The Donkey and the Emperor

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One day, Emperor Akbar and Birbal went together for a walk. At the sunset Birbal sat down on the river bank and performed ‘sandhya’—the Hindu ritual. The Emperor was very much impressed. He said to Birbal, “Birbal, tell me how to perform ‘sandhya’ ? I like it very much and I too like to do it.”
Birbal replied, “Your Majesty, only Brahmins are supposed to perform ‘sandhya’, not others.”
“Then, make me a Brahmin,” Akbar said.
Birbal replied, “No Huzoor, it is not possible!” But the Emperor insisted, “Why not? For me, everything is possible!”
Birbal was in a fix. He said, “Please give me some time to think over it.”
The Emperor agreed. But after a few days, he again reminded Birbal of his promise. Then Birbal called a potter and said, “Tomorrow evening, you come to the riverside with your donkey and bathe it by scrubbing it vigorously. The Emperor and I will come there at that time. When we ask, ‘What are you doing?’ you would say, ‘I try to make my donkey a horse!’ ’’
Accordingly, the next day, the potter came to the river bank with his donkey. He started doing what he was instructed. The Emperor noticed this strange act and asked the potter, “What are you doing?”
“Huzoor, I am turning my donkey into a horse,” said the potter politely. The Emperor burst into laughter and said to Birbal, “This man seems to be crazy. Can anyone turn a donkey into a horse?”
Birbal said, “Your Majesty, if one cannot turn a donkey into a horse, how can anyone convert a Muslim into a Brahmin?”
The Emperor got the hint and said, “Birbal, you are tricky.”

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