So this will be about a story we have all heard, perhaps, time and again. It is Ali Baba and the forty thieves.
As we may have all read, or heard, Alibaba was a younger brother to Cassim, both sons to a merchant. After the death of their father, Cassim’s greed leads his heart to a wealthy lady to get married to whiles Alibaba settles as a woodcutter, marrying a poor woman.
One day, as Ali Baba went out and about attending to the duties of his job description somewhere in the woods, he happen to eavesdrop on the conversation of some forty thieves pertaining to how they keep their ‘spoils’ hidden – it was secret code to opening a cave where their treasures of gold lay hidden.
When the thieves were long gone, Ali Baba, surreptitiously paid homage to the cave, uttering the words ‘Open Sesame’. Just like magic, the cave opened for him enter, and marvelling at the enormous wealth he beheld, he only left with a single bag of gold coins.
Returning home, he borrowed the scale of his brother’s wife to measure the wealth he brought home, but cunningly informs his in-law that it is for weighing grains. For ‘sheege’ reasons, Cassim’s wife puts a wax on the scale to know what quality of grains her husband’s poor brother is into. To her chagrin, Ali Baba returned the scale with a coin of gold stuck in it.
She then pressures her husband to find out from his brother where he had found this ‘blessing from the gods’. Just like a contagious disease, Cassim infects his brother with the pressure he was receiving at home on his bedside. Feeling the heat, Ali Baba reveals the secret to his brother leading him where Hades will locate him.
Cassim, once in, decided to load as many wealth and treasure he could carry – in fact, could not carry. After gathering all the wealth, he forgot the magical words that will have to make the cave open. It was in this state of figuring out what the words were that the ruthless thieves found their ‘meal’. They butchered him well, severing his parts at the entrance and within the cave to serve as a warning to any other who may know the secret code to their hiding place.
Wondering why his brother has kept all of eternity at the cave, Ali Baba went to find out for himself what may be the cause. He returns with his body parts to his home and arranges with one of his late brother’s clever slave girls, Morgiana, to offer a befitting burial to Cassim.
Morgiana purchases medicine from an apothecary, informing him Cassim is incredibly ill. She then finds an old tailor who is later blindfolded and led to where he sew the body parts.
To cut a short tale shorter, the thieves realised the body they had severed was gone, meaning someone else knew the secret to their cave. After two unsuccessful attempts, the leader of the thieves decides to attack Ali Baba himself, disguising himself as a merchant who trades in oil, bringing along large jars of oil. The jars were rather occupied by the other thieves. Morgiana helps to eliminate these ‘honest’ men killing them with hot oil. She later stabs the leader of the thieves at a dinner and reveals who exactly he was and all that had happened to Ali Baba.
Ali Baba rewards her with marriage to his son and he remained the only one who knew the secret to the cave that had so much wealth, rich ever after.
I guess the moral lesson of this Arabian folklore is well echoed. It basically informs us on how greed can destroy and kill us. It also informs us on the need to be content with what we have. I am sure there are more moral lessons we can have from this story.
My name is Kotey, and hey, greed kills, so watch it!