One Thousand and One Arabian HubNuggets

Image by Enelle Lamb
Image by Enelle Lamb

The palace was settling down for the night, and a cool evening breeze stirred the silk curtains, lending a tranquil air to the bride chamber. The Sultan Shahriar, reclined amongst the pillows, watching his new bride Sheherazade. As a result of the first Sultaness' unfaithfulness, he had sworn on his soul to marry a virgin every day and have her killed the next morning.

The Sultan's grand Visier's eldest daughter, Sheherazade, had a design to end the barbarity of the Sultan and return the kingdom to its once blessed peace, and begged her father to present her as the Sultan's new bride.

On the night of her wedding, she begged the Sultan to allow her sister to attend as she wanted to bid her farewell in the morning, Unbeknown to her bridegroom, Sheherazade bid her sister to wake her an hour before day break with these words; "My sister, if you be not asleep, I pray you that, till daybreak, you will relate one of the delightful stories of which you have read so many."

Her sister did as she was bid, and upon hearing those words Sheherazade asked the Sultan for permission to grant her sister's last request of her. He consented and Sheherazade began to speak.

Mood Music

Enelle-Baba and the Forty Thieves

Long, long ago, in a certain town in Persia, there lived two brothers - a wealthy brother named KoffeeKlatch-Assim, and a poor brother, Enelle-Baba. One day as Enelle-Baba was in the forest chopping fire wood to sell, he saw an immense cloud of dust in the distance. As he watched it getting closer, he could discern a large band of men on horseback riding hard in his direction. Thinking they might be robbers, he hid his donkey and climbed high into a tall tree growing out of the rocky mountainside and concealed himself among the branches.

No sooner was he hidden than the band of men arrived at the foot of the tree. They tied up their animals and made their way, single file through the bushes until they stood at the base of the mountainside. The robber captain, whose name was Jason-Houssain, spoke aloud.

"OPEN SESAME!" he called, and a boulder moved aside revealing a doorway into the mountain. One by one the robbers walked through the doorway, and when the last man had entered, the boulder shut behind him.

Enelle-Baba patiently stayed where he was, thinking it was safer to wait until the robbers had left before coming down from his perch. It was a good thing, because very shortly the door slid open again and the robbers trooped out. Saddling their horses, they surveyed the area, and finding nothing out of place, Jason-Houssain called, "SHUT SESAME!", and they rode back the way they had come.

Enelle-Baba waited until the robbers were a good distance away before climbing down. Curious, he walked to the boulder and called, "OPEN SESAME!" The door slid aside, revealing a narrow stone staircase leading down into the mountainside. Gathering his courage, Enelle-Baba followed the path of the robbers, the door closing after him.

He marveled that even as he went deeper, the way was well lit, and showed jar upon jar of jewels and coins on the stairway. One jar in particular caught his attention. It was full to the brim with jewel encrusted scrolls. Grabbing the jar, Enelle-Baba retraced his steps.

The door opened and Enelle-Baba left the cave. He spoke the words, "SHUT SESAME!" The door slid shut, he loaded his mule with the jar, and covering it with the firewood to conceal his treasure, he rode as fast as he could for home. When he arrived, KoffeeKlatch-Assim helped him unload the firewood. When the jar was exposed, Enelle-Baba told his brother the tale of what happened and showed him the jewel encrusted scrolls.

One by one the brothers opened the scrolls...

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image by ProCW

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"I do not like this story," Sultan Shahriar announced.

"Forgive me husband, perhaps if I were to change the names, the story would be more appealing, and I will be able to grant my sister's last request of me." Sheherazade said.

"Very well, continue," answered the Sultan, who in all honesty was quite intrigued, and wanted to hear more.

Red-Elf-Baba and the Forty Thieves

RedElf-Baba and his brother ripplemaker-Assim were overjoyed with their good fortune, and having made use of the wonderful scrolls, they sold the jewels and bought food and goods for the week, vowing to return to the cave.

However, before they could make their return trip, their good neighbour stopped in with the local news and gossip. He explained to the brothers that the shopkeepers in the marketplace had noticed a new group of traders, and that they seemed very shady. Many of the shops refused to trade with the men as they were worried that their shop's reputations would suffer. They also mentioned that the strangers wanted to know if anyone had been trading expensive jewels or scrolls.

