One day Akbar was bored and he was thinking of how foolish many people were. Akbar asked Birbal to find the four big fools in his kingdom and bring them to him.
Birbal was amused and said, “My King, it is not a difficult task. The world is full of many fools. I need only a few days and I shall come back with four fools.”
King Akbar gave Birbal a week time to look out for the fools in his kingdom. Birbal started looking for the fools. He did not have to search a lot. On the first day, he saw a man carrying a large plate full of clothes, sweets and other expensive gift items.
Birbal asked the man, “My dear man, for whom are you carrying so many costly gifts?”
The man replied, “These gifts are for my wife. She left me and married someone else. Now she has had a baby boy. I have bought all these gifts for her.”
Birbal found the first fool to present before King Akbar. Birbal told him to come to the royal court in two days.
On the second day, Birbal saw another man who was sitting on a buffalo and was carrying a bundle of grass over his head.
Birbal asked him, “Why are you carrying this bundle over your head? Why do you put it on top of the buffalo?”
The man replied, “My buffalo is pregnant. I think it will cruel of I sat on her and also load this heavy bundle of grass on her. I love her very much. So I am carrying the bundle of this grass over my head and she is carrying only me.”
Birbal found the second fool to present before King Akbar. Birbal told him to come to the royal court the next day.
Next morning, both the men came to court as requested by Birbal. Birbal presented them to King Akbar saying that they were the biggest fools in the kingdom. He told them the stories and King Akbar laughed very loudly.
Akbar then asked, “But there are only two fools. I had asked you to bring four fools to me. Where are the other two fools?”
Birbal folded his hands and said, “I must apologise in advance for saying this, my King. The third fool is you who asked me to bring these fools to you wasting both our efforts. The fourth fool is me since I spent 2 days searching for these fools instead of helping the people.”
The Emperor burst out laughing and agreed with Birbal’s logic. He gave him 100 gold coins for his smart reply.