One day, Akbar was riding near a mango orchard, when an arrow whizzed past him. The guards accompanying him rushed to find the culprit and caught the archer who had shot the arrow. He was just a young boy and was quivering with fear after being caught.
When Akbar saw the boy, he asked him angrily, “Why did you try to kill me? Tell me which of my enemies has sent you here?”
The young boy folded his hands and replied, “His Highness, I was not trying to kill you. I was just trying to knock down a mango with my arrow.”
The Emperor was infuriated at the young boy’s careless way of shooting arrows and ordered his guards, “Put him to death in the same manner he tried to kill me.”
The guards tied the youth to a mango tree and were getting ready to shoot him. Birbal could not stop himself from chipping in and addressed the soldiers, “Wait a second! If you want to shoot this boy in the same way he tried to shoot the Emperor, then you must aim at the mango; the arrow must miss the mango and then strike the boy.”
Akbar’s realised his folly and understood that it was not fair to take away the youth’s life for something that he did not do deliberately. He ordered his guards to let the young man go scot free. The young man fell down on Birbal’s feet and thanked him from the bottom of his heart.
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