Alibaba and the Forty Thieves

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Five main characters of the story: Alibaba- he is a poor woodcutter who gains Morgiana- clever slave girl from Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves. She is initially in Cassim's household but on his death she joins his brother Ali Baba and through her quick wittedness she saves Ali's life many times and eventually kills his worst enemy, the leader of the Forty Thieves. As reward, Ali frees her and Morgiana marries Ali's son. Cassim- rich brother of Ali Baba who is killed by the Forty Thieves when he is caught stealing treasure from their magic cave. Captain of the 40 thieves- the leader of the 40 thieves, one who plotted revenge against Ali Baba for stealing their riches, pretended as an oil merchant and as Mustafah- an old tailor who sew the four quadrants of Cassim s body into whole. Situation that can t happen in real life: One unrealistic THING in the story is the use of the magic words Open sesame and Close sesame that were used for the door of the cave or merely the use of magic itself. Humans can t use magic. Magic never exists in real life, if all things were done using magic, life would be really easy and things could be done in an instant. Furthermore, we know mere WORDS can t open and close doors, move mountains, turn the lights on, etc. (i-english mo nlang to: kelangan nten gumalaw para magawa natin ang dapat nting gawin). SUMMARY VERSION 2: Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves is one of the stories from1001 Arabian Nights. This is one of the more complex stories among popular fairy tales. Ali Baba, a poor woodcutter, is in the forest one day when he hears a band of thieves coming. Frightened, he hides. He hears the captain of the thieves saying Open, sesame! and sees a door open in the side of a hill, revealing a cave filled with riches. After the thieves leave, Ali Baba enters the cave and takes some gold home with him. He and his wife decide to bury the gold. His wife wants to measure out the gold, so she borrows a measuring cup from the wife of Ali Baba s brother, Qasim. The sister-in-law, being curious, puts some wax in the bottom of the cup. Thus, a little bit of gold is stuck in the measuring cup when Ali Baba s wife returns it. Qasim aks Ali Baba where the gold came from, and Ali Baba tells him. Ali Baba shares the gold he has with his brother but Qasim is greedy. He goes to the cave, says, Open Sesame! and goes in to load up all the gold he can carry. Unfortunately, when he is ready to leave, he cannot remember the magic words. He is stuck in the cave when the robbers return. The thieves kill Qasim, but they also want to take revenge on Ali Baba. They make several attempts, but in each case their nefarious plans are foiled by Ali Baba s clever servant girl, Morgiana. In the end, Ali Baba marries Morgiana off to his son (or, in some retellings, his nephew) and everyone who is still alive lives happily ever after. MORAL LESSON V2:

Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves has a lot to say about greed. Ali Baba steals from the thieves or, if it is not possible to steal something that has already been stolen, he at least does not make any attempt to restore the property to its rightful owners. His wife wants to measure the gold so that she will know exactly how much there is, even though she has no practical reason to do so. Qasims wife is motivated by greed to find out what Ali Babas wife is measuring. Qasim is not satisfied with what his brother shares with him, but is led by his greed into danger. The thieves clearly have enough treasure for their own needs, and yet are angry enough about Ali Babas small reduction of their treasure that they are willing to go to a lot of trouble to exact revenge on him. Use the story as a writing prompt for student essays on greed. Summary Ali Baba, a poor woodcutter, happens to see and overhear a large band of thieves - forty in all - visiting their treasure store in the forest where he is cutting wood. The thieves' treasure is in a cave, the mouth of which is sealed by magic - it opens on the words "Open, Sesame", and seals itself on the words "Close, Sesame". When the thieves are gone, Ali Baba enters the cave himself, and takes some of the treasure home. Ali Baba's rich brother, Kasim, finds out about his brother's unexpected wealth, and Ali Baba tells Kasim about the cave. Kasim goes to the cave to take more of the treasure, but forgets the magic words to get back out of the cave, and the thieves find him there, and kill him. When his brother does not come back, Ali Baba goes to the cave to look for him, and finds the body, bringing it home. With the help of Morgiana, a clever slave-girl in Kasim's household, they are able to give Kasim a proper burial without arousing any suspicions about his death. The thieves, finding the body gone, realize that somebody else must know their secret, and set out to track him down. The first several times they are foiled by Morgiana, who is now a member of Ali Baba's household, but eventually they are able to ascertain the location of Ali Baba's house. The lead thief pretends to be an oil merchant in need of Ali Baba's hospitality, bringing with him mules loaded with 40 oil jars, one filled with oil, the other 39 with the other thieves. Once Ali Baba is asleep, the thieves plan to kill him. Again, Morgiana discovers and foils the plan, killing the 39 thieves in their oil jars by pouring boiling oil on them. When their leader comes to rouse his men, he discovers that they are dead, and escapes. The lead thief, disguised as a merchant, befriends Ali Baba's nephew (who is now in charge of the late Kasim's business), and is invited to dinner at Ali Baba's house. He is recognized by Morgiana, who performs a dance with a dagger for the diners and plunges it into the heart of the thief when he is off his guard. Thus, the story ends happily for everyone except the forty thieves and Ali Baba's brother.