Just One Question

Akbar always tested Birbal and made many attempts to outwit him, but in the end Birbal always came up on top.

Birbal was famous for his wit and sense of humour across the seven seas.

One late evening, when the Emperor Akbar was finishing his day work, a guard entered and requested that a highly distinguished scholar had come to Akbar's court and wanted to challenge Birbal in answering his question. He wanted to test Birbal's wits, and find out whether he was as clever as people said he was.

Birbal accepted the challenge.

Then the scholar came and asked Birbal, “Tell me Birbal, would you like to answer one hundred easy questions or a single difficult question?” Akbar and Birbal had a very long day; they were in a hurry to wind up the court, so Birbal said, “O learned one! Ask me one difficult question.”

The scholar instantly shot his question at Birbal, "Who came first? Chicken or egg?" Birbal answered the question without giving any second thought, "The chicken!"

The scholar was puzzled to hear such a swift reply. He further asked Birbal, "How do you know?"

"We agreed that you would ask only one question, and you have already asked it. So, no more questions please!" Birbal retorted.

Birbal’s witty reply left the scholar speechless.