Published by Academia International in 2008, the book introduces children to the charm and enchanting mysteries of the Orient through five folk tales that have delighted thousands of readers across the globe, imprinting on their minds vivid images and faithful depictions of Oriental life and customs.
“…Once upon a time, there lived, in a distant Persian city, two brothers called Ali Baba and Qassim. Contrary to Qassim, Ali Baba was terribly poor. He gained his livelihood by cutting wood in a neighboring forest and hawking it about the town on three mules.
Ali Baba went one day to the forest, as usual, and saw from a distance a band of robbers numbering forty in all. The robbers followed their captain to the bottom of the rock, at the very spot where grew the tree in which Ali Baba was concealed. The captain slowly and distinctly pronounced these words, ‘Open, Sesame!’ whereupon a door in the rock opened.
As soon as the robbers were out of sight, Ali Baba used the magic words ‘Open, Sesame!’, which he had heard the captain of the band of robbers call out, whereupon the door flew wide open. Ali Baba was astonished to see great quantities of gold and silver coins in the cave and refused to leave before loading a fraction of the riches he found on his three mules.
A few days later, Qassim found out about his brother’s good fortune and his greed and envy lead him to rush to the rock and utter the words ‘Open, Sesame!’. He collected sacks of gold drew near to the door. But his thoughts were so full of avaricious schemes that he did not recollect the important words. Qassim was thus stuck inside and failed to escape the thieves who found him and killed.
Ali Baba forefelt a calamity and set out for the cave where he saw the body of his brother hanging to the right and the rest to the left of the entrance so he pulled it out of the cave. Finding no trace of the corpse, the forty thieves realized that someone had discovered their secret cave: Ali Baba.