57. How to share bad news

P265

The Parrot Neither Eats, Nor Drinks… A person was very fond of parrots. He used to catch parrots, train them and sell them to interested people. One time he got a good parrot, so he trained him in talking, and when he was trained he presented him to king. King liked the parrot because he used to reply his questions too. The king made special arrangements for his safety, security and care and if somebody will tell me about his death, he will be hung. Hearing this the parrot was kept under special care. But one day suddenly the parrot died. Now who should go and inform this to king? The servant went to Birbal and told him his plight. He said – “If I inform him about parrot’s death, then he will kill me, but if I do not tell him, then also he will kill me, so please save me.” Birbal thought a while and sent him back to his work, and he himself went to the king and said – “Sir, Your parrot…” King asked -“What about parrot?” Birbal again stammered – “Your parrot, Sir.” King asked – “Birbal, What happened to my parrot?” Birbal again said – “Your parrot…” King asked – “I am asking you, what happened to my parrot? Say something in the name Allaah.” Then Birbal said – “Jahaanpanaah, Your parrot neither eats anything, nor drinks water, nor speaks, nor moves his feathers, nor opens his eyes…” The king said – “What? Has the parrot died?” Birbal said – “I did not say it. You said it.” King understood why Birbal had to say this in this way. He got very happy with Birbal’s way of telling him about his parrot.

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