The brothers thanked their neighbour and decided to go to the marketplace to see if these new traders were the robbers that RedElf-Baba had seen. Ripplemaker-Assim was the first to see the strangers, and called to his brother, on the pretext of examining some beautiful hand-crafted rugs. RedElf-Baba immediately recognized the captain of the robbers, Maddie-Houssain. The brothers wandered from shop to shop, casually looking at the merchandise, and occasionally making small purchases to cover up their real intention.

With their goods in hand, the pair said their goodbyes and returned to their home. Once inside, ripplemaker-Assim implored his brother not to return to the cave for fear of being discovered and killed, but RedElf-Baba reassured him that he would carefully follow the robbers, and when he was sure they had left, only then would he enter the cave under the cover of darkness.

RedElf-Baba set out once more to the marketplace to visit with his friends, and carefully kept a close eye on the robbers. When they had all departed, he gathered his mule and set out on a different route where he could still watch the robbers and appear to be a simple tradesman earning his keep. He followed the robbers, making sure they didn't see him, and watched as they entered the cave. He waited until they emerged again, and cleverly counted each one to be sure they had all left.

As the last one left, RedElf-Baba had only counted 38, and having previously counted 40 men, he settled down to wait for the last two. After a very long time had passed, the last two robbers emerged, and after carefully searching the area for spies, (but not seeing RedElf-Baba, who was very well hidden,) rode away in the same direction as before.

Only after the robbers were tiny dots lost in the cloud of dust, did RedElf-Baba rise up from his hiding place and make his way to the mountain cave. He repeated the secret words that he remembered from his first visit, and entered the robbers secret hiding place.

Again, he spotted a jar overflowing with jewel encrusted scrolls, more beautiful and ornate than the first one, and another full of coins. Gathering up his booty, he quickly left, taking great care to close the boulder behind him. Stealthily, he loaded his mule, and quietly led him away from the cave. He covered their footprints so his secret route would not be found, and raced for home.

Ripplemaker-Assim was waiting in the stable for his brother's return, and after helping him to unload the mule, told him of a strange happening. When he had returned to their home after visiting the marketplace, he noticed a red 'X' marked on the bottom corner of their door. Not knowing what it meant, but sure that it was not a good thing, he told his brother that he had gone to several of the neighbouring homes and placed an identical mark on each of their doors.

RedElf-Baba congratulated his brother on his quick thinking, and the two of them again opened the scrolls...

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"I do not like this tale!" The Sultan said. "I cannot understand these strange names! Change them and continue with your story, or your life will be forfeit!"

"Most humble apologies, my Sultan," said Sheherazade bowing low, "I will change them forthwith."

P.I.-Baba and the Forty Thieves

Having used the scrolls once again, P.I.-Baba and his brother Ladyjane-Assim sold the jewels and purchased more goods and food for their home. When their transactions were finalized, the merchant offered them refreshments and liking the pair, told them of a stranger who had been asking questions about the jewels. He told the brothers that the man was an oil merchant, and said he was wanting to trade with the wealthy man who had such lustrous jewels in his possession that he could afford to sell them so freely.

The merchant apologized, saying that he had told the stranger where to find the home of P.I.-Baba, and that the oil seller said he would call on P.I.-Baba later in the day. The brothers thanked the merchant, gathered their purchases and left for home. Along the way they decided that they would devise a plan when the oil seller arrived.

They didn't have long to wait before the oil merchant called at their home. He arrived with several wagons laden with oil jars, introduced himself as Simone-Houssain and explained to the brothers how he was wanting to conduct business with them as they were so well thought of in the town, and obviously quite wealthy.

Ladyjane-Assim thanked Simone-Houssain and offered to have the man stable his horses and unload his wares, telling him that they would be honored to do business with such a well mannered and polite businessman such as he. P.I.-Baba agreed with his brother, and extended their hospitality, offering their guest a place to stay for the night and welcomed him to share their supper.

After the food was cleared, the three men struck a deal for the oil, and the merchant was shown to his room. Before he retired for the night, Simone-Houssain asked to look in on his horses, and went to the stables. Along his way, he stopped at each oil jar and tapped the top, saying, "I will call you when all is quiet."

