The Emperor’s New Clothes
We would like to tell you one of H.C. Andersen’s wonderful fairytales. His most famous fairytale is probably The Little Mermaid, but he has written lots of other fantastic fairytales. Danish children know most of them by heart.
We have chosen the fairytale about The Emperor and his new clothes. H C Andersen always wanted to tell us something about ourselves in his tales. In this fairytale, his point is to show us how we are all afraid of not being good enough or clever enough.
Summary of The Emperor’s New Clothes
Once upon a time there was an emperor, who loved new clothes more than anything else in the world. One day two swindlers came to his town. They pretended they were weavers and said that they could make a magical cloth. This cloth became invisible to anyone who was stupid or not good at their job. Everyone in the city was talking about this excellent cloth. They wanted to see how stupid their neighbours were.
The emperor paid the two swindlers a lot of money to start weaving at once, but all the money went into their pockets. They pretended to weave, but really they had nothing on their looms. The emperor first sent his ministers to see the cloth. They stared and stared, as they couldn’t see anything on the looms, and thought they must be stupid. BUT they didn’t tell anyone, not even the emperor.
When the swindlers said they had finished the clothes, they called the emperor so he could put it on. The emperor thought he must be crazy, as he couldn’t see anything either. But like the others, he didn’t say so and let himself get dressed in nothing but his underwear.
Then he decided to go in a procession through the city to show off his new clothes. The people of the city praised the emperor and said he looked fantastic. Suddenly a little boy cried: “He hasn’t got anything on” and then people started whispering what the little boy had said until everyone cried out loudly: “But he hasn’t got anything on! He hasn’t got anything on!”The emperor knew they were right, but he walked more proudly than ever.