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ShrimpRack’s Live Auction

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Mukhtar Kononov
Mukhtar Kononov

Baba B.-Take Me Back Mp3

One day, when Ali Baba was in the forest, he saw a troop of men on horseback, coming toward him in a cloud of dust. He was afraid they were robbers, and climbed into a tree for safety. When they came up to him and dismounted, he counted forty of them. They unbridled their horses and tied them to trees.

Baba B.-Take Me Back mp3

So she ran to the wife of Cassim and borrowed a measure. Knowing Ali Baba's poverty, the sister was curious to find out what sort of grain his wife wished to measure, and artfully put some suet at the bottom of the measure. Ali Baba's wife went home and set the measure on the heap of gold, and filled it and emptied it often, to her great content. She then carried it back to her sister, without noticing that a piece of gold was sticking to it, which Cassim's wife perceived directly her back was turned.

About noon the robbers returned to their cave, and saw Cassim's mules roving about with great chests on their backs. This gave them the alarm; they drew their sabers, and went to the door, which opened on their Captain's saying, "Open, Sesame!"

She went to all the jars, giving the same answer, till she came to the jar of oil. She now saw that her master, thinking to entertain an oil merchant, had let thirty-eight robbers into his house. She filled her oil pot, went back to the kitchen, and, having lit her lamp, went again to the oil jar and filled a large kettle full of oil. When it boiled she went and poured enough oil into every jar to stifle and kill the robber inside. When this brave deed was done she went back to the kitchen, put out the fire and the lamp, and waited to see what would happen.

At daybreak Ali Baba arose, and, seeing the oil jars still there, asked why the merchant had not gone with his mules. Morgiana bade him look in the first jar and see if there was any oil. Seeing a man, he started back in terror. "Have no fear," said Morgiana; "the man cannot harm you; he is dead."

