Once upon a time, King Akbar was on his way to another kingdom for a wedding. He was travelling by horse along with guards and his favourite courtier Birbal.
It was a very hot day and the road was very long. There were no trees providing shade. The king complained a lot about the road to Birbal and said, “Birbal. I wish this road will become shorter.”
Birbal said, “My king, I can shorten this road. However there is one condition to it.”
Akbar said, “What is the condition?”
Birbal said, “You must answer my five riddles.”
Birbal asked five riddles, one after another, to Akbar. The riddles were very complex and hard to solve. Akbar took his time and patiently solved all the five riddles.
After solving the fifth riddle, Akbar was very happy. He said, “Ha! There you go. I have solved the 5 very tough riddles which you have asked me. You have however not shortened the road.”
Birbal said, “But my King. I have shortened the road. You did not notice the heat when you were thinking about the riddles. We are at our destination already.”
Akbar was surprised. He was so distracted that he did not notice the heat or see how far they had travelled. He understood what Birbal was saying and agreed that Birbal did shorten the road.