One day Akbar said to Birbal: "Can you tell me how many bangles your wife wears?"
Birbal said he could not.
"You cannot?" exclaimed Akbar. "You see her hands every day while she serves you food. Yet you do not know how many bangles she has on her hands? How is that?"
"Let us go down to the garden, Your Majesty," said Birbal, "and I'll tell you."
They went down the small staircase that led to the garden.
Then Birbal turned to the emperor: "Your Majesty," he said, "You go up and down this staircase every day. Can you tell me how many steps there are in the staircase?"
The emperor grinned sheepishly and quickly changed the subject.