The Emperor’s New Clothes
Adapted from the story by Hans Christian Andersen
1. Many years ago, there was an Emperor. He loved new clothes. He spent all his money on them. He had a different suit for each hour of the day. One day, two thieves came to the city. They were disguised as tailors. They told people that they could make beautiful clothes of the finest material.
2. The colors were bright. The patterns were amazing. But, they said, these clothes were invisible to anyone who was not worthy. If a person were unfit for the office he held, or was dull or stupid in any way, he would not be able to see the clothes.
3. "These must indeed be splendid clothes!" thought the Emperor. "If I have such a suit, I can find out who is unfit for his office. I would also be able to tell the wise from the foolish! I must have these clothes right away."
4. He paid the two men so they could begin work. The two thieves pretended to work very hard. In reality, they did nothing at all. They asked for the most delicate silk. They wanted the purest gold thread. But they really put both into their own knapsacks. They did their pretend work until late at night.
5. The Emperor wanted to know how the work was coming. He thought about who to send. After all, someone dull or unfit for his job would not be able to see the fine cloth!
6. "I will send my faithful old minister," said the Emperor at last. "He will see how the cloth looks; for he is a man of sense, and no one can be more suitable for his office than he is."
7. So the faithful old minister went to the room where the pretend tailors were pretend working. He saw them working on nothing.
8. "What is the meaning of this?" he thought. "I cannot see the least bit of cloth." However, he did not say this aloud. "I will never confess that I cannot see the stuff," he thought. So he told the thieves their work was excellent and that he would describe it to the Emperor.
9. The minister told the Emperor about the fine clothes. In the next few days, the Emperor sent more officers of his court to look at the work. They all came back with glowing reports. None of them wanted to be fired or called stupid!
10. Finally, the day came! The Emperor would wear the new clothes in a great parade through the city. The pretend tailors stayed up the whole night pretending to finish the clothes. As the Sun came up, they shouted, "The Emperor’s new clothes are ready!"
11. Now the Emperor, with all his court, came to the tailors. They raised their arms, as if holding something up. They said, "Here are your Majesty’s trousers! Here is the scarf! Here is the shirt! The whole suit is as light as a cobweb. One might think one has nothing at all on—such is the great quality of this delicate cloth." They pretended to dress the Emperor. They praised how wonderful he looked. All the lords and ladies of the court pretended too.
12. Now the Emperor walked in the parade. All the people cried out, "Oh! How beautiful! Look at our Emperor’s new clothes! How graceful and lovely the fabric is!" In short, no one wanted to allow that he could not see the clothes.
13. "But the Emperor has nothing at all on!" said a little child.
14. "Listen to the voice of innocence!" said his father. What the boy had said was whispered all around.
15. "But he has nothing at all on!" cried out all the people at last.
16. The Emperor was upset. He knew that the people were right.