Saturday, November 29, 2008

Dedication/Ali Baba and the Forty Theives

Hi, everyone. I'm Jacob Dailes (P.S. Jacob's a stage name. I love the Brothers Grimm, so I just picked one and used his first name). I LOVE legends/myths/folklore from around the world. I love Sarah Beth Durst. So basically I'm a "myth-o-maniac".

Anyways... I was recently reading the Arabian Nights, and here's my summary/commentary of:

Ali Baba and the Forty Theives (The One-Thousand-and-One Arabian Nights)

Once Upon a Time... This poor guy named Ali Baba lives in Baghdad and has to cut wood to make a living.

I'm just wondering, how much did wood really cost back then.

One day, Ali Baba is lost in the forest, and ends up hiding in a tree when forty criminals appear from the edge of the forest and all gather in front of a rock.

In most versions of this story, Ali Baba leaves his donkey down on the ground. And somehow the theives don't notice that donkey braying and looking up in a tree.

As Ali watches, the leader shouts "Open Sesame"...

Not Sesame Street!

... and the rock explodes to reveal a cavern full of gold, precious metals, and jewels. The theives go in, put their treasure down, and leave. The leader shouts, "Close Sesame" and the rock miraculously reforms, covering the mouth of the treasure cavern. The theives run off to kill some more people and steal some more treasure.

Get out of there while you can, Ali!

Ali opens the cavern as the theives had, and packs up huge amounts of treasure, before closing the cavern and running home as fast as he can.

What happens when the police are looking for the treasure and find him with some. "Sir, where did you get this treasure?" "I found it in a magical underground room inhabited by forty robbers."

When Ali gets home and tells his wife what happened, she runs to their neighbor/Ali's brother Cassim's house, and borrows his "magic" measuring cup. Some honey drips on the bottom of the cup though, and as Ali and his wife are measuring their loot, a peice of gold sticks to the cup.

Oh no, Ali! Did I mention his brother is rich and greedy!

When Cassim discovers this, Ali is interrogated, and tells Cassim the whole story. Cassim goes to the cavern, fills his pockets, but while in the cavern, the rock some how re-materializes, and Cassim forgets the magic words. The theives soon arrive. They see Cassim's donkey and realize someone is there.

But they didn't see Ali's!

They go inside, kill Cassim, hack up his body, and hang it up outside as a warning to all tresspassers.

1. Cassim never thought to hide!
2. Ewwwwwwwwwwwwww!!!

Ali becomes worried when his brother does not return, and goes back to the cave. He lugs the body home and buries it.

Uh, hello Ali. Don't you think the thieves are going to notice that their bloody, hacked up victim is gone.

The theives notice that their bloody, hacked up victim is gone.

Told you!

The leader bribes a guy to find out who it is that took Cassim's body. Ali ends up the prime suspect. The leader goes to his house one day and marks his door with an X, intending to come back at night and... well, you can probably guess. Ali's best friend and maid, Morgiana, is the only one who notices this and marks an X on every door in Baghdad, confusing the theives that night.

Score one for the maid! Yay! Also, she's the only one who noticed!

The leader comes back another night with forty jars.

Hmm. Forty jars. Forty theives. Definitly no resemblence.

The leader tells Ali he is a merchant and that the jars are full of oil. Not theives. Oil. He's lying through his teeth.

Knew it! Also, I hope he's wearing a disquise.

Morgiana, still the only smart one in the family, discovers the trick, and turns the tables on the leader. She prepares a vat of burning oil and pours in each of the forty jars, killing the theives.

You're an idiot if you haven't caught on by now. Just sayin'.Also, Morgiana has two points now.

Then, Morgiana dresses up like a hot belly dancer, with a knife hidden in her cape. She dances in front of Ali and the leader, and pulls the leader up against her, stabbing him. He dies.

I guess I didn't really need to add that last sentence. Also, so far Morgiana has three points! We have the winner of the "Who's the Smartest Person in this Story" Contest!

Ali peices everything together, and rewards Morgiana with large sums of cash. Everyone lives happily ever after.

Except for the theives who are probably still on fire.

If you want to see my idol, Sarah Beth Durst's blog/website:

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