The Lion and the Mouse
One morning, a lion, who was asleep in his den, was awakened by a playful mouse […]
Kyle public library-summer day
Far off in a beautiful city in China a ragged urchin called Aladdin used to play in the street. His father, a poor tailor, tried to make him work, but Aladdin was lazy and disobedient, and refused even to help in his father’s shop. Even after his father died Aladdin still preferred to roam in the streets with his friends, and did not feel ashamed to eat the food his mother bought with the money she earned by spinning cotton.
One day a wealthy stranger came to the city. He noticed Aladdin in the street and thought, “That lad looks as though he has no purpose in life. It will not matter if I use him, then kill him.”
The stranger quickly found out that Aladdin’s father was dead. He called Aladdin over to him.
“Greetings, nephew,” he said, “I am your father’s brother.. I have returned to China only to find my clear brother, Mustapha, is dead. And Brother Good memory Never Die Take this money and tell your mother I shall visit her.”
Aladdin’s mother was puzzled when Aladdin told her the stranger’s message. “You have no uncle,” she said. “I don’t understand why this man should give us money.”
The next day the stranger came to their house and talked about how he had loved
his brother and offered to buy a fine shop where Aladdin could sell beautiful things to the rich people in the city. He gave Aladdin some new clothes and in a short while Aladdin’s mother began to believe this man was a relation.
The stranger now invited Aladdin to go with him to the rich part of the city. Together they walked through beautiful gardens and parks where Aladdin had never been before. At last the stranger showed Aladdin a flat stone with an iron ring set into it.
“Lift this stone for me, nephew,” he said, “and go into the cavern below. Walk through three caves where you will see gold and silver stored. Do not touch it. You will then pass through a garden full of wonderful fruit and beyond the trees you will find a lamp. Pour out the oil and bring the lamp to me. Pick some of the fruit on your return if you wish.”
Aladdin lifted the stone and saw some steps leading down into a cave. He was frightened to go down but the stranger placed a gold ring with a great green emerald on his finger.
“Take this ring as a gift,” he said, “but you must go or I shall not buy you a shop.”
Now the stranger was in fact a magician. He had read about a lamp with magical powers and he had travelled far to find it. He knew the magic would not work for him unless the lamp was fetched from the cavern and handed to him by someone else. After Aladdin had brought him the lamp the magician planned to shut him in the cave to die.
Down in the cavern Aladdin found all as he had been told. He hurried through the rooms filled with silver and gold, and passed through the garden where the trees were hung with shimmering fruit of all colours. At the far end stood an old lamp. Aladdin took it, poured out the oil, and then picked some of the dazzling fruit from the trees as the magician had suggested. To his surprise they were all made from stones. Aladdin took as many as he coul carry and returned to the steps.
“Give me the lamp,” demanded the magician as soon as Aladdin came into sight.
“Help me out first,” replied Aladdin who could not hand him the lamp because his arms were so full. They argued fiercely until crash, the stone slab fell back into place. The magician could not move the stone from the outside, nor Aladdin from within. He was trapped. The magician knew he had failed in his quest and decided to leave the country at once.
For two days Aladdin tried to get out of the cave. He became weak with hunger and thirst and finally as he sat in despair he rubbed his hands together. By chance he rubbed the gold ring that the stranger had given him. There was a blinding flash and a genie appeared. “I am the genie of the ring. What can I do for you, master?”
“Get me out of here,” Aladdin gasped. He was terrified of the great burning spirit of the genie glowing in the cavern. Before he knew what had happened he was standing on the ground above the entrance to the cavern. Of the stone slab there was no sign. Aladdin set off for home and collapsed with hunger as he entered the house.
His mother was overjoyed to see him. She gave him all the scraps of food she had and when she said she had no more Aladdin suggested selling the lamp to buy some food.
