(Part Two of the Stories of the Travels of Aladdin)
Poor Aladdin, jailed for being accused of being a gool. Poor Aladdin, imprisoned for doing nothing wrong other than being in the wrong place at the wrong time in front of the wrong people.
The jailer brought food and water to Aladdin. Aladdin, though, kept asking questions: Why am I still here? Why do they think I am a gool? Can you tell them I am not?
Alas, all of these questions fell on empty ears, though, as the jailor shouted at Aladdin to shut up. Aladdin though would not give up, and shouted louder. The jailor shouted even louder. Aladdin answered with louder shouts. Finally, the jailor took a spear and started banging the tip against the bars, giving the ringing an echo throughout the dungeon. But still, Aladdin would not give in and kept shouting. After several hours of this, the jailor finally left, and didn’t come back. The next day, a new jailor brought Aladdin his food and water.
This new jailor shared his emotions with Aladdin, giving rise to Aladdin to tell his tales of stories. The jailor, it turns out, loved stories, and asked Aladdin to continue with more. Aladdin realized, though, that even though he was to tell tales only a great storyteller could tell, he was still going to be a captive in this dank dungeon. He told the jailor that he would not share anymore stories as long as he was locked in this cell. After the jailor begged for more stories, he finally agreed to release Aladdin. One last story was told, and Aladdin was a free man once again. As Aladdin looked forward to Rome, he also looked backwards at the dungeon he had just left, and a determination entered into his heart to complete his quest to seek knowledge…and the first stop he must make is to Rome. Well, it was actually to go to the privy, but after that, onward to Rome!!
Finally, after many days of traveling, the city of Rome rose up before Aladdin. Rome was majestic in its size and grandeur as Aladdin took in all the sights, sounds and scents. Along the way through the city, a house burst into flames on his left!! Aladdin at first was stunned into shock, but quickly realized that the house was burning up at an accelerated rate. Aladdin began to shout for help, and many Roman citizens ran up, but all they would do was argue amongst themselves as to who should get the water buckets to put out the fire. In total disbelief, Aladdin stood near the blaze while the people argued and shouted at one another until finally, the house was a smoldering ruin, nothing left but ashes.
Finally, Aladdin decided he had had enough of Rome, and began to prepare to embark on the next leg of his journey for the search for knowledge: Timbuktu.
Aladdin purchased a boat across the Mediterranean. It was a pleasant sail across the water, with nothing happening of any import…that is until he saw a band of roving Bedouin bandits camped out along the coast. Aladdin asked the captain to cast anchor, but the captain refused. After an argument over where the captain could, and should, spend the rest of his days, Aladdin jumped overboard (with a little bit of help from the sailors). By the time Aladdin swam ashore, he was far down the coastline where the bandits had their camp. So, nothing left for Aladdin but to walk to the Bedouin camp. After several hours, Aladdin finally made it to the campsite…only there was no longer a camp there. The bandits had moved on, taking their ill-gotten treasures with them.
Aladdin slept, and in the morning, headed south to Timbuktu. On the way, though, a harsh sandstorm arose. There was nothing Aladdin could do other than hide and pray to Allah for help and salvation from the storm. But instead of Allah helping him, the storm grew worse, as giant sandstone hail smashed down on Aladdin. Aladdin cried out in pain and anguish, suffering greatly in the storm. After several hours, the storm finally passed, leaving a desert washed and scrubbed by the sand and an Aladdin that was bruised and hurting, now diseased once again from the brutal beatings he took from the sandstorm.
After Aladdin regained some strength, he began to make his way once again to Timbuktu. Finally, after many days travel, Timbuktu appeared before him. Aladdin made his way to the city, only to find a lonely princess just inside the walls of the city. Aladdin asked her if he could help her at all. The princess replied that she was lonely and missing home (Baghdad). Aladdin offered to tell her some stories about the home that the both seemed to share, but were yet so far away from. The princess thanked him as Aladdin began his story. By the time he finished only his first story, the princess was sound asleep, her breathing steady. Aladdin, sore, tired and bruised, fell asleep also. The morning came, and the princess, thankful for the story Aladdin gave the night before, gave Aladdin a bag of gold. With the gold, Aladdin was able to pay a doctor to heal him from the disease he contacted in the sandstorm.
Alas, Aladdin has now been to Rome and the city of Timbuktu. His next journey is far across the other side of the world: Gaya in India.
As Aladdin leaves Timbuktu, he sees a traveling show all the way from deep India!! He enters into the largest tent, only to find two elephants walking around the tent, with an old magician riding atop one of the great beasts. Amazed by the fact that this old man was able to train and control the great and giant beasts, he offers the old man food and wine. The old magician accepts, as the elephant the man was riding makes its way to the area that Aladdin was sitting. The old man and Aladdin eat and drink, sharing stories throughout the night. During the visit with the old magician, the old man told Aladdin all about India, elephants, and what to expect on his travels to the far city of Gaya. In the morning, Aladdin not only felt rested, but he also felt that he was fully mentally prepared for the next part of his journey.
The trip to Gaya in India could only begin with putting one foot in front of the other…and that is exactly what Aladdin began to do: Walk.