A rich merchant had many servants in his house. One day the merchant’s wife’s beloved necklace disappeared from her vault. Gradually precious things in the house started disappearing one by one. The merchant was troubled by the thief in his house. He suspected one of his many servants to be the thief. But it was very difficult to identify and catch the thief among all the other servants in his huge house. The troubled merchant contacted his wise friend Birbal about the recent incidents.
After listening to the merchant, Birbal agreed to help the merchant and went to his house. Birbal summoned all the merchant’s servants and started interrogating them one by one. He received nothing but absolute denial from every single one of them
An idea, then struck Birbal. He handed over a stick to every servant, all of the same length. He told them that the stick was magical and the stick of the thief would grow by two inches the next day. The servants were ordered to present the stick to Birbal the next day.
The next day, as ordered, the servants assembled at the merchant’s house with their sticks. As Birbal examined each stick, he noticed that one of the servants was holding a stick that was two inches shorter.
“This is your thief, merchant.”- Birbal said, pointing at the servant.
When the merchant asked Birbal to reason his accusation, he said- “Honest men never feared about the growth of their stick. The thief had already cut his stick shorter by two inches fearing that his stick will be long by two inches next morning.”