The Interpreter’s New Clothes

Dec 17


There once was a man named Mr. Interpreter.  Mr. Interpreter had the privilege of leading the annual parade in Hermeneuville every year.  In doing so, he would wear the regal vestments that  he had inherited from his forbearers:  The mantle of literary context, the cloak of grammatical precision, the shoes of historical knowledge, the crown of devoted submission.  This year, however, he was growing tired of these clothes and had heard of a fine new fabric that was sure to impress the parade-goers in Hermeneuville.  He called the tailors who were selling these new wares and requested that they make him the most regal garments ever seen for the annual parade in Hermeneuville.  On the day that he was to don the garments, the tailors warned him that only refined and cultured people could truly appreciate the beauty of the fabric.  When he looked and saw nothing, he was too ashamed to say anything.  Instead, he played along, commenting on the beautiful brocaded fabric and lush colors.  The townspeople had also been told that only refined persons could see the beautiful fabric, but common and foolish folks would see nothing of value.  As Mr. Interpreter led forth the parade in a state of utter nakedness, no one was willing to say the obvious, least of all, Mr. Interpreter.  Finally, though, a little boy cried out, “He’s completely naked!”  At this moment, Mr. Interpreter had an important decision to make – continue walking as if nothing was wrong, or dash for the side street, stripped naked and running scared.

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