Welcome to the first story in The Adventures of the Genie of the Jar series.
THE GENIE OF THE JAR & GREAT-GRANDPA’S SPECS
In this first Genie of the Jar story, Tom goes back in time to stroll the boulevards of Paris, meeting some interesting people along the way…
“I wish I could be an adventurer, travelling all around the world,” said Tom, as Mum finished reading him his favourite bedtime story. “I’d love to do something daring and have lots of people cheering for me.” “Maybe you will one day,” said Mum, tucking him in and turning out his bedside light. “I don’t see how,” sighed Tom. Tom usually drifted off to sleep as soon as Mum closed his bedroom door, but tonight he felt restless. He switched his light on again. Then, still thinking of adventures, he picked up an old jar from his bedside table and gently rubbed it. 3
Of course, Tom didn’t expect anything to happen, so his jaw dropped in amazement as the jar started shaking in his hand! He watched open-mouthed as the lid of the jar turned on its own. Then it flew off altogether, releasing a swirl of mist which slowly took shape to become a blue figure with big eyes and a kind, friendly face. “A-A-Are you a genie?” stammered Tom. “I am indeed,” replied the smiling figure. “Pleased to meet you. I’m the Genie of the Jar!”
Beckoning with his finger, the Genie of the Jar led Tom onto the landing and pointed to an old wooden box on the windowsill. Tom had often seen it, but had never taken any notice of it before. They brought the box back into the bedroom. “In that special box, there are all sorts of old objects your family has collected over the years,” explained the Genie of the Jar. “I want you to find some wire-rimmed glasses belonging to Great-Grandpa Jules.” “Why?” asked Tom. “Because I’m taking you on a magical journey and you’re going to need them!” replied the Genie of the Jar. 7
The Genie of the Jar pointed his finger at the wall and drew the shape of a door. POW! The magic door opened and they went through it. The next moment, Tom found himself on the top deck of an old-fashioned tram. He was gliding around the streets of Paris, the capital city of France, with the Genie of the Jar beside him. Tom was wearing a smart blue suit with a matching cap and buckled shoes. The ticket he was holding said the year was 1911!
There were only a handful of cars chugging up and down between the tramlines. Men in dark suits with top hats and women in long, flowing dresses hurried around on foot or in creaky black carriages pulled by horses that made a loud CLIP-CLOP sound as they trotted past. “Is that the Eiffel Tower?” asked Tom, pointing to the famous landmark. “It is,” confirmed the Genie of the Jar. “Doesn’t it look new? It was only built just over 20 years ago.” The tram crossed the River Seine and travelled past some tall houses. “If only I could see what’s going on inside,” sighed Tom. 11
The Genie of the Jar told Tom to put on GreatGrandpa Jules’s glasses. “X-rays were discovered about this time,” he explained. “Wear these x-ray specs and you’ll be able to see through walls.” Tom gasped as the x-ray specs allowed him to see into passing buildings. Along the left bank of the river, the houses were full of artists painting pictures, composers making music and writers working on their latest poem or novel. “This is where Great-Grandpa Jules sometimes performed,” explained the Genie of the Jar. “He was a wonderful singer. He used to give concerts in theatres all over Paris. He was very famous.” 13
The tram finished its journey outside a huge museum and art gallery called the Louvre. “The best-known painting in the world is kept here,” said the Genie of the Jar. “It’s called the Mona Lisa and was painted by Leonardo da Vinci. The woman in the picture seems to smile at you when you look at her.” “Can I see?” cried Tom. “Just use your specs,” said his magical friend. But when Tom looked through the wall to where the painting should be, it was missing! “That’s odd,” murmured the Genie of the Jar. “It’s always there. Large crowds come to see it every year.” 15
A few moments later, a bearded man wearing a long cloak sneaked out of a side entrance to the museum. Tom was still wearing his x-ray specs, so he saw the man carrying a picture of a smiling woman under his cloak. “That man’s a thief!” gasped the little boy. “He’s just stolen the Mona Lisa!” Realising he’d been spotted, the villain ran away. So the Genie of the Jar picked up an old piece of wood and slid it between the man’s feet. THUD! The thief tripped over, throwing the precious painting into Tom’s waiting hands.
A small crowd had gathered to watch the drama. “BRAVO!” they cheered. “If this young man hadn’t spotted the theft, our priceless picture would be lost!”
Tom beamed with pride. “Now I’m a real adventurer!” he chuckled.
A few moments later, a clock chimed in the distance. “Time to go home,” said the Genie of the Jar. With a clap of his hands, he took Tom back through the magic door in his bedroom wall. Then they popped the glasses back in the box. “Thanks for a wonderful adventure,” whispered Tom. 19
The Genie of the Jar tucked his young friend back into bed and disappeared into his jar, closing the lid behind him. The next morning, Tom woke up and wondered if his trip to the past had all been a dream. But his pink tram ticket was on the floor beside the bed. He picked it up and stared at it in wonder. “Wow!” he exclaimed. “It was a real adventure!”
Did you know? X-ray machines were invented by a number of scientists, including a brilliant German professor called William RĂśntgen who discovered x-rays in 1895. X-rays have the power to see inside things, so theyâ€™ve been extremely useful to doctors who rely on them to see inside the human body. X-rays help to spot diseases and broken bones.
Join the Genie of the Jar in story 2 as he goes on a thrilling adventure with Tomâ€™s twin sister, Sally, in 1920s Germany!
100 YEARS OF HISTORY. 10 GREAT STORIES. The Genie of the Jar & Great-Grandpa’s Specs is just one of ten stories in The Adventures of the Genie of the Jar series. 1910s The Genie of the Jar & Great-Grandpa’s Specs
1960s The Genie of the Jar & Great-Uncle Gus’s Space Helmet
1920s The Genie of the Jar & Great-Grandma’s Jet Plane
1970s The Genie of the Jar & Dad’s Mobile Phone
1930s The Genie of the Jar & Grandpa’s Ballpoint Pen
1980s The Genie of the Jar & Mum’s Disposable Camera
1940s The Genie of the Jar & Grandma’s Silly Putty
1990s The Genie of the Jar & Uncle Jock’s Map
1950s The Genie of the Jar & Great-Aunt Lucy’s Hula Hoop
2000s The Genie of the Jar & Aunt Laura’s Camera Phone
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