’s stick will grow two inches long by the next morning. The next day, the thief is easily caught as he had reduced the length of the stick himself anticipating it to grow. This witty tale’s moral is that the truth always comes out.
For the full story, click here – https://www.hopscotch.in/blog/5-famous-akbar-birbal-moral-stories/
5. The farmer’s well – Once a man sold his well to a farmer. The farmer goes to draw water from it, but the man stops him by saying that only the well was his and not the water. The sad farmer went to the King for justice and Akbar gives the case to Birbal. Birbal told the man who sold the well that if his point is valid then the well is no longer yours and you have no right to keep your water in the farmer’s well. Either you will have to pay rent or take the water out. The man understood that Birbal had outsmarted him. The moral of the story is to not cheat anyone.
The full story is available here – https://parenting.firstcry.com/articles/10-best-akbar-birbal-short-stories-with-moral-for-kids/
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