Once, a blacksmith bought a well from his neighbor, a farmer. Despite the sale, the farmer continued to draw water from the well. This angered the blacksmith and they both approached Akbar’s court for justice.
“Why do you draw water from the well when you have already sold it?” Akbar asked the farmer.
“Your majesty, I only sold the well. Not the water in it,” came the reply from the sly farmer.
Akbar sought Birbal’s opinion.
Birbal turned to the farmer and asked, “So you are saying that the well belongs to the blacksmith, but the water within belongs to you?”
“That’s right sir,” said the farmer.
“Well, in that case, you will have to pay rent to the blacksmith for keeping your water in his well,” Birbal announced.
The farmer was at his wit’s end.