Akbar was the son of humble parents. His father was a schoolmaster, There was never very much money in the house, so he didn't enjoy any luxuries. All he wanted was to learn more and more. Books were not easily available then as they were handwritten and very expensive. Akbar read all the books he could lay his hands on. In due course, he mastered Arabic, Persian, Philosophy and Astronomy and dreamt of getting a position at court. But for this, one had to really excel in some field. Also one needed a patron close enough to the Emperor to recommend a newcomer, It was a few months before he could find a patron and a few more months before he could find a suitable opportunity to recommend him to the Emperor who asked what he had leamt and what work he could do. On hearing the same, he said, "We are pleased to give the young man a chance. Let him take charge of the royal poultry housel" When he heard the news Akbar was heartbroken. He, a scholar, capable of debating with the most leamed men, was asked to look after chicking hens! All the same, he got down to work with great determination. His only concern was hens. He saw to it that they were well fed and had clean water, that their living quarters were clean and if a fowl took ill that it was separated from the others and given proper treatment. Meanwhile, the Emperor had forgotten about the scholar he had packed off to mind the hens. But one day while his Finance Minister was reading out the palace accounts to tell the Emperor how much money had been spent on the royal household, he mentioned such a low figure that the Emperor sat up. "Have most of the hens died?" he asked. "No, your Majesty" was the reply - "The hens are not only alive but are plump and fit." "Send for the scholar," the Emperor demanded. When Akbar came to the palace, the Emperor demanded "Aren't you feeding them properly?" "I am, sire, only the food is different - I'm feeding them what cannot be used in the royal kitchen, vegetable peels and dough used to seal the vessels while cooking for your Majesty. The hens not only enjoy it but it is also very good for them. "Good work, we hereby promote you to the rank of royal librarian."Akbar was bitterly disappointed. He had spent the first thirty years of his life gaining knowledge. How he wished to gain that knowledge and help people. Instead, as head of the royal library he would be seeing only books and no people, But he buckled down to organizing the library. A year later the Emperor came to visit the library. He was surprised to find eachbook covered with a packet of silk, velvet or brocade. There were hundreds of books and not one without a cover. "You have used expensive material to cover the books but have not charged us. Surely you are not spending your own money?" Akbar bowed low, "Your Majesty, these covers did not cost anything. Everyday dozens of people come to the court with humble grievances on sheets of paper which are folded and placed inside a bag of the most expensive material that they can afford. I have used them. The emperor was very pleased and gave him a bigger responsibility.