Ali Baba and 40 Thieves

Ali Baba and 40 Thieves :

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Once upon a time ... in a distant Persian city lived two brothers called Ali Baba and Kasim. Ali Baba was terribly poor and he lived with his wife in a mud hut. He picked up sticks in the woods and sold them in bundles at the market. Kasim, however, had a rich wife and he lived in a big fine house and sold carpets. He became richer than ever.

One day, as Ali Baba was gathering sticks in a wood some way from the city he heard a band of horsemen galloping towards him. Scared that he might be in trouble for stealing wood, he scrambled up a tree and hid amongst the foliage, seconds before the men armed to the teeth rode underneath.

They were robbers… no doubt about that. Ali could tell by their evil looks rough beards and bad language. But what made it perfectly clear to him was the booty they unloaded from their horses obviously plundered in a raid. Their leader was a grim wicked-looking man. Followed by his men, he strode towards a rocky mountain nearby. Throwing wide his arms suddenly shouted, "Open sesame!" Ali Baba could hardly believe his eyes. For at the robber's words, the rock-face swung open to become the entrance to a deep dark cave. The robbers trooped inside, dragging their sacks. Ali Baba was struck dumb by this amazing sight and he crouched in his tree without moving a muscle.

He could hear the robbers' voices echo in the cave. Then out they came. Again opening his arms, the leader exclaimed loudly, "Close sesame!" And the rock swung tightly shut as they leapt onto their horses and galloped away. Trembling with fear, Ali Baba climbed down the tree.

He had just had the biggest shock of his life. Hardly aware of what he was doing, he muttered, "Open sesame," But the mountain stood still. Ali Baba said the words again. But this time he shouted them. Suddenly, the rock began to move. Ali Baba lit a flare and entered the cave. In front of his bulging eyes lay vast piles of treasure - pots of silver gold, precious vases, weapons studded with rubies and emeralds, diamonds, carved plates and carpets …. all heaped together.

The poverty-stricken stick-gatherer rubbed his eyes in disbelief. His hand was shaking like a leaf, as he picked up a gold coin.

"It's real!" he said in awe.

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