Alibaba and the Forty Thieves


Read the story on Alibaba and the forty thieves with Illustrations

Once upon a time, there was a poor woodsman named Alibaba. Every day he used to climb up the hill, into the forest to cut the wood, and then he would carry it with the help of his two donkeys into the city. One day while he was loading his donkeys, in the distance he saw many men riding their galloping horses towards him. Alibaba was frightened, so he decided to hide in the bushes and watch them carefully. 

The riders stopped in front of an enormous rock and the leader of these riders shouted ‘open sesame!’ Suddenly, the rock moved to reveal the entrance to a cave and all the riders entered the cave (exactly 40 riders). After a while, they all left and the entrance closed behind them. 

Alibaba decided to approach the rock and said the magic words ‘open sesame!’ The rock moved and Alibaba entered the cave filled with gold and jewels. Alibaba thought those men must be thieves and this was their hideout.

Alibaba decided to carry out as much gold as he could, he put the gold in some bags and loaded his donkeys with them, then he covered his bag with wood on the top and headed home. It was already late when he got home.

“What happened?” his wife asked him. Alibaba commanded his wife to hurry and come to the back to unload the donkeys. When Alibaba's wife saw the gold she immediately said “we must hide this treasure.” They thought about hiding the gold by making a hole in the ground but then they decided the best way was to build a hidden trap door. So his wife went to the city to meet a carpenter. 

She told the carpenter what she wanted. But then, she needed to keep her identity a secret and the carpenter agreed to do the work.

So Ali baba’s wife covered his eyes and guided him home. The carpenter quickly did his work. She paid him, covered his eyes again, and took him back to the city.

In the meanwhile, the thieves were back at the secret cave where they realized that they had been robbed. The next day the thieves asked around to see if they could find anything about ‘who had stolen from them’. 

But they did not find any, until one of them went into the carpenter shop and said admiringly “you do beautiful work carpenter” to which the carpenter replied “I do, just yesterday I did a secret trap door in less than one hour.”

“Take me to the house. I will pay you well.” The thief said.

“I had my eyes covered but if you cover my eyes I may find the house,'' said the carpenter.

That night the leader of the thieves covered the carpenter’s eyes and together they eventually reached Alibaba’s house. The thief marked the door with a big ‘x’ so that when he would return with all the thieves he could find the house.

 In the morning Alibaba’s wife saw the big ‘x’ on the door, afraid that this could be a threat she decided to draw a big ‘x’ on all the doors she could find. When the thieves came back looking for the house, they didn’t know which was the right one. Now this made the thieves angry.

That night the captain of the thief took the blindfolded carpenter the second time but this time he counted the number of the houses so that he would not be tricked again. 

The next day the thieves' captain knocked on Alibaba’s door. He had donkeys with him and each donkey carried a big jar. “I am a big oil trader and my donkeys and I have been walking for many days,” the thief said.

I wonder if we could rest here tonight. Alibaba was a kind man so he agreed so the donkeys were left in the yard and the thief went up to his bedroom for the night. 

As it was getting dark, Alibaba’s wife began the process of lighting the lamp but realized that the lamp was out of oil. So she went into the yard to get some oil but as she approached the 2 large jars she heard voices coming from inside them. 

She ran to Alibaba to tell him what happened. He quickly ran to the sultan soldiers. Not long after the leader of the thieves reached secretly to the yard and whispered to his men, “It's time to come out.” But, at the very minute, the soldiers came rushing towards the thieves and they couldn’t get out of the jars so they just fell to the ground and all were arrested. The Sultan had been looking for them for a long time.

Alibaba and his wife told the Sultan everything they knew about the secret cave and the gold they have hidden in their home.

For their honesty and for helping to arrest the thieves they were granted a generous reward and lived happily ever after.