Just One Question

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One Day a scholar came to the court of Emperor Akbar and challenged Birbal to answer his questions and thus prove that he was as clever as people said he was.

He asked Birbal: “Would you prefer to answer a hundred easy questions or just a single difficult one?”

Both the emperor and Birbal had a difficult day and were impatient to leave.

“Ask me one difficult question,” said Birbal.

“Well, then, tell me,” said the man, “which came first into the world, the chicken or the egg?”

“The chicken,” replied Birbal.

“How do you know?” asked the scholar, a note of triumph in his voice.

“We had agreed you would ask only one question and you have already asked it,” said Birbal and he and the emperor walked away leaving the scholar gaping.

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