A Dog and a Son-in-Law
One day, Emperor Akbar said to Birbal, “Birbal! Bring me two creatures—one who is faithful and other who is treacherous.”
After thinking deeply, Birbal brought a dog and his own son-in-law to the court. He presented them before the Emperor, and said, “Huzoor! Here are the two as you wished.”
The Emperor said, “Birbal, now explain who is faithful and who is treacherous?”
Birbal replied, “Your Majesty, this dog eats only leftovers and yet remains faithful to his master. Even if he is thrashed or driven out, he remains loyal to his master and comes to him at once when called.
But a son-in-law is a very ungrateful person. Even if you give him everything you have he is not satisfied. The more you give him, the more he wants. He only thinks about his own interest. He won't care even if his father-in-law is reduced to beggary.’’
The Emperor was very pleased with Birbal’s answer and asked the guards to hang Birbal’s son-in-law to death. Then, he ordered enough milk to be fed to the dog.
Birbal was taken aback to hear the Emperor’s orders. He said, “Huzoor! But I did not mean that only my own son-in-law was an ungrateful person.
It was an example. I referred to all the sons-in-law in the world. Therefore, it would be unfair to punish only my son-in-law. You too are someone’s son-in-law.”
The Emperor realised his mistake and withdrew his orders.