“I’ll get a better price for it, if it’s clean,” she thought, and she rubbed the lamp with a cloth. In a flash the genie appeared. Aladdin’s mother fainted in horror but Aladdin seized the lamp. When the genie saw him with the lamp it said:
“I am the genie of the lamp. What can I do for you, master?”
“Get me some food,” ordered Aladdin.
By the time his mother had recovered there were twelve silver dishes of food and twelve silver cups on the table. Aladdin and his mother ate as they had never eaten before. They had enough for several days, and then Aladdin began to sell the silver dishes and cups. He and his mother lived comfortably in this way for some time.
Then it happened that Aladdin saw the sultan’s daughter, Princess Badroulboudoir. Aladdin loved her at first sight and sent his mother to the sultan’s court to ask the sultan permission for the princess to marry him. He told her to take as a gift the stone fruits he had brought from the cave.
It was several days before Aladdin’s mother could speak with the sultan, but at last she was able to give him the stone fruits. The sultan was truly amazed.
“Your son has such fine jewels he would make a good husband for my daughter, I am sure,” he told Aladdin’s mother.
But the sultan’s chief courtier was jealous. He wanted his son to marry the princess. Quickly, he advised the sultan to say he would decide on the marriage in three months’ time. Aladdin was happy when he heard the news.
But at the palace, the chief courtier spoke against Aladdin and when Aladdin’s mother returned in three months, the sultan asked her: “Can your son send me forty golden bowls full of jewels like the ones he sent before only this time carried by forty servants?”
Aladdin rubbed the lamp once more and before long forty servants each carrying a gold bowl filled with sparkling jewels and gold and silver were assembled in the courtyard of their little house.
When the sultan saw them, he said:
“I am sure now that the owner of these riches will make a fine husband for my daughter.”
But the chief courtier suggested yet another test. “Ask the woman,” he said, “if her son has a palace fit for your daughter to live in.”
“I’ll give him the land and he can build a new palace,” declared the sultan, and he presented Aladdin with land in front of his own palace. Aladdin summoned the genie of the lamp once more. Overnight the most amazing palace appeared with walls of gold and silver, huge windows, beautiful halls and courtyards and rooms filled with treasures. A carpet of red velvet was laid from the old palace to the new, for the princess to walk on to her new home. Aladdin then asked the genie for some fine clothes for himself and his mother, and a glorious wedding took place.
Aladdin took care always to keep the wonderful lamp safe. One day the princess gave it to an old beggar who was the magician in disguise, but that story will have to keep for another time.
China, bent on Aladdin’s ruin. As he passed through the town he heard people talking everywhere about a marvellous palace. “Forgive my ignorance,” he asked, “what is this palace you speak of?” “Have you not heard of Prince Aladdin’s palace,” was the reply, “the greatest wonder of the world? I will direct you if you have a mind to see it.” The magician thanked him who spoke, and having seen the palace, knew that it had been raised by the Genie of the Lamp, and became half mad with rage. He determined to get hold of the lamp, and again plunge Aladdin into the deepest poverty.
Unluckily, Aladdin had gone a-hunting for eight days, which gave the magician plenty of time. He bought a dozen copper lamps, put them into a basket, and went to the palace, crying: “New lamps for old!” followed by a jeering crowd. The Princess, sitting in the hall of four- and-twenty windows, sent a slave to find out what the noise was about, who came back laughing, so that the
Princess scolded her. “Madam,” replied the slave, “who can help laughing to see an old fool offering to exchange fine new lamps for old ones?” Another slave, hearing this, said: “There is an old one on the cornice there which he can have.” Now this was the magic lamp, which Aladdin had left there, as he could not take it out hunting with him. The Princess, not knowing its value, laughingly bade the slave take it and make the exchange. She went and said to the magician: “Give me a new lamp for this.” He snatched it and bade the slave take her choice, amid the jeers of the crowd. Little he cared, but left off crying his lamps, and went out of the city gates to a lonely place, where he remained till nightfall, when he pulled out the lamp and rubbed it. The genie appeared, and at the magician’s command carried him, together with the palace and the Princess in it, to a lonely place in Africa.
