A Story From: Denmark
Read Time: ["3 to 5mins"]
For Ages: 5 to 7yrs., 8 to 10yrs.
The Emperor's New Clothes Story ~ "Early Reader" English Story for Kids
This is the Fairy Tale The Emperor's New Clothes Story. It has been adapted from Hans Christian Andersen's version and is brought to you by Stories to Grow by.
There once was an Emperor who loved nothing better than wearing fancy new clothes. Three times a day he would change into a brand new royal outfit. Many Emperors spend their days talking to advisors and fixing problems of the land. Not this one! He was too busy sending out his servants to find the next great outfit to wear.
One day two strangers came to town. They said they were weavers. They said the cloth they wove was the finest anyone would ever see. But in fact, they were not weavers – they were crooks.
These fake weavers said their cloth was more beautiful than any other cloth BUT it could not be seen by just anyone. Only people who were smart and the most excellent could actually see the magic cloth. People who were not smart and not excellent – well, they would see nothing at all.
One day two strangers came to town.
Soon, word reached the Emperor about these two weavers and their fine cloth. He thought, “I am the most smart and the most excellent Emperor! Anyone can tell by how grand I always look! I do not need to worry about that silly magic.”
So the Emperor went to see the two weavers. These clever crooks ran about their shop, pointing at empty corners and tables. They said with pride, “Look at these piles of fine cloth! Surely you have never seen colors as bright as these, patterns as beautiful!” The Emperor could not understand – he did not see any cloth, anywhere!
The Emperor thought, “I cannot let anyone know that I cannot see this magic cloth! Who knows what they may think of me!” So instead he said, “Indeed! This is the most beautiful cloth anyone has ever seen!”
The Emperor could see no cloth, anywhere!
As it turns out, the Emperor’s grand annual Parade was coming up soon. This was a special day when everyone in the kingdom lined up to admire the Emperor and cheer him as he walked by. This year the Emperor wanted an outfit more fine than ever before. It must be made from the weaver’s wonderful cloth!
Yet there was very little time. Could they weave the cloth in time for the Parade? The two fake weavers frowned, as if they could not be sure. Then they smiled and said yes, they could make him the finest royal outfit and cape ever. But it would cost many extra gold coins for the work to be ready in time.
The Emperor paid it all. The two crooks put the gold right into their chest. But they did not buy yarn. All they bought were a few candles to burn in the windows at night. That way everyone would say, “Look! Those new weavers are working all night long to get the Emperor’s new clothes ready in time for the Parade.”
The two crooks put the gold right in their chest.
On the morning of the Parade, the Emperor came to the weaver’s shop. He felt sure that this time he would be able to see the magic cloth. But still, the Emperor saw nothing!
When it was time for the Emperor to get undressed, the clever crooks said, “These clothes are so light and airy it will feel as if you have nothing on at all.” And indeed, that is how it seemed to the Emperor! For when he looked in the mirror, he saw in the reflection that he was wearing nothing. But he thought, really, he must be wearing a very grand outfit. One worth all the extra money he had spent.
At the Parade, the Emperor walked tall and proud. Each person who saw him go by thought, “I cannot believe what I am seeing! The Emperor is wearing no clothes!” But each person said nothing. They knew that only people who were smart and excellent could see the magic clothes. So instead they cheered, “There goes the Emperor! Doesn’t he look fine!”
Each person thought, “I cannot believe what I am seeing!"
All of a sudden, one little boy called out, “Look! The Emperor has no clothes!” Everyone gasped. Then another child called out, “Look at him! He has nothing on at all!”
Then someone laughed. And someone else. Then more and more people started to laugh. Someone said aloud, “Would you look at that? Our Emperor has no clothes!” Soon, everyone was calling out and laughing.
“Oh dear!” thought the Emperor. “Now everyone knows I could not see the cloth! They will know I didn’t speak up because I was afraid of what people would think of me. What will they think of me now?”
But the Parade must go on. And so the Emperor continued to walk. And the servants behind him continued to hold high the train that wasn’t there.
Question 1: Sometimes people do not ask a question because they are embarrassed. They don’t want others to know that they don't already know the thing they are asking about. Can you think of a time you did not ask an important question because you did not want to be embarrassed?
Question 2: Why did the Emperor keep on walking at the end, after he knew everyone saw that he had no clothes on? What do you know about pride?
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This story is adapted from "The Emperor's New Clothes" (Danish: Kejserens nye Klæder) written by Danish author Hans Christian Andersen, about two weavers who promise an emperor a new suit of clothes that they say is invisible to those who are unfit for their positions. "The Emperor’s New Clothes" was first published with "The Little Mermaid" in Copenhagen, by C. A. Reitzel, on 7 April 1837, as the third and final installment of Andersen's Fairy Tales Told for Children.
Andersen's tale is based on a 1335 story from the Libro de los ejemplos (or El Conde Lucanor), a medieval Spanish collection of fifty-one cautionary tales with various sources such as Aesop and other classical writers and Persian folktales, by Juan Manuel, Prince of Villena (1282–1348). Andersen did not know the Spanish original but read the tale in a German translation, titled "So ist der Lauf der Welt". In the source tale, a king is hoodwinked by weavers who claim to make a suit of clothes invisible to any man not the son of his presumed father; whereas Andersen altered the source tale to direct the focus on courtly pride and intellectual vanity rather than adulterous paternity. -from Wikipedia