I am fond of story-books, and I have read a great many of them. There was a time, when I read Tales of the Punjab in which there are many stories about the brave warriors. I have also read the folk tales of all the provinces in Pakistan and have felt much interested in them. But of all these story- books I like the Arabian Nights most.
This book contains many stories. It is said all of them were related to King Shahriyar by a beautiful and charming princess. So interesting were these tales that the king would keep awake throughout the night to hear them.
The stories are really wonderful and describe many strange things. In it we read about Jinns, who could travel thousand of miles in an hour. They could build big palaces in a night, and destroy them in no time. If one had one of those Jinns under one’s command these days, one could make the impossible possible.
But of all these stories I like two stories the most. One of these tells us about Aladdin and his Wonderful Lamp.
Aladdin was the son of a poor tailor. His father died and left him an orphan. One day he found an old lamp in a cave by chance. He took it home and showed it to his mother. She asked him to clean and polish it. When he was rubbing it with sand to make it bright, a fearful and terrible demon made his appearance. “Who are you?” asked Aladdin. “I am a Jinn, the slave of the Lamp”, said he. Aladdin was frightened to death on seeing him but the Jinn told him not be afraid for he was his master. He would do anything for his sake, and would go anywhere he liked. This made Aladdin very happy. Then he always rubbed the lamp when be wanted him. The Jinn proved very useful to him. He brought him money and built palaces for him. He gave him all that he desired.
The other story is about All Baba and the Forty Thieves. All Baba was a poor man, but he became very rich afterwards. He found a cave in which some robbers had kept all the money that they had stolen. The cave was closed, but could open only if the magic words ‘open sesame’ were repeated. All Baba found this cave and became very rich. The robbers afterwards wanted to deprive him of this wealth. But he retained ‘with the help of his clever servant-girl, whom he married in the end and happily lived ever after with.