The three principal episodes in this story fit the following folktale classifications: Discovery of the magic treasure cave: Aarne-Thompson-Uther type 676. Death of the intruder (Kasim) and the subsequent removal of his corpse: type 950. Assassination of the thieves hidden in the oil containers: 954. Return to the table of contents. Ali Baba and the Forty ThievesTranslated by Richard F. BurtonIn days of yore and in times and tides long gone before theredwelt in a certain town of Persia two brothers one named Kasimand the other Ali Baba, who at their father's demise had dividedthe little wealth he had left to them with equitable division, andhad lost no time in wasting and spending it all. The elder, however,presently took to himself a wife, the daughter of an opulentmerchant; so that when his father-in-law fared to the mercy ofAlmighty Allah, he became owner of a large shop filled with raregoods and costly wares and of a storehouse stocked with preciousstuffs; likewise of much gold that was buried in the ground. Thuswas he known throughout the city as a substantial man. But the woman whom Ali Baba had married was poor and needy; theylived, therefore, in a mean hovel and Ali Baba eked out a scantylivelihood by the sale of fuel which he daily collected in the jungleand carried about the town to the Bazar upon his three asses. Now it chanced one day that Ali Baba had cut dead branches and dryfuel sufficient for his need, and had placed the load upon his beastswhen suddenly he espied a dust-cloud spireing high in air to his right and moving rapidly towards him; and when he closely consideredit he descried a troop of horsemen riding on amain andabout to reach him. At this sight he was sore alarmed, and fearinglest perchance they were a band of bandits who would slay him and drive off his donkeys, in his affright he began to run; but forasmuchas they were near hand and he could not escape from out theforest, he drove his animals laden with the fuel into a bye-way ofthe bushes and swarmed up a thick trunk of a huge tree to hidehimself therein; and he sat upon a branch whence he could descryeverything beneath him whilst none below could catch a glimpseof him above; and that tree grew close beside a rock whichtowered high above-head. The horsemen, young, active, anddoughty riders, came close up to the rock-face and all dismounted;whereat Ali Baba took good note of them and soon he was fullypersuaded by their mien and demeanour that they were a troop ofhighwaymen who, having fallen upon a caravan had despoiled itand carried off the spoil and brought their booty to this place withintent of concealing it safely in some cache. Moreover he observedthat they were forty in number. Ali Baba saw the robbers, as soon as they came under the tree, each unbridlehis horse and hobble it; then all took off their saddle-bagswhich proved to be full of gold and silver. The man whoseemed to be the captain presently pushed forwards, load onshoulder, through thorns and thickets, till he came up to a certainspot where he uttered these strange words,"Open, O Simsim I" and forthwith appeared a wide doorway in the face of the rock. The robbers went in and last of all their Chief and then the portalshut of itself. Long while they stayed within the cave whilst AliBaba was constrained to abide perched upon the tree, reflectingthat if he came down peradventure the band might issue forththat very moment and seize him and slay him. At last he haddetermined to mount one of the horses and driving on his asses toreturn townwards, when suddenly the portal flew open. The robber-chief was first to issue forth; then, standing at the entrance,he saw and counted his men as they came out, and lastly he spakethe magical words,"Shut, O Simsim!" whereat the door closed ofitself. When all had passed muster and review, each slung on hissaddle-bags and bridled his own horse and as soon as ready they rodeoff, led by the leader, in the direction whence they came. Ali Babaremained still perched on the tree and watched their departure; norwould he descend until what time they were clean gone out of sight,lest perchance one of them return and look around and descry him. Then he thought within himself,"I too will try the virtue of thosemagical words and see if at my bidding the door will open andclose." So he called out aloud,"Open, O Simsim!" And no sooner had he spoken than straightway the portal flew open andhe entered within. He saw a large cavern and a vaulted, in heightequalling the stature of a full-grown man and it was hewn in thelive stone and lighted up with light that came through air-holesand bullseyes in the upper surface of the rock which formed theroof. He had expected to find naught save outer gloom in thisrobbers' den, and he was surprised to see the whole room filled withbales of all manner stuffs, and heaped up from sole to ceiling withcamel-loads of silks and brocades and embroidered cloths andmounds on mounds of vari-coloured carpetings; besides which heespied coins golden and silvern without measure or account, somepiled upon the ground and others bound in leathern bags andsacks. Seeing these goods and moneys in such abundance, Ali Baba determined in his mind that not during a few years only butfor many generations thieves must have stored their gains andspoils in this place. When he stood within the cave, its door hadclosed upon him, yet he was not dismayed since, he had kept inmemory the magical words; and he took no heed of the preciousstuffs around him, but applied himself only and wholly to the sacksof Ashrafis. Of these he carried out as many as he judged sufficientburthen for the beasts; then he loaded them upon his animals,and covered this plunder with sticks and fuel, so none mightdiscern the bags, but might think that he was carrying home hisusual ware. Lastly he called out, "Shut, O Simsim!" and forthwiththe door closed, for the spell so wrought that whensoever anyentered the cave, its portal shut of itself behind him; and, as heissued