April 06, 2022

#08-200: Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves

The thieves kill Kasim

Note: Once again the kind man prospers and the selfish one dies, in this famous tale from the 1001 Nights.

Get Ready: What would you do if you found a cave full of riches (or won the lottery)?

Once there were two brothers: Kasim, the elder, had married a rich wife, but the younger, Ali Baba, was poor and had to gather wood for a living.

One day in the forest he saw a troop of men coming and, fearing they were robbers, climbed into a tree. As he watched, the forty men dismounted and tied up their horses. Their Captain approached some rocks and, when he called "Open, Sesame!" a door opened before him. He and his men entered, and the door closed behind them.

Ali Baba waited to see what would happen; the door opened again, the men came out; the Captain said to the door "Close, Sesame!" and it closed. After the men rode off, Ali Baba clambered down and, approaching the door, nervously tried repeating the magic words. And they worked!

Entering the cave, he was astonished to find that it was filled with gold, silver, jewels, silk, and even money in leather purses! He carried out as much gold as his donkey could carry, loaded it, and, with a "Close, Sesame!" he sealed the cave and rode away.

He told his wife he would bury the gold, but she suggested first they should measure it. She borrowed a vessel from Kasim's wife, and when she returned it, she didn't realize that a little gold was stuck inside. Kasim's wife wasted no time in telling him what she had found; when he confronted Ali Baba, his kind brother offered him a share of the treasure he had retrieved.

But Kasim was not satisfied with a share; he wanted to be able to take as much as he wanted. Ali Baba told him the secret, and Kasim went to the place with ten mules. He entered the cave using the words, but when he tried to come out with some of the riches, he had forgotten what to say!

Meanwhile, the thieves returned, and caught Kasim red-handed. They killed him, and when he didn't return home, his wife went to Ali Baba for help. Ali Baba fetched his brother's body from the cave and arranged with Kasim's servant girl Morgiana to help him dispose of the body.

There are many more parts to this adventure, as the Captain of the thieves first discovered who Ali Baba was, then tried in various disguises to kill him. Each time, though, clever Morgiana found a way to thwart the Captain and at last kill him. A grateful Ali Baba set her free, and married her to his son. And so generations of Ali Baba's family became wealthy with the thieves' treasure.


Read more: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ali_Baba_and_the_Forty_Thieves

Practice: Match the term to its definition below:

  1. astonished
  2. clambered
  3. confronted
  4. dismounted
  5. dispose of
  6. red-handed
  7. sesame
  8. thwart
  9. troop
  10. vessel

  1. climbed with great effort
  2. oppose successfully
  3. a group of armed men
  4. a container
  5. in the act of a crime
  6. amazed; shocked
  7. get rid of
  8. faced; accused
  9. a kind of grain
  10. got off their horses

Answers are in the first comment below.

Submitted to the Shenzhen Daily for April 6, 2022

1 comment:

  1. Answers to the Practice: 1. f; 2. a; 3. h; 4. j; 5. g; 6. e; 7. i; 8. b; 9. c; 10. d