The Traditional Tale:
An Emperor orders a suit of clothes that are invisible to anyone who is incompetent or stupid. The emperor can’t see the clothes, but is so afraid of being judged incompetent or stupid that he pretends to be delighted with the garments and “wears” them in a parade through town. All the onlookers pretend to see them too, until a child yells out, “He hasn’t got any clothes on!”
The Modern Version:
An aging woman, dressed in rags, ambles through crowded streets, feeling invisible, like a second class citizen.
Suddenly, she hears a ruckus from where she just came. Glancing over her shoulder, she sees a little girl, pointing to her in amazement.
“That’s the Empress!” the little girl squeals repeatedly to her mother.
The mother starts to scold the girl until she realizes her daughter is telling the truth. She passed by this disheveled woman many times, but never before recognized her magnificence. A crowd gathers, whispering beneath their breath, staring at the Empress with awe and admiration.