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The noblemen who were to carry his train stooped low and reached for the floor as if they were picking up his mantle. Then they pretended to lift and hold it high. They didn’t dare admit they had nothing to hold.
So off went the Emperor in procession under his splendid canopy. Everyone in the streets and the windows said, “Oh, how fine are the Emperor’s new clothes! Don’t they fit him to perfection? And see his long train!” Nobody would confess that he couldn’t see anything, for that would prove him either unfit for his position, or a fool. No costume the Emperor had worn before was ever such a complete success.
A small child raised his finger, pointed at the emperor, and began to say, “He has no clo—” when he was grabbed from behind and a hand placed over his mouth by an odd-looking fellow.
“I had to intervene. The child is clearly violating community guidelines concerning the emperor’s clothing choices,” the odd figure said, not releasing the struggling child.
The emperor looked nervously to the side as he sensed the restlessness in the crowd. His entourage of scribes and policemen glared at the crowd but the murmurs continued.
“My God! I really am naked, aren’t I?!” The emperor whispered to his nearest advisor.
Sensing a crisis about to unfold, the Court Scientist and Chief Expert stepped up from the emperor’s entourage and faced the crowd.
“I know what you think you see but are seeing it wrongly. You were brought up to believe in a false dichotomy of nakedness versus being clothed and to make adverse judgments about nakedness. Only when you realize that the absence of clothing is itself a sartorial choice, no different from selecting a scarf or pantaloons can you be free and awakened to the true nature of things. Nakedness is indeed a clothing ensemble like any other.”
With that, he threw his hat into the crowd and opened his shirt. Some in the crowd cheered. He did not disrobe further because it was a tad chilly. Some in the crowd did disrobe and chastised others for not accepting the science of the matter and the authority of The Expert.
The child was never seen again as were other missing kids in the town. They were rumored to have been taken to an island owned by a friend of the Emperor and the Expert but that is another story.Published in