'Birbal', Akbar mused, 'how many crows do you imagine there are in my kingdom?'
'Jahanpanah,' Birbal replied, 'there are exactly nine hundred and ninety-nine thousand, nine hundred and ninety-nine.'
Akbar was puzzled. 'Suppose we have them counted,' he said, 'and there are more than that, what then?'
'That would mean,' Birbal replied, 'that their friends from the neighboring kingdom have come to visit them'.
'And if there are fewer?' 'Then some of ours will have gone abroad to see the wider world.'
(From The Enchantress of Florence by Salman Rushdie)