195. Birbal and the Beggar

A beggar inhaled the smell wafting from a kebab-shop.
"You must pay me for the smell!" shouted the shop owner.
"I have no money," protested the beggar, so the owner took him to Akbar's court, where Birbal was judge.
Birbal listened to both men's stories. Then he drew forth several coins from his own purse.
"Are you listening?" he said to the shop owner.
The man nodded eagerly, thinking Birbal was going to pay him.
Birbal then shook the coins in his cupped hands. "The sound of the coins is your payment for the smell of the food. Case dismissed!"

Inspired byA Caravan from Hindustan: The Complete Birbal Tales by James Moseley
Notes: This story is titled "A Sound Investment" in the book.

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