“Aladdin and the Magic Lamp”

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Plot Description

Spoiler warning! A very wicked old Chinese man (who was actually Scottish, I think) named Jock MacFaddin found a secret cave outside Shanghai. Inside he saw piles of gold and gleaming jewels. He also saw a small lamp inside and realized it was the magic lamp that granted wishes. His brain was full of plans for how to use it, like turning his landloard into a frog. When he tried to retrieve it though a ghostly voice told him to leave and two bony fingers tweaked his nose. Jock fled the cave screaming, but he didn’t give up on his plan to get the lamp. He decided to have someone else do his dirty work for him. So he hurried to the market-place and picked out a young boy with a friendly face. This was Aladdin. Jock pretended to be the boy’s long-lost uncle and offered him twenty yen to do a favor for him. He took Aladdin to the cave and told him to fetch the lamp. Aladdin wasn’t sure, so Jock told him the cave was filled with chocolates and bare-bottomed dancing girls. That’s good enough for Aladdin and he raced into the cave. As soon as he touched the lamp, a huge genie rose out of it and offered to grant any wish. Aladdin said he wished to become a genie too. The genie cried “Right! Farewell! Be Brave!” and Aladdin disappeared. He had become a genie. The narrator explains that all this happened over 500 years ago. Aladdin is still around, and every now and then a lucky man will find the lamp and have his wish granted. Once an Englishman asked for help with a play he was writing. It was William Shakespeare. Aladdin also helped a young boy named Mozart compose wonderful music. “This sort of marvellous magic wheeze / S’been going on for centuries. / Aladdin suddenly appears / (Not more than once in fifty years) / But when he does, oh boy, oh then / Great genius is born again. / Just think, next time he passes through, / The lucky person might be you.”