Ram and Sham both claimed ownership of the same mango tree.
One day they approached Birbal and asked him to settle the dispute.
Birbal said to them: “There is only one way to settle the matter. Pluck all the fruits on the tree and divide them equally between the two of you. Then cut down the tree and divide the wood”.
Ram thought it was a fair judgment and said so.
But Sham was horrified.
“Your Honor” he said to Birbal “I’ve tended that tree for seven years. I’d rather let Ram have it than see it cut down.”
“Your concern for the tree has told me all I wanted to know” said Birbal, and declared Sham the true owner of the tree.