Hunting and dowry

Contributed by : Yesha Desai   
Hunting and dowry

This is a classic story from Akbar Birbal.

Moral(s) of the story: health, hygiene and responsibility

Emperor Akbar was passionate about hunting. One day, Akbar was on his hunting trip, when he heard two owls hooting in a shrill voice on the trees.Akbar asked Birbal, “Birbal, look at those two owls! They are creating such a ruckus. Can you tell me what they are quarreling about?”

Birbal said, “Huzoor, I can tell you but I fear that you may not be happy to know.

Akbar said, “Tell me Birbal, I really want to know what these birds are discussing.”

Birbal said, “They are arguing over the dowry amount. The first owl is the groom’s father and the second one is the bride’s father. The groom’s father is adamant on taking 40 jungles in dowry, with no animals at all.The bride’s father is saying that he can arrange only 20 jungles at the moment.”

In the meantime one owl hooted once more very loudly. Akbar asked Birbal, “I see! Tell me now what is he saying?”

Birbal said, “He is the bride’s father. He is requesting the groom’s father to give him just six months more, and then he would certainly give him 40 jungles without animals.”

Akbar said, “Really Birbal? How does he propose to do that?”

Birbal said in a grim tone, “Jahanpanah, the bride’s father says that he has come to know from reliable sources that if Emperor Akbar’s hunting sprees continue at this pace, soon all the jungles would be devoid of animals and then he would easily be able to fulfill the demand of the groom’s father.”

Emperor Akbar understood the harmful consequences of his hobby on the environment and quit hunting from that day onwards.

This is how Birbal addressed Akbar’s conscience and made him realize his folly.


We must understand the environmental consequences of our actions and try to make the Earth a better place.

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