1. Akbar and his high officials including Birbal were meandering along the winding paths of the flower garden. Delighted on seeing the rose flowers, Akbar observed, ‘’Āhā! If there is heaven on earth, it is here in this flower garden.’’
2. Everyone except Birbal agreed, ‘’Yes, Prabhu! Your observations are correct.’’ Akbar questioned the silent Birbal, ‘’Birbal! You do not seem to agree with me.’’
3. Birbal addressed the emperor, ‘’The rose flowers do confer beauty to this flower garden. Where there is beauty, danger lurks.’’ Akbar questioned Birbal, ‘’Do you mean the danger comes from the thorns of the rose plant?’’ Birbal denied that was what he meant. Akbar suggested, ‘’Do you mean the snakes that hide in the rose bushes?’’
4. Birbal dismissed the idea by saying, ‘’To the snakes, man is the danger. They slither away in fear, as they hear man’s footsteps.’’ Akbar, in frustration, retorted to Birbal, ‘’Then, which is the source of danger.’’ Birbal was quick with his answer, ‘’Prabhu! Danger not only refers to beauty but also strength, wealth, fame, and such things.’’
5. Birbal further elaborated, ‘’You are the strongest, the most famous and the richest, which no king exceeds in Bharat. But the kings in the neighborhood are jealous of you because of your above-mentioned qualities. They have hatched a plan to knock you down and claim victory over you. That is why I do not think there is such a thing as a Bhūlōka Sorgam (worldly heaven). Birbal’s words made Akbar think deeply.
6. Next day, Akbar addressed the assembly, ‘’If a mortal danger confronts an individual suddenly, what is the best weapon useful for his self-protection?’’ One said, ‘’Sword.’’ Another one was quick to dismiss the idea and said, ‘’Sometimes, the sword-carrying hand becomes actionless. From a distance, aiming and throwing a spear at the enemy help escape danger.”
7. Birbal intervened and shot down the suggestion, saying, ‘’In a state of nervousness, one may fail to hit the target. It is true of sword, spear, or any other weapon. Akbar questioned, ‘’What other weapon could be useful when faced with danger?’’ Birbal answered, ‘’It depends on the circumstances. Quick-thinking intellect is the best weapon under those circumstances.’’
8. Akbar made fun of Birbal at his suggestion and said, ‘’Mere gobbledygook. I want to see how your brain works.’’ The assembly joined Akbar in putting Birbal down. Birbal defended himself saying, ‘’When the time comes, you will all find out what I said was true.’’
9. Next day, Akbar and Birbal were walking on the riverside. There was a noisy commotion, and people were running amok. Some people came to Akbar and told him, ’Prabhu! The state elephant is running towards you from a sudden attack of madness. You should escape from it soon.’’ Before they could finish their message, the elephant made an appearance in a distance.
10. Soon Akar drew his sword from his side and others close to him drew their swords. Once they realized they cannot subdue or kill the elephant with swords, they stood there like lifeless statues seized by fear and paralysis. Akbar realized that a great danger was imminent.
11. Realization set in that swords and spears were worthless to subdue the elephant. But Akbar’s self-respect did not allow him to run from fear like a coward. As all were standing powerless, Birbal caught the nearby cat and threw it on the back of the elephant. When the cat landed on the elephant’s back, the spooked cat began scratching the elephant’s back with its nails. Unable to bear the pain, the elephant was groping its back with its trunk to catch the cat, which jumped off the elephant’s back and ran in the opposite direction. The elephant’s anger turned towards the cat, forcing the elephant to chase the cat. Because of its huge body, it could not run fast. The cat ran off the road and hid in the bush. The elephant began searching the bush for the cat.
12. As the elephant’s attention turned to the cat, Akbar and others did not suffer injury from the wayward elephant and escaped. Akbar took some time to break free of his statue-like immobility and regain his bearings. Soon, he embraced Birbal and said, ‘’Bravo! You proved that the intellect is the best weapon and that exercising the brain according to the existing circumstances is the best strategy. What you said in Durbar was correct. If an intellectual like you is nearby, any danger can be faced diligently.’’