Aladdin

Read by John Krasinski

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"Aladdin" by Antoine Galland

Now, there is something you need to know about our hero Aladdin; he was a constant day-dreamer. And despite what you may have heard, Aladdin was not a practical young man. He would lie in bed for hours at a time, dreaming of having no homework, being as rich as the sultan, and marrying a beautiful princess. But in reality, none of these things were true. Aladdin lived with his mother in a dilapidated shack, barely making enough money to eat.

"Oh, Aladdin," his mother would cry out. "How I wish you would get your head out of the clouds. It's a waste of a perfectly good brain to dream all day." And though Aladdin loved his mother very much, he could never stop dreaming of a better life.

One day, as Aladdin was searching the streets for a job, a man claiming to be his uncle stopped him. "Aladdin, my boy" he proclaimed, "Come with me and you and your mother will never have to worry about money again."

But when Aladdin ran home to tell his mother about his uncle and the great riches he would get, his mother was not impressed. "Don't believe everything you hear, Aladdin" she scolded him. "There is no such thing as a free lunch."

But Aladdin saw an offer he couldn't refuse and went with his uncle to claim his wealth. Aladdin followed the man far out into the desert where nothing but sand could be seen for miles away. There, his uncle took out a dark magical powder and threw it into the ground. All of a sudden, the ground began to shake, quake, and rumble.

A huge cave opened and the uncle said, "You are the only one that can enter the cave, my boy. There is a magical lamp inside. Get it, and bring it back to me... We will be rich beyond your wildest dreams!"

Aladdin was too busy thinking about what he would do with his riches to notice the twisted smile on his uncle's face. He gathered up his courage and stepped into the cave.

Once inside, Aladdin found the lamp, and headed back. As he approached the entrance, the ground began to shake again. Aladdin looked at his uncle, who now looked back at him menacingly. "Give the lamp to me, boy!" he growled.

Aladdin stopped in his tracks. "Uncle, what's the matter with you?"

"You little fool," he yelled, "I am not your uncle, I am the sorcerer, Jaffar! Now give me the lamp!"

Jaffar reached out toward Aladdin, who turned to run away. Suddenly, the cave started to close! "Nooo!" screamed Jaffar. Aladdin tried to get back to the entrance, but it was too late. He was trapped inside!

And so, Aladdin sat in the cave lonely and hungry for two days before he began to think of ways to escape. "There must be something special about this lamp," Aladdin thought to himself, as he clutched it and felt its smooth surface.

Suddenly a cloud of smoke appeared, and a woman emerged. "I am the genie of the lamp," she said. "I will grant you three wishes. What do you wish?"

"I wish I was out of this cave and back home!"

And just like that, his wish was granted... Aladdin was back at his home, explaining to his mother what had happened. When he showed her the magic lamp, she couldn't understand. "Look at this ugly thing," she said to Aladdin, "It's disgustingly dirty. Let me just clean it off and then we'll sell it". Just then as she was rubbing the lamp, the genie popped out of the lamp and again asked Aladdin and his mother what they wanted.

Aladdin didn't think twice about his answer. "I want to be rich!" he exclaimed.

Suddenly, a huge feast appeared on the table. The closet magically overflowed with fine clothes and shoes. Then a treasure chest appeared, filled with gold and jewels. Even Aladdin's mother was surprised and amazed for a moment, before she stopped to think.

"Aladdin," she warned, "Don't forget that you can lose these wishes just as quickly as you found them. The only way to really find true happiness is to work for it." But Aladdin was busy counting his gold to pay attention to his mother's advice.

Now that he was rich, Aladdin thought, he didn't have to go to school or do homework any more, he could do whatever he wanted! But he soon grew bored of counting his gold and trying on his new clothes. He began to wonder, what exactly do rich people do all day anyway? He decided to go visit the Sultan's palace to find out.

Outside the palace, he noticed the Sultan's daughter through a window and was struck by her beauty. It was love at first sight.

