Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves by Antoine Galland

Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves by Antoine Galland

This is an Arabian folk tale, included in the “One Thousand and One Nights”. One merchant had two sons. When the merchant died, the elder son got a heritage and a wealthy wife. The younger son Ali Baba got nothing and married to a poor woman. Ali Baba became a woodcutter. One day he was working in the forest, collecting the firewood. Suddenly he saw forty men in black on the black horses. They came to a huge stone and one of them said, ‘Open Sesame’. Something incredible happened: the stone opened an entrance into a cave. Everybody went inside. Ali Baba did the same thing, after the men in black had left. He said the magic words, ‘Open Sesame’. The stone obeyed him and he entered the cave. The woodcutter found many treasures there and decided to take something with him.

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Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves by Antoine Galland

Ali Baba was a woodcutter. He was from Persia, in the Middle East.

One day he was at work in the woods when he saw forty men on forty black horses. They stopped near a huge rock. They had forty big, heavy, brown sacks on their backs. Ali Baba watched the men as they got off their horses.

A tall man walked to the rock and said ‘Open Sesame.’ Ali Baba looked and looked again…Something amazing happened… the rock opened! Behind the rock was a cave. The forty men went into the cave with their sacks. Later, when the men came out of the cave, they didn’t have their sacks.

‘Close Sesame,’ said the tall man, and the rock closed!

Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves by Antoine Galland

The forty men got on their horses and went away. Ali Baba went to the rock. ‘Open Sesame,’ he said.

The rock opened… and inside the cave there were hundreds of sacks and wooden boxes. Ali Baba opened a sack and… it was full of diamonds! He opened another sack and… it was full of gold coins! He opened a box and… it was full of silver! He opened another box and… it was full of beautiful jewels!

‘These forty men are thieves,’ thought Ali. ‘I’m going to take some of these coins home for my wife!’

He put some gold coins into his bag and went out of the cave. ‘Close Sesame,’ he said.

The rock closed and he went home.

Ali Baba’s wife, Nasreen, was in the kitchen. Ali Baba told her about the forty thieves and the treasure in the cave.

‘This is wonderful news,’ said Nasreen. ‘Can we take more money and buy a new house and new clothes?’

‘Yes, but we mustn’t tell anyone,’ said Ali. ‘The forty thieves are very dangerous men.’

Ali’s brother, Cassim, was outside the kitchen. He opened the door.

‘Tell me where the cave is!’ he shouted. ‘You must tell me or I’m going to go and look for it myself!’

‘No! Don’t do that!’ said Ali. ‘Go into the woods. There’s a huge rock near the big baobab tree. The rock opens when you say ‘Open Sesame’ and closes when you say ‘Close Sesame’…

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