Where is that good for nothing boy? Aladins mother yelled as she looked up from her spinning. There is not a scrap of food in the house, and here I am, working all day long to keep us two alive. Meanwhile, Aladin was in the bazaar on the other side of the town of Baghdad, drinking mint tea and chatting with his friends.
Of all the boys, Aladin was the naughtiest and the laziest. He never helped his widowed mother in work, but spent all his time making mischief. Remember, Aladin! called a friend. Its your turn to buy the tea for all of us. No excuses!
In his hiding place across the street, a dark complexioned stranger muttered to himself in triumph, Ah ha! If that boy really is Aladin my long search is over. He stood in the shadows, watched and waited. At last the merry band of boys broke up, and as Aladin rushed past, the stranger stepped out in front of him.
My dear Aladin! he cried, with false tears of joy in his eyes. Im your uncle Abanazar, coming home to Baghdad after many years of travelling. How pleased I am to see you! Infact, this man was not Aladins uncle at all but an evil magician. Long ago while casting spells, he had learned that, hidden in a cave near Baghdad, was a magic lamp which could unleash the magic power of the mightiest genie in all the world.
Abanazar knew that only a very special boy could find that lamp. A boy called Aladin. Young Aladin was very excited when he took the magician home. He had never heard of an uncle from his mother but the man was very convincing. Cunning Abanazar certainly hoodwinked Aladins mother and his gifts of gold and pearls could make anyone believe anything.
Next morning, Abanzar took Aladin for a walk. Soon they left the city and wandered into the desert area beyond. Look here, my nephew, said Abanazar gravely. Your poor mother is getting old. Its time you learned some trade to earn a living.
Aladins frowned. What? Work all day? That was no fun. Ill open a shop for you and stock it with the finest silks of the Orient, his uncle revealed. The idea did appeal to Aladin. He could just imagine how rich he would become. You are right, uncle, he said smiling. I must do something.
The fake uncle tried to hide his excitement. If Im going to help you, you must help me, he said. Aladin looked puzzled. The man said, Fetch some wood and light me a fire-just here! And he marked a cross on the ground.
The fire was duly ready, and the magician threw incense into the leasing flames. There was an enormous bang and the whole earth trembled and opened at their feet. A huge stone, like a trap-door, came into the sight.
Now lift the stone, said Abanazar. Beneath it, you will find a treasure cave, lit by a simple brass lamp. Touch nothing-just bring me the lamp. Do this for me, and I will give you everything Ive promised!
Aladin nodded his head. He took a deep breath and seized the stone. To his surprise, it moved easily and he found himself looking into the dark entrance of the cave. With a last look at the magician uncle, Aladin disappeared through the opening, and made his way straight to the lamp, as his uncle had told him.
Not a sound could be heard in the cavern and the gloom. Aladin took the lamp and hurried back to the entrance where Abanazar was waiting. Good! Give it to me! yelled the magician excitedly. Hurry, boy! Or take whats coming!
When Aladin didnt answer, the magician threw more incense into the fire, the ground heaved, and the stone rolled back, leaving Aladin trapped in the cave.
A surprised Aladin looked at the soiled lamp in despair. Then as he used his sleeve to rub away the soil
there was a tremendous flash
an enormous genie stood before him. I am the slave of the lamp, and of the one who holds it. What is your order, O master? Aladin said in overawed tone, Take me home, O genie, to my mother!
Your wish is command for me! Boomed the genie, his voice echoing around the cavern. There again was a flash and Aladin heard his mothers voice:
Is that you, son where have you been? Youre never in when needed. Now Aladin knew he was safely home and threw himself into his mothers arms. The years passed and Aladin grew into a young man. He gave up his naughty ways and worked hard to look after his aging mother.
One day, as he was on his way, Aladin caught sight of the daughter of Sultan of Baghdad, the princess Yasmin. She was walking in the palace gardens, chatting with her maids. Aladin was spellbound by her beauty and instantly set his heart on marrying her.
He wondered, But how can a man as poor as me ever be a princess husband? When he told his mother of his love, she said:
Dont worry son. With the genies help, youll soon be rich enough for any Sultan! Aladins eyes sparkled. With one rub of the lamp Aladins mother called up the genie and he did everything she asked, immediately.
Then, next day, Aladin presented himself to the Sultan looking like the finest young price. When he met Yasmin, he answered her question with such wit and grace that she fell deeply in love with him.
Very soon, they were married, and lived for a year and a day in perfect happiness. And, one morning, when Aladin was out hunting, Yasmin heard a street pedlars call:
New lamps for old, new lamps for old! Curiously she rushed to her window, looked down and saw a talk, dark man standing by the palace gates. It was in fact, the evil magician, Abanazar!
Of course, Yasmin didnt know who he was, but immediately thought of the ugly old lamp in her husbands box. Give this to the pedlar, she told her maid. I will surprise Aladin with a fine new lamp. The maid took the old lamp and rushed to the palace gates where Abanazar was waiting. He could hardly stop his hands trembling as he grabbed the magic lamp, gave the maid new gleaming lamp and hurried to his house in triumph.
Wonderous ginie is mine at last! he gloated as he rubbed the lamp. I am the slave of the lamp, and of the one who holds it. What is your order, O master? Get Princess Yasmin here. Then we will leave Baghdad forever! When Aladin returned home, he found the inmates of the palace weeping, Princess Yasmin has gone, and no-one can find her! After learning about the pedlar, Aladin searched the city for him and his lamp, but he was nowhere to be found. Now Aladin prepared for a long journey.
He knew that Abanazar had duped his wife and he vowed that he would search the world to find his darling Yasmin!
At last, in the midst of a lonely desert, he found the evil magicians lair. Aladin had never seen such an eerie castle and he almost wept to think of his wife as a prisoner there. In the guise of a holy man, Aladin persuaded the servants to let him in. He asked to see Yasmin and found her crying in a dingy and gloomy room.
Yasmin recognized him Oh Aladin, she said, embracing him and smiling through her tears. I thought that I would never see you again. Aladin took Yasmin in his arms and comforted her. Then he waited for the magician. He knew that he must kill this evil man to be rid of him for ever. At last, Abanazar appeared. Aladin stepped forward to block his path with sword in hand.
Prepare to meet your death, the young man announced. Your end has come! With a scream of fury, Abanazar drew his sword and leaped at Aladin. The clash of steel rang out as the two men fought ferociously.
Abanazar had the strength of a bull, but Aladin was as quick as a tom-cat. He saw his chance, and plunged his sword deep into the magicians heart. The wicked man lurched and fell down dead. The victorious Aladin searched the castle and found his lamp. Rubbing it gently, he summoned the genie.
I am the slave of the lamp, and of the man who holds it. What is your order, O master? Take us home, O gene! said Aladin with a relief. Your wish is command for me! And the next moment, Aladin and his beloved Yasmin were safely back in Baghdad, standing in their garden.
To welcome them, the setting sun had painted the trees and the marble palace in glorious pink shade.
Aladins mother was waiting to welcome them. Carefully look after that lamp, Aladin, she advised. You never know when it might come in handy.
The next morning, Aladin followed her advice, and locked the lamp away forever, safe and sound. His beloved wife lived happily with him all her life long, and never again paid heed to the calls of the street pedlars.