13 Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves forty thieves spilled back out, quietly and secretively with their saddlebags emptied

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  • HARPENDORE

  • Many moons ago a great king sentenced his innocent wife to death,

    but every night she tells the king a story, leaving the tale unfinished until the next night so that the king would

    spare her life to hear the ending. This lasted for one thousand and one Arabian nights, until the king finally

    released her. This is just one of those tales

  • Look out for more

    The Adventures of Prince Camar and Princess Badoura

    Aladdin and his Wonderful Lamp

    Gulnare of the Sea

    Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves

    The Seven Voyages of Sinbad the Sailor

    The Enchanted Horse

    The Talking Bird, the Singing Tree and the Golden Water

    The Merchant and the Jinni

    The Tale of Zubaidah and the Three Qalandars

    The Adventures of Harun al-Rashid, Caliph of Baghdad

    The Three Princes, the Princess and the Jinni Pari Banou

    The Fisherman and the Jinni

    The Kings Jester HARPENDORE

    &A B

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    Published in Great Britain in 2016 by Harpendore Publishing Ltd

    34 Priory Road, Richmond TW9 3DF, United Kingdom

    The name Harpendore is a registered trade mark of Harpendore Publishing Ltd

    Text by Kelley Townley copyright Harpendore Publishing Ltd 2016Illustrations and cover illustration by Anja Gram

    copyright Harpendore Publishing Ltd 2016

    Arabian Nights Adventures, names, characters and related indicia are copyright and trademark

    Harpendore Publishing Ltd, 2016

    All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted, in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without the prior written permission of Harpendore Publishing or as expressly permitted by law, or under terms agreed with the appropriate reprographics rights organisation. Enquiries concerning reproduction outside the scope of the above should be sent to

    Harpendore Publishing at the address above.

    You must not circulate this book in any other binding or cover and you must impose the same condition on any acquirer.

    A Catalogue record for this book is available from the British Library

    ISBN 978-1-911030-03-4 (paperback)

    Designed by Anne-Lise Jacobsenwww.behance.net/annelisejacobsen

    www.harpendore.co.uk

  • 7

    There once lived in a town of Persia two brothers, one named Kassem and the other Ali Baba. Their father was not a rich man but when he died he divided his small wealth equally between them.

    Ali Baba was a simple woodcutter and was very grateful for this gift which he used to marry his childhood sweetheart, Morgiana, and set up home with her. Kassem, however, was cross. As the eldest son he thought he should have inherited all of his fathers wealth. Money and a luxurious life

  • 8 9

    Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves

    One day, as Ali Baba stopped to sharpen his axe, he heard people approaching. It was rare to see anyone in the woods. Ali Baba worried they might be up to no good, so he set his mules loose to wander and hid himself up a tree.

    Ali Baba was quick and nimble. He climbed way up into the branches out of sight as the group appeared below. It was clear to see they were a large group of men on horseback and not just any men, but dangerous-looking men with curved blades and blood-soaked clothes. They looked unwashed and unkempt and had bulging saddlebags whose gaps twinkled in the sunlight.

    Bandits! Ali Baba thought with

    meant more to Kassem than anything else and so he set out to marry one of the richest women in town. She was not known for her grace or kindness and so they suited each other well. Their wedding was an extravagant affair with many guests and a great feast, but it lacked the charm of Ali Babas simple wedding in the woods. But everybody is different and in this way everyone was content with their lives.

    As a woodcutter, Ali Baba spent many happy hours out in the woods with his three mules who carried the load. All day he would wander through the trees, humming a jolly tune while collecting his wood. He knew the forest better than any man alive.

  • Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves

    Ali Baba counted forty men in total, and it was clear they were planning something special as the horses slowed and their chatter stopped. They looked around suspiciously as they approached the solid rock of the mountainside. There was a clear leader of the group, the

    biggest of the

    horror. Dirty rotten thieves!It was a good thing he had hidden

    himself. Not that he had anything worth stealing, of course, but men like that might just kill him for the fun of it!

  • 12 13

    Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves

    forty thieves spilled back out, quietly and secretively with their saddlebags emptied.

    That is where they store their stolen goods, thought Ali Baba. It must be a treasure trove in there!

    The bearded leader, Hadi, silently nodded to the men and then they all rode their separate ways. Hadi was the last to leave. He tilted his head as if he could tell someone was watching him, but Ali Baba was too well hidden. Still, it was a long time after all the men had left that Ali Baba felt brave enough to come down.

