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This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 414 pages of information about The Blue Fairy Book.

The King promised him a great sum of money upon that condition.  Little Thumb was as good as his word, and returned that very same night with the news; and, this first expedition causing him to be known, he got whatever he pleased, for the King paid him very well for carrying his orders to the army.  After having for some time carried on the business of a messenger, and gained thereby great wealth, he went home to his father, where it was impossible to express the joy they were all in at his return.  He made the whole family very easy, bought places for his father and brothers, and, by that means, settled them very handsomely in the world, and, in the meantime, made his court to perfection.[1]

[1] Charles Perrault.

THE FORTY THIEVES

In a town in Persia there dwelt two brothers, one named Cassim, the other Ali Baba.  Cassim was married to a rich wife and lived in plenty, while Ali Baba had to maintain his wife and children by cutting wood in a neighboring forest and selling it in the town.  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.  The finest man among them, whom Ali Baba took to be their captain, went a little way among some bushes, and said:  “Open, Sesame!"[1] so plainly that Ali Baba heard him.  A door opened in the rocks, and having made the troop go in, he followed them, and the door shut again of itself.  They stayed some time inside, and Ali Baba, fearing they might come out and catch him, was forced to sit patiently in the tree.  At last the door opened again, and the Forty Thieves came out.  As the Captain went in last he came out first, and made them all pass by him; he then closed the door, saying:  “Shut, Sesame!” Every man bridled his horse and mounted, the Captain put himself at their head, and they returned as they came.

[1] Sesame is a kind of grain.

Then Ali Baba climbed down and went to the door concealed among the bushes, and said:  “Open, Sesame!” and it flew open.  Ali Baba, who expected a dull, dismal place, was greatly surprised to find it large and well lighted, hollowed by the hand of man in the form of a vault, which received the light from an opening in the ceiling.  He saw rich bales of merchandise—­silk, stuff-brocades, all piled together, and gold and silver in heaps, and money in leather purses.  He went in and the door shut behind him.  He did not look at the silver, but brought out as many bags of gold as he thought his asses, which were browsing outside, could carry, loaded them with the bags, and hid it all with fagots.  Using the words:  “Shut, Sesame!” he closed the door and went home.

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