therefrom, the same would neither open nor close again tillhe had pronounced the words, "Shut, O Simsim!" Presently, having laden his asses Ali Baba urged them before him with all speedto the city and reaching home he drove them into the yard; and,shutting close the outer door, took down first the sticks and fueland after the bags of gold which he carried in to his wife. She felt them and finding them full of coin suspected that Ali Baba hadbeen robbing and fell to berating and blaming him for that heshould do so ill a thing. Then quoth Ali Baba to his wife:"Indeed I am no robber but rather do thourejoice with me at our good fortune." Hereupon he told her ofhis adventure and began to pour the gold from the bags in heapsbefore her, and her sight was dazzled by the sheen and her heartdelighted at his recital and adventures. Then she began countingthe gold, whereat quoth Ali Baba,"O silly woman, how long wilt thou continue turning over the coin? Now let me dig a hole whereinto hide this treasure that none may know its secret." Quoth she, "Right is thy rede! still would I weigh the moneys and have someinkling of their amount;" and he replied,"As thou pleasest, butsee thou tell no man." So she went off in haste to Kasim's hometo borrow weights and scales wherewith she might balance theAshrafis and make some reckoning of their value; and when shecould not find Kaim she said to his wife,"Lend me, I pray thee,thy scales for a moment." Replied her sister-in-law, "Hast thouneed of the bigger balance or the smaller?" and the otherrejoined, "I need not the large scales, give me the little;" andher sister-in-law cried,"Stay here a moment whilst I look aboutand find thy want." With this pretext Kasim's wife went asideand secretly smeared wax and suet over the pan of the balance,that she might know what thing it was Ali Baba's wife wouldweigh, for she made sure that whatso it be some bit thereof wouldstick to the wax and fat. So the woman took this opportunity tosatisfy her curiosity, and Ali Baba's wife suspecting naught thereofcarried home the scales and began to weigh the gold, whilst AliBaba ceased not digging; and, when the money was weighed,they twain stowed it into the hole which they carefully filled upwith earth. Then the good wife took back the scales to herkinswoman, all unknowing that an Ashrafi had adhered to thecup of the scales; but when Kasim's wife espied the gold coinshe fumed with envy and wrath, saying to herself,"So ho! theyborrowed my balance to weigh out Ashrafis?" and she marvelledgreatly whence so poor a man as Ali Baba had gotten such storeof wealth that he should be obliged to weigh it with a pair ofscales. Now after long pondering the matter, when her husband returned home at eventide, she said to him,"O man, thou deemestthyself a wight of wealth and substance, but lo, thy brother AliBaba is an Emir by the side of thee and richer far than thou art.He hath such heaps of gold that he must needs weigh his moneyswith scales, whilst thou, forsooth, art satisfied to count thy coin." "Whence knowe'st thou this?" asked Kasim, and in answer hiswife related all anent the pair of scales and how she found anAshrafi stuck to them, and shewed him the gold coin which borethe mark and superscription of some ancient king. No sleep had Kasim all that night by reason of his envy and jealousy andcovetise; and next morning he rose betimes and going to AliBaba said,"O my brother, to all appearance thou art poor andneedy; but in effect thou hast a store of wealth so abundantthat perforce thou must weigh thy gold with scales." Quoth Ali Baba,"What is this thou sayest? I understand thee not; makeclear thy purport;" and quoth Kasim with ready rage,"Feign notthat thou art ignorant of what I say and think not to deceive me." Then showing him the Ashrafi he cried,"Thousands of gold coinssuch as these thou hast put by; and meanwhile my wife foundthis one stuck to the cup of the scales." Then Ali Baba understoodhow both Kasim and his wife knew that he had store ofAshrafis, and said in his mind that it would not avail him to keepthe matter hidden, but would rather cause ill-will and mischief;and thus he was induced to tell his brother every whit concerningthe bandits and also of the treasure trove in the cave. When he had heard the story, Kasim exclaimed,"I would fain learn of thee the certainty of the place where them foundest the moneys; also the magical words whereby the door opened and closed; and Iforewarn thee an thou tell me not the whole truth, I will givenotice of those Ashrafis to the Wali;then shalt thou forfeit allthy wealth and be disgraced and thrown into gaol." ThereuponAli Baba told him his tale not forgetting the magical words; andKasim who kept careful heed of all these matters next day set out,driving ten mules he had hired, and readily found the place whichAli Baba had described to him. And when he came to the aforesaidrock and to the tree whereon Ali Baba had hidden himself,and he had made sure of the door he cried in great joy,"Open, O Simsim!" The portal yawned wide at once and Kasim wentwithin and saw the piles of jewels and treasures lying ranged allaround; and, as soon as he stood amongst them the door shutafter him as wont to do. He walked about in ecstasy marvellingat the treasures, and when weary of admiration he gatheredtogether bags of Ashrafis, a sufficient load for his ten mules, andplaced them by the entrance in readiness to be carried outside andset upon the beasts. But by the will of Allah Almighty he hadclean forgotten the cabalistic words and cried out, "Open, OBarley!" whereat the door refused to move. Astonished and confusedbeyond measure he named the names of all manner of grainssave sesame, which had slipped from his memory as though he hadnever heard the word; whereat in his dire distress he heeded not theAshrafis that lay heaped at the entrance and paced to and fro,backwards and forwards, within the cave sorely puzzled and perplexed.The wealth whose sight had erewhile filled