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Wednesday, May 21, 2008

The Emperor's New Clothes

Have you read or heard the story about the emperor's new clothes? Do you still remember it?

The story, originally written by a Danish poet and author, Hans Christian Anderson, is about an emperor who unwittingly hires two swindlers to create a new suit of clothes for him.

If you have not heard it or cannot remember it, here .... have a go !

The Emperor's New Clothes
by Hans Christian Anderson

" Once upon a time there lived a vain Emperor whose only worry in life was to dress in elegant clothes. He changed clothes almost every hour and loved to show them off to his people.

Word of the Emperor's refined habits spread over his kingdom and beyond. Two scoundrels who had heard of the Emperor's vanity decided to take advantage of it. They introduced themselves at the gates of the palace with a scheme in mind.

"We are two very good tailors and after many years of research we have invented an extraordinary method to weave a cloth so light and fine that it looks invisible. As a matter of fact it is invisible to anyone who is too stupid and incompetent to appreciate its quality."

The chief of the guards heard the scoundrel's strange story and sent for the court chamberlain. The chamberlain notified the prime minister, who ran to the Emperor and disclosed the incredible news. The Emperor's curiosity got the better of him and he decided to see the two scoundrels.

"Besides being invisible, your Highness, this cloth will be woven in colors and patterns created especially for you." The emperor gave the two men a bag of gold coins in exchange for their promise to begin working on the fabric immediately.

"Just tell us what you need to get started and we'll give it to you." The two scoundrels asked for a loom, silk, gold thread and then pretended to begin working. The Emperor thought he had spent his money quite well: in addition to getting a new extraordinary suit, he would discover which of his subjects were ignorant and incompetent. A few days later, he called the old and wise prime minister, who was considered by everyone as a man with common sense.

"Go and see how the work is proceeding," the Emperor told him, "and come back to let me know."

The prime minister was welcomed by the two scoundrels.

"We're almost finished, but we need a lot more gold thread. Here, Excellency! Admire the colors, feel the softness!" The old man bent over the loom and tried to see the fabric that was not there. He felt cold sweat on his forehead.

"I can't see anything," he thought. "If I see nothing, that means I'm stupid! Or, worse, incompetent!" If the prime minister admitted that he didn't see anything, he would be discharged from his office.

"What a marvelous fabric, he said then. "I'll certainly tell the Emperor." The two scoundrels rubbed their hands gleefully. They had almost made it. More thread was requested to finish the work.

Finally, the Emperor received the announcement that the two tailors had come to take all the measurements needed to sew his new suit.

"Come in," the Emperor ordered. Even as they bowed, the two scoundrels pretended to be holding large roll of fabric.

"Here it is your Highness, the result of our labour," the scoundrels said. "We have worked night and day but, at last, the most beautiful fabric in the world is ready for you. Look at the colors and feel how fine it is." Of course the Emperor did not see any colors and could not feel any cloth between his fingers. He panicked and felt like fainting. But luckily the throne was right behind him and he sat down. But when he realized that no one could know that he did not see the fabric, he felt better. Nobody could find out he was stupid and incompetent. And the Emperor didn't know that everybody else around him thought and did the very same thing.

The farce continued as the two scoundrels had foreseen it. Once they had taken the measurements, the two began cutting the air with scissors while sewing with their needles an invisible cloth.

"Your Highness, you'll have to take off your clothes to try on your new ones." The two scoundrels draped the new clothes on him and then held up a mirror. The Emperor was embarrassed but since none of his bystanders were, he felt relieved.

"Yes, this is a beautiful suit and it looks very good on me," the Emperor said trying to look comfortable. "You've done a fine job."

"Your Majesty," the prime minister said, "we have a request for you. The people have found out about this extraordinary fabric and they are anxious to see you in your new suit." The Emperor was doubtful showing himself naked to the people, but then he abandoned his fears. After all, no one would know about it except the ignorant and the incompetent.

"All right," he said. "I will grant the people this privilege." He summoned his carriage and the ceremonial parade was formed. A group of dignitaries walked at the very front of the procession and anxiously scrutinized the faces of the people in the street. All the people had gathered in the main square, pushing and shoving to get a better look. An applause welcomed the regal procession. Everyone wanted to know how stupid or incompetent his or her neighbor was but, as the Emperor passed, a strange murmur rose from the crowd.

Everyone said, loud enough for the others to hear: "Look at the Emperor's new clothes. They're beautiful!"

"What a marvellous train!"

"And the colors! The colors of that beautiful fabric! I have never seen anything like it in my life!"

They all tried to conceal their disappointment at not being able to see the clothes, and since nobody was willing to admit his own stupidity and incompetence, they all behaved as the two scoundrels had predicted.

A child, however, who had no important job and could only see things as his eyes showed them to him, went up to the carriage.

"The Emperor is naked," he said.

"Fool!" his father reprimanded, running after him. "Don't talk nonsense!" He grabbed his child and took him away. But the boy's remark, which had been heard by the bystanders, was repeated over and over again until everyone cried:

"The boy is right! The Emperor is naked! It's true!"

The Emperor realized that the people were right but could not admit to that. He thought it would be better to continue the procession under the illusion that anyone who couldn't see his clothes was either stupid or incompetent. And he stood stiffly on his carriage, while behind him a page held his imaginary mantle.

The End


Tonight, I will read the story of "The Emperor's New Clothes" to my boys.

