193. Birbal and the Eggplants

"These eggplants are exquisite!" Emperor Akbar proclaimed one night at dinner.
"I agree, Your Highness," said Birbal.
"Perhaps you can compose an 'Ode to Eggplants' and sing their praises."
Birbal improvised the ode on the spot, and the emperor was delighted.
The imperial chef heard about this and served eggplant every evening with dinner.
A week later, Akbar groaned. "I'm sick of eggplants. Eggplants are disgusting."
"I agree, Your Highness," said Birbal.
"But you were singing their praises last week!" said the emperor.
"That's true, Your Highness," replied Birbal. "I am the servant of the emperor, not of the eggplants."

Inspired byA Caravan from Hindustan: The Complete Birbal Tales by James Moseley
Notes: This story is titled "Eggplants" in the book. This is one of several Birbal stories also told about Nasruddin: The Emperor and the Eggplants.

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