Riddle #881


The stories of Emperor Akbar and Birbal

Emperor Akbar once ruled over India. He was a wise and intelligent ruler; and he had in his court the Nine Gems, his nine advisors, who were each known for a particular skill. One of these Gems was Birbal, known for his wit and wisdom. The story below is one of the examples of his wit. Do you have it in you to find the answer? One day the Emperor Akbar stumbled on a small rock in the royal gardens and momentarily went off balance. He was in a bad mood that day and the incident only served to make him more angry. Finding a target for his mood of the day, he ordered the gardener's arrest and execution. Birbal heard of this and visited the gardener in the cell where he was being held awaiting execution. Birbal had known the gardener for many years and also knew of the gardener's immense respect and sense of loyalty for the king. He decided to help the gardener escape the death sentence and explained his plan to the gardener, who reluctantly agreed to go along. The next day the gardener was asked what his last wish was before he was hanged, as was custom. The gardener requested an audience with the emperor. This wish was granted, but when the man neared the throne he tried to attack the emperor. The emperor was shocked and demanded an explanation. The gardener looked at Birbal, who stepped forward and explained why the gardener had attacked the emperor. The emperor immediately realised how unjust he had been and ordered the release of the gardener. How did Birbal manage this?
"Your Majesty," said Birbal, "there is probably no person more loyal to you than this unfortunate gardener. Fearing that people would say you hanged him for a silly reason and question your sense of justice, he went out of his way to give you a genuine reason for hanging him."
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