Birbal was missing. He and the emperor had a quarrel and Birbal had stormed out of the palace vowing never to return.
Now Akbar missed him and wanted him back but no one knew where he was.
Then the emperor had a brainwave. He offered a reward of 1000 gold coins to any man who could come to the palace observing the following condition. The man had to walk in the sun without an umbrella but he had to be in the shade at the same time.
“Impossible,” said the people.
Then a villager came carrying a string cot over his head and claimed the prize.
“I’ve walked in the sun but at the same time I was in the shade of the strings of the cot,” he said.
It was a brilliant solution. On interrogation the villager confessed that the idea had been suggested to him by a man living with him.
“It could only be Birbal!” said the emperor, delighted.
Sure enough it was Birbal and he and the emperor had a joyous reunion.