A wealthy trader decided to travel the world seeking out rare objects he could sell for a small fortune to private clients. One morning his ship landed on a beautiful beach. He saw a skinny wild-haired fellow racing up and down the shore, waving a beautiful gem-flecked glass bottle at passersby and begging them to buy it. Curious, the trader leapt on to shore and asked the madman what he was up to. The unkempt fellow pointed angrily to the bottle—there’s a genie in there, he said, and I finally managed to trick him back inside, but I’m terrified he’ll somehow manage to escape. Why are you so scared of the genie? The trader enquired. You won’t believe this, the man muttered, but not too long ago I was a handsome and charming fellow with oodles of money. Then I was stupid enough to buy this bottle from a chap who looked just as terrible as I do right now. He told me the genie trapped inside is so powerful he could do anything for me. Greedy fool that I was, I grabbed it from him. Oh yes, he was telling the truth, but just look at what this cursed genie has reduced me to!
Give it to me, the trader said eagerly. Here, the madman said, take it for nothing! But if you value your life, don’t open the bottle—just enjoy its beauty and you will be fine. If that fellow gets out, he’ll make your life hell. You can’t imagine what he’s put me through! Continue reading