Birbal the Wise - VISituation puzzles (sometimes called lateral thinking puzzles) are ones where you need to ask lots of yes or no questions to figure out what happened in the situation. These are good puzzles for groups where one person knows the puzzle and answers the questions.
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 out the answer?
Once Emperor Akbar ordered a horse to be delivered to Birbal so that he could easily move about the kingdom.
The stable-keeper however, was extremely jealous of Birbal, and decided to deliver a sick and weak horse to him. The horse was delivered to Birbal's stable. The next morning, when Birbal went to proudly leave his house on a horse, he found the horse was dead. Looking at the weak and frail horse, he understood what must have happened. However he could not insult the Emperor or his gift, so he kept silent.
Unfortunately for him, the Emperor observed him entering the palace grounds on foot and, when he entered the court, the Emperor immediately questioned him about the horse.
What was Birbal's diplomatic and accurate reply?
AnswerBirbal knew he could not accuse the stable-keeper directly of sending a bad horse as, indirectly, he would be accusing the Emperor and, for that, he may well follow the horse into the nether world.
So he brightened up and told the Emperor, "Sire, the horse that you gifted me was so fleet footed that it covered the long and vast distance between earth and heaven in a single night!"
Hearing this, the stable-keeper, who went and hid behind a pillar when he saw Birbal come without the horse, rushed out and prostrated before the emperor, completely in a panic. He confessed his crime to the Emperor and begged for mercy. He also asked Birbal for forgiveness and waited for the Emperor to announce a suitable punishment for him.
Emperor Akbar was pleased at Birbal's sense of diplomacy which prevented him from directly accusing the stable-keeper of sending him a sick horse and ordered the stable-keeper to provide Birbal with a good quality horse. As his punishment, the stable-keeper was ordered to clean Birbal's stable and groom his new horse for a whole year in addition to his normal duties as the royal stable-keeper.
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