Next morning the Sultan looked out of the window toward Aladdin’s palace and rubbed his eyes, for it was gone. He sent for the Vizier and asked what had become of the palace. The Vizier looked out too, and was lost in astonishment. He again put it down to enchantment, and this time the Sultan believed him, and sent thirty men on horseback to fetch Aladdin in chains. They met him riding home, bound him, and forced him to go with them on foot. The people, however, who loved him, followed, armed, to see that he came to no harm. He was carried before the Sultan, who ordered the executioner to cut off his head. The executioner made Aladdin kneel down, bandaged his eyes, and raised his scimitar to strike. At that instant the Vizier, who saw that the crowd had forced their way into the courtyard and were scaling the walls to rescue Aladdin, called to the executioner to stay his hand. The people, indeed, looked so threatening that the Sultan gave way and ordered Aladdin to be unbound, and pardoned him in the sight of the crowd. Aladdin now begged to know what he had done. “False wretch!” said the Sultan, “come thither,” and showed him from the window the place where his palace had stood. Aladdin was so amazed that he could not say a word. “Where is my palace and my daughter?” demanded the Sultan. “For the first I am not so deeply concerned, but my daughter I must have, and you must find her or lose your head.” Aladdin begged for forty days in which to find her, promising, if he failed, to return and suffer death at the Sultan’s pleasure. His prayer was granted, and he went forth sadly from the Sultan’s presence. For three days he wandered about like a madman, asking everyone what had become of his palace, but they only laughed and pitied him. He came to the banks of a river, and knelt down to say his prayers before throwing himself in. In so doing he rubbed the magic ring he still wore. The genie he had seen in the cave appeared, and asked his will. “Save my life, genie,” said Aladdin, “bring my palace back.” “That is not in my power,” said the genie; “I am only the Slave of the Ring; you must ask him of the lamp.” “Even so,” said Aladdin, “but thou canst take me to the palace, and set me down under my dear wife’s window.” He at once found himself in Africa, under the window of the Princess, and fell asleep out of sheer weariness.
He was awakened by the singing of the birds, and his heart was lighter. He saw plainly that all his misfortunes were owing to the loss of the lamp, and vainly wondered who had robbed him of it.
That morning the Princess rose earlier than she had done since she had been carried into Africa by the magician, whose company she was forced to endure once a day. She, however, treated him so harshly that he dared not live there altogether. As she was dressing, one of her women looked out and saw Aladdin. The Princess ran and opened the window, and at the noise she made Aladdin looked up. She called to him to come to her, and great was the joy of these lovers at seeing each other again. After he had kissed her Aladdin said: “I beg of you, Princess, in God’s name, before we speak of anything else, for your own sake and mine, tell me what has become of an old lamp I left on the cornice in the hall of four-and-twenty windows, when I went a-hunting.” “Alas!” she said, “I am the innocent cause of our sorrows,” and told him of the exchange of the lamp. “Now I know,” cried Aladdin, “that we have to thank the African magician for this! Where is the lamp?” “He carries it about with him,” said the Princess. “I know, for he pulled it out of his breast to show me. He wishes me to break my faith with you and marry him, saying that you were beheaded by my father’s command. He is for ever speaking ill of you but I only reply by my tears. If I persist, I doubt not but he will use violence.” Aladdin comforted her, and left her for a while. He changed clothes with the first person he met in the town, and having bought a certain powder, returned to the Princess, who let him in by a little side door. “Put on your most beautiful dress,” he said to her “and receive the magician with smiles, leading him to believe that you have forgotten me. Invite him to sup with you, and say you wish to taste the wine of his country. He will go for some and while he is gone I will tell you what to do.” She listened carefully to Aladdin and when he left she arrayed herself gaily for the first time since she left China. She put on a girdle and head-dress of diamonds, and, seeing in a glass that she was more beautiful than ever, received the magician, saying, to his great amazement: “I have made up my mind that Aladdin is dead, and that all my tears will not bring him back to me, so I am resolved to mourn no more, and have therefore invited you to sup with me; but I am tired of the wines of China, and would fain taste those of Africa.” The magician flew to his cellar, and the Princess put the powder Aladdin had given her in her cup. When he returned she asked him to drink her health in the wine of Africa, handing him her cup in exchange for his, as a sign she was reconciled to him. Before drinking the magician made her a speech in praise of her beauty, but the Princess cut him short, saying: “Let us drink first, and you shall say what you will afterward.” She set her cup to her lips and kept it there, while the magician drained his to the dregs and fell back lifeless. The Princess then opened the door to Aladdin, and flung her arms round his
neck; but Aladdin put her away, bidding her leave him, as he had more to do. He then went to the dead magician, took the lamp out of his vest, and bade the genie carry the palace and all in it back to China. This was done, and the Princess in her chamber only felt two little shocks, and little thought she was at home again.
