Once I get ahold of the lamp, I will be all-powerful! All I have to do is find a boy who’s fool enough to go down into the earth and get it for me.
Oh, I’ve got a bright idea. A very bright idea! I’ll approach that little boy, Aladdin, and I’ll pretend to be his uncle Mustapha. He is supposed to have died, but even if he were alive, Aladdin’s mother won’t have seen her brother for forty years. Aladdin’s an idle kid, and his mother will be happy that he’s getting a job offer from a rich merchant.
Once I’ve gained the boy’s trust, I’ll lead him into the mountains.
When we get to the cave entrance, I’ll order him to go down the steps. He’ll have to get through the narrow hallway without touching anything or he’ll die. I’ll tell him where to find the lamp, and when he comes back up it, I’ll grab it, push the kid down the steps, and roll the stone back over the entrance.
A foolproof plan!
The Magician of the Lamp in Aladdin and the Wonderful Lamp, Blue Fairy Book. Illustration from Favorite Fairy Tales, edited by Logan Marshall, 1917.