    It was near dark now and Ali Baba had trouble finding his three mules who had enjoyed their time loose in the forest.

    Wretched beasts, mumbled Ali

    men with an ugly, gnarly beard who the other men called Hadi. He stepped forward to face the rock and said the words Open Sesame!

    To Ali Babas utter amazement the stone rolled back to reveal an entrance to a cave and the men and their horses quickly rode inside. The stone then slid back again leaving Ali Baba up his tree with his mouth hanging open in shock. Had he really seen the side of a mountain open up like a door?

    Ali Baba desperately wanted to climb down, find his mules and hurry away as quickly as possible, but he was so scared that the evil men might reappear and catch him that he remained rooted to the spot. All afternoon he waited and then finally the rock rolled back and the

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    Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves

    shouldnt he, Ali Baba, take what he wanted from these rotten robbers? It would serve them right after all!

    Cautiously, Ali Baba approached the rock where the men had entered and ran his hands over it. It certainly seemed very solid; there was no disguised doorway. Maybe he had dreamed the whole thing? Wait, hadnt the bandits leader, Hadi, said something to make it open?

    Open Sesame, said Ali Baba, and without hesitation the rock slid back to reveal the entrance. You stay here, Ali Baba told his mules with nervous excitement. Ill just be a minute.

    Ali Baba slowly entered the thieves cave and stared in wonder as he was greeted by the most dazzling sight.

    Baba as he affectionately tickled his favourite mule between the ears. Morgiana will be cross with me for not taking any wood to market today. We are poor enough as it is without losing a days wages because I was hiding in a tree!

    The mule nosed Ali Baba and seemed to him to be looking at the rock where the thieves secret den was.

    I bet there is a lot of money in there, said Ali Baba. So much that they wouldnt even notice a coin or two missing

    Ali Baba wasnt a courageous man but he was a moral one. Why should he suffer the loss of a days pay while hiding from men who simply took what they wanted from others? Why

  • Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves

    bandits their fathers fathers must have begun such a hoard. Why did they continue to gather such riches unless they liked the life of a scoundrel? Ali Baba shuddered: these were bad men indeed. He would take a few coins and at least be able to feed himself and his family for a few weeks.

    The cavern was filled to the brim with stolen treasures: rich bales of silk, brocade and carpeting, gold and silver ingots and trinkets in great heaps, and plenty of coins in numerous sacks. Truly these thieves were not struggling poor folk but career criminals that must come from a long line of proud

  • 18 19

    Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves

    not hurt I shall beat you until you are for making me worry so!

    Ali Baba smiled and kissed her.Worry not, for I have some good

    news! And he handed his wife one of the gold coins.

    She went quite pale with shock.Good lord! she cried. We shall eat

    like sultans this week! However did you get it? You didnt do anything bad I hope?

    Ali Baba told his wife the whole story. She was fearful at first, but Ali Baba reassured her that although this looked like an awful lot of treasure, so much of it remained that it would never be missed. As long as they kept it a secret they need never worry about being found out.

    Ali Baba turned to leave, the three coins he had plucked light in his pocket.

    If the robbers wouldnt miss three coins, then surely they wouldnt miss six, he thought. Or even nine!

    By the time he had finished, the gold-struck Ali Baba had loaded as many gold coins as his three mules could possibly carry. Then with a burst of guilt he led them away to the safety of his own house, making sure that he had covered his tracks and that the treasure would not be missed.

    When he returned home his wife, Morgiana, was both angry and relieved.

    Where have you been? You are late! she fretted. Are you hurt? If you are

  • 20 21

    Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves

    weigh the money instead of counting it? said Morgiana.

    Ali Baba liked any idea that would make the task go quicker and so Morgiana set off for Kassems house in town. Kassem and his wife, Rana, lived in a row of very wealthy, large houses, all with a surrounding wall and a big front gate as well as an inner courtyard.

    Good evening, sister-in-law, Morgiana greeted Rana. I have come to ask to borrow a set of scales, if you please.

    Rana looked her sister-in-law up and down. She despised how vulgar and poor Ali Baba and his wife were, but could never refuse a request from family.

    But whatever shall we do with all this money? she asked. People will wonder where it came from.

    Ali Baba agreed. We will hide it and spend it bit by bit only on the things we need.

    Morgiana was a very organised woman though and said, Well need to know how much we have, to keep track of it.

