One day, Akbar drew a line on the floor and ordered, “Make this line shorter, but don’t rub out any part of it.”

No one knew what to do. Each minister looked at the line and was puzzled.
No one could think of any way to make it longer. No one could think of how it could be made shorter without erasing it.

Birbal started smiling. When it was his turn, he went near the line.
Birbal drew a longer line under the first one. He didn’t touch the first line.
Everyone in the court saw what he drew and said – “That’s true. The first line is shorter now!”