The King’s New Turban
Once upon a time, there was a king who was exceedingly fond of new turbans. He was known throughout his kingdom for his splendid collection of elaborate and expensive headgear.
One day, two clever swindlers arrived at the palace, claiming to weave the most magnificent turban ever seen. They said that this turban would be so unique that it would be invisible to anyone who was either stupid or unfit for their job.
Intrigued and excited by such exclusivity, the king gave them a bag of gold coins and asked them to start their work. The swindlers set up looms and pretended to work day and night on the king’s turban.
After a few days, the king, anxious to see his new turban, sent his wise old minister to check on the swindlers’ progress. The minister was shocked to see that the looms were empty but, fearing to appear unfit for his position or stupid, he praised the invisible turban.
The king then sent his chief advisor to inspect the turban, who also didn’t dare to admit that he couldn’t see anything. He too praised the non-existent turban.
Finally, the king went to see the turban for himself. Although he couldn’t see anything, he didn’t want to seem unfit for his position or stupid. So, he too admired and praised the invisible turban.
On the day of the grand procession, the swindlers pretended to tie the invisible turban on the king’s head. The king paraded through the streets, expecting his subjects to admire his new turban.
The townsfolk, not wanting to appear stupid or unfit, praised the invisible turban. However, a small child cried out, “But the king has no turban on!” Soon, the entire crowd began to murmur and finally admitted that the king was indeed not wearing a turban.
The king felt embarrassed but continued the procession with his head held high, preferring to appear regal rather than admit his foolish mistake.
The tale of “The King’s New Turban” serves as a reminder that vanity can often blind one’s judgement and that it takes an innocent and honest voice to speak the truth.