The Story Finder

Voices in Fairy Tales

by Michelle Tocher

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Emperor’s Good Old Minister

Themes: Confusion | Denial

When I went in to see the loom, the weavers asked me what I thought of the cloth. “What do you think? Isn’t it beautiful stuff?”

I was confused. I didn’t see anything.

The weavers said to one another, “There is no finer thread in all the world. Anybody who thinks otherwise is not fit for office, or else he’s unforgivably stupid!”

“Oh, it’s lovely, lovely!” I said. “What texture! What rich color! I will tell the emperor that it pleases me very much.”

I went away baffled. Clearly, the thread was too fine for me to see. But how could I say that to the emperor? He’d think I wasn’t fit for office. Or worse, that I’m unforgivably stupid!

The Emperor’s Good Old Minister in The Emperor’s New Clothes, Yellow Fairy Book. Illustration by Edmund Dulac.

Emperor's Good Old Minister