The Emperor’s New Clothes
Once upon a time, there was a vain Emperor who loved wearing fine clothes and showing them off to his people.
One day, two cunning swindlers arrived at the Emperor’s city. They claimed to be gifted weavers, able to create the most magnificent clothes that could be seen only by those worthy of their positions. The clothes would be invisible to anyone who was unfit for their job or extraordinarily stupid.
Intrigued, the Emperor decided he could use such clothes to discover who in his court was unfit for their roles or unintelligent. He paid the swindlers a hefty sum to weave the clothes.
The swindlers set up looms and pretended to work on the magnificent fabric. They demanded the finest thread and gold for their work, which they tucked away into their bags.
When the Emperor sent his loyal ministers to check on the progress, the swindlers showed off the empty loom. The ministers, not wanting to appear unfit for their position or stupid, claimed to see the clothes and praised their beauty and intricacy.
Word spread of the fabulous fabric and everyone was excited to see the Emperor in his new attire. Finally, the day came when the swindlers said the clothes were ready. They pretended to dress the Emperor in his new clothes, and the Emperor, not wanting to appear unfit or stupid, acted as though he could see and feel the clothes.
He set off in a grand procession through the city. His subjects, also not wishing to appear unfit or stupid, cheered and praised his magnificent attire, even though they could see nothing but their Emperor in his undergarments.
Suddenly, a small child in the crowd cried out, “But, the Emperor has nothing on!” The crowd fell silent, everyone looking at each other before the truth dawned on them. They started whispering the child’s words until it grew into a chorus of agreement.
The Emperor, hearing the truth but too proud to admit his folly, held his head high and continued the procession, all the more resolute in his invisible “clothes.”