Des Kaisers neue Kleider – Englisch

The Emperor’s New Clothes – short version

There once lived an emperor who spent all his money on beautiful clothes. He did not care about other matters in the kingdom. His favourite pastime was to appear beautifully dressed.

One day, two impostors came to town. They claimed to be weavers and promised to weave the most beautiful clothes for the emperor. These clothes would also have the property of being invisible to anyone who was stupid or unfit for office. The emperor was thrilled! He absolutely had to have these garments, and so he gave a lot of money to the two swindlers so that they would get to work immediately.

The swindlers set up two looms and demanded the finest silk and the most magnificent gold. This they put into their own pockets and pretended to work diligently. But there was not the slightest thing to be found on the looms.

After some time, the emperor sent his best minister to the weavers to inspect the work, for the emperor did not trust himself. The swindlers pointed to the empty loom and exuberantly described patterns and colours. The minister could not see anything. Afraid of being thought stupid or unworthy, he praised the beautiful clothes and so described them to the emperor. The swindlers demanded even more money, put it all in their own pockets, and continued to pretend to weave.

The emperor sent a second statesman. This one behaved just like the first one. Now the emperor also wanted to see the clothes and came with a delegation, which immediately admired the magnificent patterns and colours. The emperor was secretly frightened because he saw nothing. Was he stupid or even unfit to be emperor? No one was allowed to know, so he praised the impostors for the beautiful dresses and appeared extremely pleased. The emperor wanted to show off the new clothes at the big pageant.

In the meantime, all the people knew what special quality these clothes had and were eager to know which of them was stupid or unworthy of his office.

The impostors dressed the emperor with their own hands, and he turned contentedly in front of the big mirror. His chamberlains wore the non-existent train. This is how the emperor showed himself at the pageant. The people of the city praised his splendid clothes, because no one wanted to admit that he did not see any.

Until suddenly a little girl said, „But he is not wearing anything!“ A murmur arose, the child’s words were carried on. „But he isn’t wearing anything!“ the whole nation shouted at last. This hit the emperor, but he bravely went on.

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