Salim, son of Akbar the Great, loved all animals, especially kabootars, or doves. One evening, he was in the garden holding a pair of doves. His friend, Mehr, was with him. A guard came up to them and told Salim the Emperor wanted to see him.
Salim turned to his friend Mehr, “I’ll be back soon. Please take care of these darlings,” he said handing over the doves to her.
Salim finished his meeting with his father and returned. To his dismay, he found Mehr holding only one dove. “What happened to the other one?” he asked anxiously.
“It flew away,” said Mehr in a low voice.
“How?” Salim screamed.
“Like this,” said Mehr, letting go the bird in hand.
As the dove soared into the sky, Mehr giggled.
“Salim, don’t you think these birds are more beautiful flying free in the sky?”
Note: Salim later became the Mughal emperor, assuming the name Jahangir. He married his childhood friend Mehr-un-Nissa, who became famous as Noor Jahan. He was known for his love for animals.