Once upon a time there was an emperor whose only interest in life was to dress up in fashionable clothes. He kept changing his clothes so that people could admire him.
Once, two thieves decided to teach him a lesson.
They told the emperor that they were very fine tailors and could sew a lovely new suit for him. It would be so light and fine that it would seem invisible. Only those who were stupid could not see it. The emperor was very excited and ordered the new tailors to begin their work.
One day, the king asked the prime minister to go and see how much work the two tailors had done. He saw the two men moving scissors in the air but he could see no cloth! He kept quiet for fear of being called stupid and ignorant. Instead, he praised the fabric and said it was marvellous.
Finally, the emperor’s new dress was ready. He could see nothing but he too did not want to appear stupid. He admired the dress and thanked the tailors. He was asked to parade down the street for all to see the new clothes. The emperor paraded down the main street. The people could only see a naked emperor but no one admitted it for fear of being thought stupid.
They foolishly praised the invisible fabric and the colours. The emperor was very happy.
At last, a child cried out, “The emperor is naked!”
Soon everyone began to murmur the same thing and very soon all shouted, “The emperor is not wearing anything!”
The emperor realised the truth but preferred to believe that his people were stupid.