The Emperor's New Clothes
Once there was an Emperor who just loved new clothes. He spent all his money on them! He would stand in front of the mirror looking at himself in his newest shirt or trousers.
One day, two crafty men, who called themselves weavers, came to town. They said that they could make cloth with the most beautiful colours that anyone had ever seen. But the clothes made from this wonderful cloth would be invisible to silly people.
“Oooooh, I must check this out,” thought the Emperor, “if I had clothes made out of such amazing cloth, I could find out who is clever and who is silly.”
He gave a lot of gold coins to the weavers so they could start their work.
The two pretend weavers set up two pretend sewing machines, reached into their pretend carry cases, took out their pretend golden thread and began their pretend weaving.
And let me tell you; this act fooled everyone.
“I wonder how the weavers are getting on with that cloth,” thought the Emperor one day.
Then he remembered that silly people wouldn’t be able to see the cloth.
“I know,” thought the Emperor, “I’ll send my trusty old wise man to the weavers! No-one could call him silly.”
So, the old wise man went off to where the crafty weavers were pretending to work.
The old wise man looked and looked but there was not one single bit of wonderful cloth to be seen. But he didn’t say anything.
One of the crafty weavers asked him what he thought about the lovely colours and the rich gold thread.
“If I can’t see this special cloth I suppose I must be silly. Better not tell the Emperor”, thought the old wise man.
“Well, what do you think?” asked one of the weavers.
“Er, um,” said the old wise man, “erm, this pattern and the colours are the most beautiful I’ve ever seen. The Emperor will be very happy!”
The day came when the Emperor wanted to see the famous cloth for himself. He took officers of the court and the wise old man with him.
As soon as the weavers saw the Emperor coming, they went on pretending to work very fast.
One of them stopped and said, “What does your Emperorship think about the wonderful design and the beautiful colours?”
The Emperor said to himself, “I can’t see a blooming thing! But I can’t let anyone know or everyone will think I’m a silly old Emperor! Oh dear, oh dear!”
He turned to the sneaky weaver and said, “Oh! The cloth is the most, er, beautiful I have ever seen.”
Of course, everyone who had come along with the Emperor was straining their eyes to see something that wasn’t really there.
But they all said, “Oh, how beautiful!”
The old wise man said, “Your Excellent Emperorship, wouldn’t it be double extra fantastic if you had some beautiful new clothes made from this fantabulous cloth for the parade next week!”
The Emperor was so happy that he gave the sneaky weavers an extra bag of gold coins each.
The night before the parade the sneaky weavers sat up all night pretending to make a suit for the Emperor.
They cut the air with their scissors and sewed with needles that didn’t have any thread in them.
Finally, they cried, “The Emperor’s new clothes are ready!”
The weavers lifted their arms pretending to hold something up.
“Here’s your Majesty’s trousers, jacket and tie,” said one.
“The whole suit is so light it’s like wearing a cobweb, your Emperorship!” said the other.
The weavers then pretended to dress the Emperor in his new suit.
“Amazing,” cried everyone, although no one could actually see any clothes.
The Emperor looked at his plump, bare body in the mirror, took a deep breath and said,
“Well then, let the parade begin.”
The Emperor walked through the streets of the town.
The people all called out, “What wonderful new clothes!”
You see, nobody wanted to seem silly.
But one little girl in the crowd said, “Mummy, look, the Emperor hasn’t got any clothes on!”
What she said was whispered all around the crowd.
“The little girl is right! The Emperor has no clothes!” cried everyone.
The Emperor looked down and saw that he was indeed just wearing his underpants. And he realised that he must look very silly indeed.
“We’ve all been tricked!” he shouted.
Just then the old wise man saw the sneaky weavers trying to run away.
But two soldiers grabbed them, took back the Emperor’s gold coins and put the weavers in prison for a very, very long time.
And the Emperor? Well, let’s just say he never, ever went to another parade wearing just his underpants.
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