Birbal Caught the Thief

"Truth will always prevail."

The wit and wisdom of Birbal was spread in the entire kingdom. King Akbar was very impressed with fair judgement of Birbal and used to consult him in all important matters. He also became the king’s favourite in due course of time. Akbar started to trust Birbal so much that he granted him great power in the matters of decision making. Birbal was also famous for solving most of the problems of Akbar's court.

One fine day a reputed merchant’s house was burgled. The merchant was devastated and could not think of anyone for help but Birbal. He suspected one of his five servants and tried to find out on his own but could not succeed. He asked his servants but then a thief never confesses his sin. So as a last recourse, the merchant consulted Birbal and told him the entire incident. He also narrated about his doubts on his servants.

Birbal, like always was willing to help and went to the house of the merchant. He ordered all the servants to assemble in the front hall where he would make an inquiry. Once all the servants assembled together in the hall, Birbal asked them about the burglary but expectedly, the servants denied all the charges. The wise man could sense that one of them was culprit so he came up with an idea.

He gave each of the servants a stick and instructed to go home with the stick. He also clarified that the stick was no ordinary stick and it had magical power. The one who was indulged in theft will find length of his stick as it is whereas sticks of other servants will get shorter by two inches. Birbal told them to come back next day with the sticks. Next day, when all the servants assembled in the hall, Birbal asked them to show their sticks. Four sticks were as it is i.e, no change in lengths whereas stick of one servant was found to be shorter by two inches.

Birbal instantly declared that servant was the thief. The reason was when the thief got back home he was worried that because this was a magical stick and he was the thief his stick will not get shorter by two inches. So he himself cut off two inches from the stick. But the stick was an ordinary one and hence thief was caught.