his heart withjoy and gladness was now the cause of bitter grief and sadness. Kasini gave up all hope of the life which he by his greed and envy hadso sore imperilled. It came to pass that at noontide the robbers,returning by that way, saw from afar some mules standing beside theentrance and much they marvelled at what had brought the beaststo that place; for, inasmuch as Kasim by mischance had failed totether or hobble them, they had strayed about the jungle and werebrowsing hither and thither. However, the thieves paid scantregard to the estrays nor cared they to secure them, but onlywondered by what means they had wandered so far from thetown. Then, reaching the cave the Captain and his troop dismountedand going up to the door repeated the formula and atonce it flew open. Now Kasim had heard from within the cavethe horse-hooves drawing nigh and yet nigher; and he fell downto the ground in a fit of fear never doubting that it was the clatterof the banditti who would slaughter him without fail. Howbeit hepresently took heart of grace and at the moment when the doorflew open he rushed out hoping to make good his escape. But theunhappy ran full tilt against the Captain who stood in front of theband, and felled him to the ground; whereupon a robber standingnear his chief at once bared his brand and with one cut clave Kasimclean in twain. Thereupon the robbers rushed into the cavern, andput back as they were before the bags of Ashrafis which Kasimhad heaped up at the doorway ready for taking away; nor reckedthey aught of those which Ali Baba had removed, so dazed andamazed were they to discover by what means the strange man hadeffected an entrance. All knew that it was not possible for any todrop through the skylights so tall and steep was the rock's face,withal slippery of ascent; and also that none could enter by theportal unless he knew the magical words whereby to open it. However they presently quartered the dead body of Kasim and hung it to the door within the cavern, two parts to the right jamband as many to the left that the sight might be a warning ofapproaching doom for all who dared enter the cave. Then comingout they closed the hoard door and rode away upon their wontedwork. Now when night fell and Kasim came not home, his wifewaxed uneasy in mind and running round to Ali Baba said,"O my brother, Kasim hath not returned: thou knowest whither hewent, and sore I fear me some misfortune hath betided him." Ali Baba also divined that a mishap had happened to prevent hisreturn; not the less, however, he strove to comfort his sister-in-lawwith words of cheer and said,"O wife of my brother, Kasim haplyexerciseth discretion and, avoiding the city, cometh by a roundaboutroad and will be here anon. This, I do believe, is the reasonwhy he tarrieth." Thereupon comforted in spirit Kasim's wifefared homewards and sat awaiting her husband's return; but whenhalf the night was spent and still he came not, she was as onedistraught. She feared to cry aloud for her grief, lest haply theneighbours hearing her should come and learn the secret; so shewept in silence and upbraiding herself fell to thinking,"Wherefore did I disclose this secret to him and beget envy and jealousy ofAli Baba? this be the fruit thereof and hence the disaster that hathcome down upon me." She spent the rest of the night in bittertears and early on the morrow hied in hottest hurry to Ali Babaand prayed that he would go forth in quest of his brother; so hestrove to console her and straightway set out with his asses for theforest. Presently, reaching the rock he wondered to see stains ofblood freshly shed and not finding his brother or the ten mules heforefelt a calamity from so evil a sign. He then went to the door and saving,"Open, O Simsim!" he pushed in and saw thedead body of Kasim, two parts hanging to the right, and the rest to the left of the entrance. Albeit he was affrighted beyondmeasure of affright he wrapped the quarters in two cloths and laidthem upon one of his asses, hiding them carefully with sticks andfuel that none might see them. Then he placed the bags of goldupon the two other animals and likewise covered them mostcarefully; and, when all was made ready he closed the cave-doorwith the magical words, and set him forth wending homewards withall ward and watchfulness. The asses with the load of Ashrafis hemade over to his wife and bade her bury the bags with diligence;but he told her not the condition in which he had come upon hisbrother Kasim, Then he went with the other ass, to wit, the beastwhereon was laid the corpse to the widow's house and knockedgently at the door. Now Kasim had a slave-girl shrewd andsharp-witted, Morgiana hight. She as softly undid the bolt andadmitted Ali Baba and the ass into the courtyard of the house,when he let down the body from the beast's back and said,"O Morgiana, haste thee and make thee ready to perform the rites forthe burial of thy lord: I now go to tell the tidings to thy mistressand I will quickly return to help thee in this matter." At that instant Kasim's widow seeing her brother-in-law, exclaimed,"OAli Baba, what news bringest thou of my spouse? Alas, I seegrief tokens written upon thy countenance. Say quickly whathath happened." Then he recounted to her how it had fared withher husband and how he had been slain by the robbers and in whatwise he had brought home the dead body. Ali Baba pursued:"O my lady, what was to happen hath happened, but it behoveth us to keep this matter secret, for that our livesdepend upon privacy." She wept with sore weeping and made answer,"It hath fared with my husband according to the fiat ofFate; and now for thy safety's sake I give thee my word to keepthe affair concealed." He replied, "Naught can avail when Allahhath decreed. Rest thee in patience; until the days of thywidowhood be accomplisht; after which time I will take thee towife, and thou shalt live in comfort and happiness; and fear notl


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