The Arabian Nights Entertainments
Aladdin and the Wonderful Lamp
There once lived a poor tailor, who had a son called Aladdin, a careless, idle boy
who would do nothing but play all day long in the streets with little idle boys like
himself. This so grieved the father that he died; yet, in spite of his mother's tears
and prayers, Aladdin did not mend his ways. One day, when he was playing in
the streets as usual, a stranger asked him his age, and if he were not the son of
Mustapha the tailor.
"I am, sir," replied Aladdin; "but he died a long while ago."
On this the stranger, who was a famous African magician, fell on his neck and
kissed him, saying: "I am your uncle, and knew you from your likeness to my
brother. Go to your mother and tell her I am coming."
Aladdin ran home, and told his mother of his newly found uncle.
"Indeed, child," she said, "your father had a brother, but I always thought he was
However, she prepared supper, and bade Aladdin seek his uncle, who came
laden with wine and fruit. He presently fell down and kissed the place where
Mustapha used to sit, bidding Aladdin's mother not to be surprised at not having
seen him before, as he had been forty years out of the country. He then turned to
Aladdin, and asked him his trade, at which the boy hung his head, while his
mother burst into tears. On learning that Aladdin was idle and would learn no
trade, he offered to take a shop for him and stock it with merchandise. Next day
he bought Aladdin a fine suit of clothes, and took him all over the city, showing
him the sights, and brought him home at nightfall to his mother, who was
overjoyed to see her son so fine.
Next day the magician led Aladdin into some beautiful gardens a long way
outside the city gates. They sat down by a fountain, and the magician pulled a
cake from his girdle, which he divided between them. They then journeyed
onwards till they almost reached the mountains. Aladdin was so tired that he