Birbal arrived late for a function and the emperor was displeased.
“My child was crying and I had to placate him,” explained the courtier.
“Does it take so long to calm down a child?” asked the emperor. “It appears you know nothing about child rearing. Now you pretend to be a child and I shall act as your father and I will show you how you should have dealt with your child. Go on. Ask me for whatever he asked of you.”
“I want a cow,” said Birbal.
Akbar ordered a cow to be brought to the palace.
“I want it’s milk. I want it’s milk,” said Birbal, imitating the voice of a small child.
“Milk the cow and give to him,” said Akbar to his servants.
The cow was milked and the milk was offered to Birbal. He drank a little and then handed the bowl back to Akbar.
“Now put the rest of it back into the cow, put it back, put in back, put it back…” wailed Birbal.
The emperor was flabbergasted and quietly left the room.