During the rule of Emperor Akbar, one day a bag full of money got stolen from a rich merchant’s house in Delhi. The merchant was sure that the thief is none other than one from his servants, but how hard he tried he couldn’t pinpoint who the real thief was. So, he went to the witty Birbal’s court and told everything about the event and also told that he had suspected one of his servants and asked him to identify the thief. To such request of the merchant, Birbal said, “It will be done as you say. Bring all your servants to me tomorrow,” and asked him to leave.
The next day the merchant appeared in Birbal’s court along with his seven servants. After providing them with the seat to stay; Birbal said, “I have this seven magical sticks given by a magician. I have caught many thieves with these sticks. I will give each of you one stick, these sticks will be with you all the night, the next morning if we match all the sticks we will find that the one that is taken by the thief will be long by 2 inches since these are magical sticks. I have done such test many times and have succeeded to catch the thief.” Then he gave each servant one-one stick and kept them in separate rooms not letting them talk and meet with anybody.
The servant who had stolen the money thought that Birbal was a foolish person, he told all the secrets of the sticks to us. After thinking for a long time he cut his stick by two inches while going before Birbal. Birbal collected all the sticks of seven servants and matched them. He found the thief’s stick short by two inches and thought, “The thief keeps faith on other so that his stick is short by two inches.” And he became sure that the servant whose stick was short by two inches was the thief.
Birbal called that servant inside and asked him. How much he cried and joined hands before Birbal saying he hasn’t taken any money; Birbal didn’t believe him. He ordered the guards to hit him with a whip though the merchant was stopping him to do so. And after being beaten he accepted that he had stolen the money and returned back the merchant’s property. Birbal also handed the money to the merchant and punished the thief for the robbery.