I do not wish to see my boys growing up becoming like this , not wanting to tell the truth to their "emperor".

And I pray to God that if they were to be in "emperor-like" positions one day, their actions would not be dictated by their own sheer fear of the truth & not disillusioned with their own inferiority complex and that of others.



wanshana said...

Bravo, Ibu!!!

Hear ye...hear ye!!!

I hope the Lunchai Emperor will terjun dengan all labu-labunya SOON...

Anonymous said...

p.s..lupa lak nak cakap...akak.. masa kat bbq tu boleh tak ajar saya anyam ketupat?? heheheh bolehhhhhh kannn?? *simah blinking sweetly*

Pi Bani said...

Aiyah, but this emperor won't even listen to the truth lah. He'd rather hear sweet lies. The kaki-kaki bodek gi tanam tebu kat bibir... yang dia gi tumbuh bunga raya lak kat telinga...

IBU said...


If the lunchai emperor tu nak terjun dgn labu2 nya, bukan biarkan-biarkan, but SILAKAN, SILAKAN !!! Kita bagi express lane lagi kat dia.... FOC!


KETUPAT??? Errr... ketupat Nona yg dalam plastic tu boleh kot? Yg tu x yah anyam, beli jer kat Tesco. Hehehe....

Kak Pi,

BUNGA RAYA??? HAHAHAHAHAHA ...... Ala-ala hawaii eh? Patutlah macam lagu hawaii mamoola moon, tapi "mengelamun....".
p/s Kak Pi, senang tak 14th June tu? Jom la turun ke Rawang. Ada buat BBQ untuk Simah.

Adzrul Ariff said...

Nice comparison Ibu..heheh. Tp bila imaginekan Emperor yg dimaksudkan dalam position Emperor dlm cerita ni...





Tunggu hari je tu.

Anyway thanks Ibu sb visit blog saya. Hehe InsyaAllah kalau terbuku jugak impian saya tu ada lah kut si peminat pensel tekan dlm tu. :D

Ayah said...

sack the advisors la... they never want to say the truth.. if u have a new emperor, the same idiots around the new emperor will continue prasing the new clothes...

Pi Bani said...

14th June? Would love to but I will be going to KL (again) only on the 15th... ada hal on 16th. 14th tu banyak hal ehwal lain nak kena settle kat Ipoh ni. Thanks for the invitation but...

Anak itik terenang-renang
Sorrylah dik, akak tak senang

Mr Engineer said...

...both the emperor and the timbalan emperor I don't like....too many skeletons in the closet...but, that small boy in the story I like...

rafidah aziz said...

sebab itulah nakhoda tidak tahu mana nak pergi, dia ingat semua nak pergi satu tempat kerana di depan mereka kata ya, tak pernah ditegur, tapi belakang pula kata lain.

``Bila timbul masalah, suruh tukar nakhoda. Tak bolehlah setiap kali kapal nak karam, kita angkat nakhoda buang ke laut...

david santos said...

I wish you many blessigs, love and happiness

pakpayne said...

:-) .... emperor baru dapat empress, masih belum puas guna matress di putra jaya fotress!!


Kmar said...

I have read the story before.

Susah jadi ´Emperor´ yang asyik diampu memanjang!! Hopefully cepat-cepat la dia ´realise´.. nakhoda, bendahara, panglima pun ´sejenis´.. !!??

Kmar said...


A quick note. This is a tentative meet-up :

Venue : Berjaya Times Square (we will be renting 2 bedroom apt)
Date : 16th Aug (Saturday).. tulis kat agenda please..
Time : 1500hr (tea)

The kids and hubbies boleh spend their time at the Theme Park...he.he.. Our flight to Barcelona will be on the 18th Aug.I already informed Sal, BJ and Shana... no feedback yet. Sesiapa yang available.. boleh le ajak.

D said...

ibu, not been blog-hopping for long. sorry. hehe... fables have been around for ages, and the morals behind them are supposed to act as reminders. maybe someone should propose that fables be read during cabinet meetings or as bedtime stories to these people? :) peace!

hazyr said...

Silap-silap, the small kid tu boleh masuk ISA!

That's the sad reality isn't it?

ardy said...

I think the emperor has been on top for way too long that he has become stupid and incompetent. The same goes for his ass-kissing ministers.

Problem is, who else is better to take charge?

ADIEJIN said...

Apa ni...tak baik tau bawak citer lucah kat sini. Menci tau. ahaks... Tapi kalau pemerintah kita jalan telanjang kat parlimen kan best. Then we can see whose balls are bigger.

Daphne Ling said...

Hi Ibu,

Haha...Very subtle, but I think we all got it...;)

Kmar said...

Eija, terpaksa tukar venue since the Times Square full pulak. Ada convention at that time.

Venue : The Zon All Suites Residence On The Park
Add : 161D Jalan Ampang (opposite Ampang Park)
Tel : 603-21648000
Date : 16th August (Sat)
Time : 1500hr


IdzaRis said...

sangat suka dgr Hans Christian Anderson bercerita & suka g workshop dia...

en_me said...

kasih ibu membawa ke syurga,
kasih bapa tiada tolok bandingnya.. salammm ibu ..

wanshana said...


Errrr....bila nak hapdet ni?! Nak tunggu kita tukar Emperor ke? If that's the case, hopefully we won't have to wait long... :)