The King’s New Suit
A long, long time ago, there was a king who really, really loved fancy clothes. He liked them so much that he used up all his money just to buy more and more clothes. His biggest dream was to always look very fashionable and stylish. He didn’t care about his soldiers and didn’t find the theater entertaining. The only thing he really enjoyed doing was going outside and showing off his new clothes to everyone. He thought it was the most important thing in the world. The king had so many coats that he had one to wear for every single hour of the day! It was like a whole room was just for his clothes, and people could say, “The king is in his dressing room” instead of “The king is in his office.”
The king lived in a big, exciting city where lots of people came to visit from all around the world. Every day, there were new strangers arriving in the city. Once upon a time, two tricky men came to the city. They told everyone that they were really talented weavers and that they could make the most amazing fabric ever seen! These two men said that the clothes they made were not just pretty, but they had a special power too! They claimed that only smart and important people could see their clothes, but anyone who was not very clever or didn’t do their job properly would not be able to see them at all.
The king thought to himself, “Wow, that fabric sounds really amazing!” The king had an idea: if he could wear clothes made from this special fabric, he would be able to figure out who in his kingdom was doing their job well and who was not very smart. He really wanted to get this fabric made for himself as soon as possible. The king gave the tricky weavers a lot of money right away so they could start making the special fabric for him right away and not waste any time. They started to work on making the fabric for the king. They set up their looms and made it look like they were working very hard, but actually, they weren’t doing anything at all on the looms! They asked for the fanciest silk and the most valuable gold cloth to make the fabric. But instead of using the materials, they secretly hid them and pretended to work on the empty looms until very late at night.
The king started to wonder how the weavers were doing with making his special fabric. The king started to feel a little worried when he remembered that only clever and important people could see the special fabric, and anyone who wasn’t smart or good at their job would not be able to see it at all. The king didn’t think he had to worry about it, but just to be safe, he decided to send someone else to check on the weavers and see how the fabric was coming along. Everyone in the town had heard about the amazing quality of the fabric and they were all very curious to see how smart or stupid their friends and neighbors were.