So, dressed in his fanciest outfit, Aladdin went to visit the Sultan, and presented him with a pot of gold. But the Sultan was not impressed. "My daughter is the most beautiful woman in all of the kingdom," he cried out. "To receive her hand in marriage, you must prove yourself worthy. Send the Princess a gift of forty gold chests full of jewels, carried by forty servants. Also, you must have a house that is as beautiful as mine. Then, and only then, can you marry my daughter."

When Aladdin arrived at home, he grabbed his lamp. When the genie appeared he asked her to make the Princess fall in love with him. But the genie explained, "There are only two things I cannot do: I cannot destroy anything that I didn't make, and I cannot make anybody do anything they don't want to do."

Aladdin remembered what the Sultan has said, so instead he told the genie to build him a castle right next to the Sultan's palace. When the Sultan awoke the next morning, he was shocked to find a castle as great as his own right next door.

Then one hour later, Aladdin led a parade of forty servants carrying forty golden basins through the Sultan's door. The Sultan was so impressed and so shocked that he agreed to let Aladdin meet his daughter.

The Princess was not impressed by Aladdin's wealth and jewels, but she could see that deep down he was a kind boy. Aladdin soon visited the Princess every day, and he was so happy that he forgot all about the genie, the lamp, and Jaffar.

But Jaffar had not forgotten about Aladdin. He had heard all about Aladdin's riches, and knew that it was all because of the lamp. So he devised a plan:

Jaffar set up a shop in the village that offered to trade new lamps for old ones.

One day, one of Aladdin's servants was cleaning up after him, and noticed an old lamp lying around. The servant picked up the lamp and brought it to Jaffar's shop.

When Jaffar got his hands on the magical lamp, he used the genie to make Aladdin's castle disappear.

Aladdin couldn't figure out what had happened to him. One day he was rich, and the next day, he was poor again! He suddenly remembered the lamp, and ran home to his mother's house to search for it.

"Aladdin!" scolded his mother. "The lamp is what got you into this mess. Now the Sultan is looking for you and demanding that you go see him.

Aladdin went over to the palace and found a very sad and angry Sultan. "Aladdin, Jaffar was here. He told me about your genie, then took my daughter and disappeared. You have forty days to find her," he screamed, "Or you will be banished from the kingdom forever!"

Jaffar must have gotten a hold of the magic lamp somehow, Aladdin thought. What was he going to do without it? He went back to his mother to ask for her advice.

"Aladdin," she said, "you don't need magic to solve your problems. I've heard of this Jaffar. He has built a new palace in Egypt! He must have used the lamp to do this. You must go there and save the Princess."

So Aladdin packed up, and when he arrived at Jaffar's fortress, he could see the Princess through a window. "My beautiful Princess," Aladdin called out. "I have come to rescue you. To escape, you must steal Jaffar's lamp. Wait until he has fallen asleep and then we will run away together."

As soon as Jaffar went to sleep, the Princess snuck into his room and stole the magical lamp. Then she went back to her window. "What am I supposed to do with this old thing?" she called to Aladdin.

When Aladdin told her about the genie, she didn't believe him. But she rubbed the lamp anyway, and was amazed when the genie appeared.

"I am the genie of the lamp. I will grant you three wishes. What do you wish?"

"I wish I was with Aladdin!" said the Princess, without thinking.

Just like that, the Princess and Aladdin were together outside of Jaffar's fortress. They snuck away, and when they felt safe, the Princess rubbed the lamp again and wished to be home.

When they returned to the Palace, the Sultan was so happy to have his daughter back, that he made a grand feast in honor of Aladdin.

The Princess, having seen Aladdin's true bravery, agreed to marry him on one condition. "We use our last wish," she said, "to free the genie and to never us magic in our kingdom again." Aladdin happily agreed and just like that the genie of the lamp disappeared with a smile.

Aladdin rebuilt his castle, but this time with his own two hands so nobody could ever take it away again. And they all lived happily ever after.

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