The Magical Sticks is an amazing Akbar and Birbal Bedtime story.
A merchant was very fond of wearing jewels. He always had a diamond necklace around his neck. One day, while going for a bath, he hung his necklace outside the bathroom in a hurry. After taking a bath when he came outside, he saw that the necklace had disappeared.
He questioned all his servants whether they had taken the necklace. But, all of them refused. Finally, he went to court and lodged a complaint.
The Emperor asked Birbal to handle the case. Birbal then asked the merchant, “Tomorrow come to the court along with all your servants!
The next day, the merchant presented himself before the courts with all his servants.
Birbal then asked a guard to bring a bundle of sticks. Then he said, “I have cast a magical spell on all the sticks. Each one of you, take a stick and go back home. Tomorrow morning, come to the court along with your sticks. Whoever is the thief, his stick would have been expanded by four fingers in length!”
At night, all were fast asleep. But the one who had committed the theft could not sleep. He thought for a long time and finally, an idea came to his mind. He got up and cut off the stick by four finger length with a knife. Then, he slept peacefully.
The next day, he came to the court very confidently. Birbal examined each and every stick carefully. When he saw that servant’s stick, he immediately said, “Your Majesty! This man is the real thief!”
The servent was very scared and he bent his head in shame. Birbal smiled and said, “You fool, I hadn’t at all cast a spell upon the sticks. But I knew that whoever is the thief, will reduce its length. Now, quietly return the necklace!”
The servant had to surrender and he handed the necklace to Birbal. Birbal gave the necklace to the merchant and said, “Sir, it is not wise for a man to move about loaded with jewels. One’s conduct is more important than jewels and riches. Enrich your character instead with the jewels of good qualities!”