One day a farmer came to the Birbal’s court and asked for help- ‘Your Majesty! I have planted a mango tree outside the city, and have been caring it for 7 years. Now it has begun to bear flowers and fruits. Seeing this, my neighbor, Ram wants to take over the tree. Your Majesty! Please, do something?’ Birbal asked him to leave saying, “OK, Come tomorrow.”
Birbal sent for the Shyamu’s neighbor, Ramu and ordered him to tell the truth. He said, “Your Majesty! You are like my parents, do as you wish. But that mango tree is mine and I have been taking good care of it for 7 years.”
In such a difficult situation Birbal asked Ramu, “Who is the guard of the tree?”
Ramu replied, “I’ve kept one guard, we both look after the tree.”
Birbal asked Ramu to leave and when he left, he called the guard and asked, “Tell the truth, does the mango tree that you look after belongs to Ramu or Shyamu?” The guard replied, “They appointed me together.” Now it was a very difficult problem.
Birbal asked him to leave and got back to his work. After the court was closed Birbal called the guard once again and ordered him to go to Ramu’s and Shyamu’s house and tell them, “Many people have come to rob the mangoes, I can’t guard it alone, Come with me to the tree?” He also sent his two spies after the guard.
The guard went to Ramu’s house and cried, “Brother Ramu! Run, many people have surrounded the mango tree, I can’t protect it alone.” Coincidentally Ramu wasn’t in the house. So, his wife said, “OK, Go back now, I will tell him when he comes.”
Then he went to Shyamu’s house and repeated the same thing. Coincidentally Shyamu also was not present in the house. His wife worriedly said, “Go go, run, and do as you can to save the tree. As soon as he returns I will inform him.”
When Ramu arrived home he got to know what the guard had told him from his wife. He said, “Who will go to save the tree in such a night time? I’ll go to see it tomorrow.” And he went to bed. The spy who was sent by Birbal heard everything from outside.
Similarly, when Shyamu came home late night his wife reported him that the mango tree was in danger and that the guard couldn’t take care of it alone. Shyamu immediately took a stick and set for the place where the mango tree was located. His wife asked him not to go on such a dark night but he didn’t listen to her. Another spy who was also sent by Birbal also heard everything from outside.
The next morning both the spies reported exactly the same thing they heard in Ramu’s and Shyamu’s house. After listening them, Birbal reckoned that the mango tree indeed belonged to Shyam. He called both Ramu and Shyamu in the court for the decision. When both of the arrived Birbal said them in a serious mood, “After hearing you both and the guard of the tree I concluded that the tree belongs to both of you. Now that there are a lot of mangoes in the tree you want to take them all alone. Therefore, I decided that first I will distribute all the mangoes equally among you and, then cut the tree and distribute the woods equally among you. What do you say?”
Hearing this from Birbal, Ramu hastily agreed with happiness but Shyamu became sad and said, “Your Majesty! You can give it to Ramu if you wish but please don’t cut the tree. I can’t see it falling before my eyes.” Seeing their faces and listening to them Birbal proclaimed that the true owner of the tree is Shyamu. He asked the guard near him to beat Ramu with whips. After he was beaten by the guard he told everything truly and accepted his crime. At last Shyamu got back his mango tree.