In a certain town in Persia there lived, once upon a time, two brothers. Their names were Cassim and All Baba, and when their father died all he had was divided between them, so they both started life with the same fortune.
But before very long Cassim married a rich wife, and Ali Baba married a poor one; so while Cassim lived like a lord and did nothing, Ali Baba had to work hard for his living, Every day he went to cut wood in the forest, loaded his three horses with it, and then brought it back to sell in the town.
Now one day, while All Baba was in the forest, he noticed, far off, a great cloud of dust, and as it came nearer he saw that the dust was made by a company of men galloping along.
"These must be robbers," said Ali Baba to himself, trembling.
Quick as thought he hid his horses and climbed into a tree to see what would happen. The tree into which he had climbed stood near a great rock, and when the robbers came under this tree they all dismounted and began to take off their saddle-bags. These were so heavy that Ali Baba guessed that they must be filled with gold.
Then the Captain of the band went up to the rock, and in a loud voice said, "Open Sesame."
To Ali Baba's surprise, a door which was hidden in the rock slowly swung open, and the whole band of robbers marched in. In a few minutes they came out again, and the Captain shouted, "Shut Sesame." The door at once closed behind them, and no one could have guessed that there was any opening in the solid rock.
As soon as the robbers had mounted and ridden off, All Baba climbed quickly down, and as he remembered the words he had heard, he too went up to the rock and cried, "Open Sesame."
The door swung open, just as it had done before, and All Baba walked in. He found himself in a huge cave piled up with rich wares and great bags of gold and silver, which must have taken hundreds of years to collect. With great care he chose six bags full of gold, and with these he loaded his horses, covering the bags with bundles of wood to hide them. Then he cried aloud, "Shut Sesame," and the door closed without a sound, and there was no trace of the opening left.
Now when Ali Baba arrived home, and his wife saw the bags of gold she looked at him most sorrowfully. "O my husband," she cried, "can it be that thou past become a—"
"No, I am not a thief," interrupted All Baba, "although these are indeed stolen goods." And he told her of his adventure in the cave, and how he had found the gold...