192. Birbal's House

A man rushing down the street ran right into Birbal.
"Excuse me!" he said. "Which is Birbal's house?"
"That one," Birbal replied, pointing to a house at the end of the street.
The man went running toward the house.
When Birbal arrived, the man was still banging on the door.
"Can I help you?" Birbal asked.
The man turned, surprised to see him again. "I have an urgent message for Birbal, but he isn't home."
"I'm Birbal!"
"Why didn't you say so?"
"You didn't ask," Birbal replied. "You need to ask the question for which you really want the answer!"

Inspired byA Caravan from Hindustan: The Complete Birbal Tales by James Moseley
Notes: This story is titled "Birbal's House" in the book. In the original story, the man runs into Birbal as he is leaving to go to court, and he waits all day for Birbal to return.

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