One day a man stopped Birbal in the street and began narrating his woes to him.
“I’ve walked twenty miles to see you,” he told Birbal finally, “and all along the way people kept saying you were the most generous man in the country.”
Birbal knew the man was going to ask him for money.
“Are you going back the same way?” he asked.
“Yes,” said the man.
“Will you do me a favor?”
“Certainly,” said the man. “What do you want me to do?”
“Please deny the rumor of my generosity,” said Birbal, walking away.