“I fancy a painting Birbal. Please make one and give it to me in one week.”
Akbar’s order leaves Birbal perplexed.
“I am a minister, my lord. How am I going to make a painting?”
“Are you dismissing my order?” asks an angry Akbar. “You have one week to make an imaginative painting otherwise you will be hanged,” he commands.
Birbal gets an idea. One week later, he comes to the court with a painting wrapped in cloth. He uncovers the painting, and to the surprise of Akbar, there is nothing but a painting of ground and sky on the canvas.
“What is this, Birbal?” the emperor asks.
“Your majesty, it is the painting that I did with imagination. As you can see, it is a painting of a cow eating grass.”
“But where are the cow and the grass?” asks the annoyed Akbar.
“The grass was eaten away by the cow.”
“So where is the cow?”
“Jahanpanah, now that the cow has eaten away all the grass, what would she do on a piece of barren land? So she left to her shed.”