    And so they set about the task of counting it. After the first bag, and with five still to go, Ali Baba quickly grew bored.

    This is taking too long. We cant have it lying out in the open like this. We must bury it soon.

    Should I run and borrow some scales from your brothers house so we could

  • The Arabian Nights tales are some of the most enduringly entertaining stories ever written. Compiled in Arabic during the Islamic Golden Age, numerous tales depict legends, sorcery and magic intermingled with real people, places and events. Some tales are framed within other tales while others are perfectly self-contained. The result is a superb collection of richly layered narratives; whether adventure, historical, tragic, comic or romantic, they have delighted audiences for centuries.

    Arabian Nights Adventures is a wonderful collection of childrens books that brings this rich heritage to life. Instead of a vast compendium of stories, each book in the series is devoted to a single tale from The Nights. The best tales have been selected. There are traditional favourites such asAladdin and his Wonderful Lamp,Ali Baba and the Forty ThievesandThe Seven Voyages of Sinbad the Sailor,and less well-known gems such asGulnare of the Sea,The Enchanted Horse, The Merchant and the Jinniand more.

    Kelley Townley provides masterful contemporary renderings of these ancient treasures while Anja Grams illustrations are full of the spice, wit and magic of the stories themselves. The series style is

    fresh and vibrant and the print inside is clear and beautifully typeset. When placed on bookshelves the distinctive spines reveal a wonderful image that grows as new stories are added: a design made specially for one thousand and one nights tales! And with the highest of editorial standards and attention to detail, this series will delight readers everywhere and bring the Islamic Golden Age gloriously to life.

    Kelley Townley trained as a teacher and gained her MA in creative writing with distinction from Bath Spa University. She may be found either writing childrens stories happily losing herself in the dream world of the human imagination or plotting new ways to engage readers, which are the same things really. Kelley lives near Bath with her family, the writers obligatory cats and an ever growing number of woodlice.

    Anja Gram has illustrated numerous childrens books and magazines. Her highly distinctive style captivates and endears readers around the world. She lives and works in Copenhagen, Denmark.

  • ISBN 978-1-911030-00-31

    ISBN 978-1-911030-01-02

    ISBN 978-1-911030-02-73

    ISBN 978-1-911030-04-15

    ISBN 978-1-911030-05-86

    ISBN 978-1-911030-06-57

    ISBN 978-1-911030-07-28

    ISBN 978-1-911030-08-99

    ISBN 978-1-911030-09-610

    ISBN 978-1-911030-10-211

    ISBN 978-1-911030-11-912

    ISBN 978-1-911030-12-613

    4

    The complete Arabian Nights Adventures series and individual titles are available from leading bookstores or

    may be ordered direct from the publisher:

    Harpendore Publishing Limited34 Priory Road, Richmond TW9 3DF, United Kingdom

    Telephone: +44 (0)20 3667 3600Email: enquiries@harpendore.co.uk

    Website: www.harpendore.co.uk

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    Cheques and postal orders should be made payable to:Harpendore Publishing Limited

    All our titles may also be purchased online via our website at www.harpendore.co.uk

    For a complete list of titles and the latest catalogue visit www.harpendore.co.uk

    The Adventures of Prince Camar and Princess Badoura

    Aladdin and his Wonderful Lamp

    Gulnare of the Sea

    Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves

    The Seven Voyages of Sinbad the Sailor

    The Enchanted Horse

    The Talking Bird, the Singing Tree and the Golden Water

    The Merchant and the Jinni

    The Tale of Zubaidah and the Three Qalandars

    The Adventures of Harun al-Rashid, Caliph of Baghdad

    The Three Princes, the Princess and the Jinni Pari Banou

    The Fisherman and the Jinni

    The Kings Jester

    ISBN 978-1-911030-03-4

  • Look out for more Arabian Nights Adventures www.harpendore.co.uk

    HARPENDORE

    Look out for more Arabian Nights Adventures www.harpendore.co.uk

    9 781911 030034

    ISBN 978-1-911030-03-4

    One day while Ali Baba is collecting wood in the forest he overhears the password to a cave

    where thieves have hidden their treasure. For the simple woodcutter its a dream come true, or is it? The thieves soon find

    out that someone else knows about the cave. And they go looking

    for the culprit!

    A brilliant edition of one of the great classic tales of all time.

    But beware this one is not for the squeamish!

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