The Sultan, who was sitting in his closet, mourning for his lost daughter, happened to look up, and rubbed his eyes, for there stood the palace as before! He hastened thither, and Aladdin received him in the hall of the four- and-twenty windows, with the Princess at his side. Aladdin told him what had happened, and showed him the dead body of the magician, that he might believe. A ten days’ feast was proclaimed, and it seemed as if Aladdin might now live the rest of his life in peace; but it was not to be.
The African magician had a younger brother, who was, if possible, more wicked and more cunning than himself. He traveled to China to avenge his brother’s death, and went to visit a pious woman called Fatima, thinking she might be of use to him. He entered her cell and clapped a dagger to her breast, telling her to rise and do his bidding on pain of death. He changed clothes with her, colored his face like hers, put on her veil, and murdered her, that she might tell no tales. Then he went toward the palace of Aladdin, and all the people, thinking he was the holy woman, gathered round him, kissing his hands and begging his blessing. When he got to the palace there was such a noise going on round him that the Princess bade her slave look out of the window and ask what was the matter. The slave said it was the holy woman, curing people by her touch of their ailments, whereupon the Princess, who had long desired to see Fatima, sent for her. On coming to the Princess the magician offered up a prayer for her health and prosperity. When he had done the Princess made him sit by her, and begged him to stay with her always. The false Fatima, who wished for nothing better, consented, but kept his veil down for fear of discovery. The Princess showed him the hall, and asked him what he thought of it. “It is truly beautiful,” said the false Fatima. “In my mind it wants but one thing.” “And what is that?” said the Princess. “If only a roc’s egg,” replied he, “were hung up from the middle of this dome, it would be the wonder of the world.”
After this the Princess could think of nothing but the roc’s egg, and when Aladdin returned from hunting he found her in a very ill humor. He begged to know what was amiss, and she told him that all her pleasure in the hall was spoiled for the want of a roc’s egg hanging from the dome. “If that is all,” replied Aladdin, “you shall soon be happy.” He left her and rubbed the lamp, and when the genie appeared commanded him to bring a roc’s egg. The genie gave such a loud and terrible shriek that the hall shook. “Wretch!” he cried, “is it not enough that I have done everything for you, but you must command me to bring my master and hang him up in the midst of this dome? You and your wife and your palace deserve to be burnt to ashes, but that this request does not come from you, but from the brother of the African magician, whom you destroyed. He is now in your palace disguised as the holy woman—whom he murdered. He it was who put that wish into your wife’s head. Take care of yourself, for he means to kill you.” So saying, the genie disappeared.
Aladdin went back to the Princess, saying his head ached, and requesting that the holy Fatima should be fetched to lay her hands on it. But when the magician came near, Aladdin, seizing his dagger, pierced him to the heart. “What have you done?” cried the Princess. “You have killed the holy woman!” “Not so,” replied Aladdin, “but a wicked magician,” and told her of how she had been deceived.
After this Aladdin and his wife lived Happy Ending.