P.I.-Baba's servant saw this and immediately told his master what he had seen. After the merchant had returned to his room to sleep, P.I.-Baba and Ladyjane-Assim snuck into the courtyard and approached the first oil jar. They were startled to hear a voice asking them, "Is it time?" Thinking quickly P.I.-Baba answered, "No, but presently." The brothers went to each jar in turn and were asked the same question, to which they gave the same reply.

Finding the last jar, they discovered this one contained oil and P.I.-Baba immediately hatched a plan. He decided to boil the oil, and pour it in each of the other jars to kill the robbers, as they had realized that these men were here to dispatch both them, and their families.

One by one, the brothers poured the oil into the remaining jars, and killed the robbers. They then crept up the stairs to the merchants room, and throwing open the door saw with their own eyes the merchant was none other than the robber captain. Brandishing their scimitars, P.I.-Baba and Ladyjane-Assim soundly beat the scoundrel and chased him out of their home, threatening his life if he ever returned.

The next morning, the brothers returned to the cave, knowing that the scoundrel had been thoroughly chastised and would not be returning. P.I.-Baba spoke the magic words and they entered the cave without any fear. They once again gathered up a jar of jeweled scrolls and several others of coins.

Not fearing any intruders, they opened the scrolls...

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Image by ProCW

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Sheherazade concluded her story and shyly asked the Sultan if he would like to hear another tale, as there was still some time before morning prayers. The Sultan, who was not displeased with her story, agreed with her request...but that is for another hub...

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Comments 18 comments

Patty Inglish, MS profile image

Patty Inglish, MS 5 years ago from North America

Fantastic stories from Sheherazade all three times and a lot of high quality Hubs to read! Read, voted, rated, and marvelled.

(Watch for the forthcming summer replacement detective drama 'PI-Baba and LadyJane-Assim in Paris.')


Enelle Lamb profile image

Enelle Lamb 5 years ago from Canada's 'California' Author

I'm sure it will be a block-buster event! Thanks for reading and voting :D am most pleased you enjoyed my tale :D


Simone Smith profile image

Simone Smith 5 years ago from San Francisco

Oooooh! What an adventure! This was such a fun read. And I love a happy ending :D And the nominees are particularly splendid this week!! Hurrah!


Enelle Lamb profile image

Enelle Lamb 5 years ago from Canada's 'California' Author

It certainly is fun to see what adventures we have every week :D and this was a lot of fun to write. I agree - the nominees are excellent!! Congrats to all of them - don't forget to read and vote, vote, vote!!


KoffeeKlatch Gals profile image

KoffeeKlatch Gals 5 years ago from Sunny Florida

Enelle, what a great adventure. I love going on adventures with you guys. There were some great nominees. Read, enjoyed and voted.


Enelle Lamb profile image

Enelle Lamb 5 years ago from Canada's 'California' Author

Awesome KKG, we wouldn't want to go without you!! Thanks for voting :D I know it was tough, they are all just so good!!


ripplemaker profile image

ripplemaker 5 years ago from Cebu, Philippines

Enelle, I was grinning to ear as I sat here reading glued to the screen.... hehehe okay on my way to cheer our nominees, and come back to vote, of course....OPEN SESAME... :)


Enelle Lamb profile image

Enelle Lamb 5 years ago from Canada's 'California' Author

Sim sala-bim ripplemaker-Assim!


ripplemaker profile image

ripplemaker 5 years ago from Cebu, Philippines

I'm back...done with reading and voting! I am sure the sultan enjoyed these hubs and the story of course. Congratulations to all the nominees! Have a great weekend everyone. SHUT SESAME!!! :D


CJ Andrews profile image

CJ Andrews 5 years ago from Norwalk, Ohio

This was interesting. A lot of good writing and thanks for the nomination. I never knew this was around. Something new everyday around here :)


Enelle Lamb profile image

Enelle Lamb 5 years ago from Canada's 'California' Author

I'm glad you are enjoying the experience CJ. Congratulations on your nomination :D now get out there and vote vote vote :D


Krysanthe profile image

Krysanthe 5 years ago from Bloomington, Illinois

What a great read! It was so enjoyable. Have to admit, I loved the mood music.

Voted! :)

Thanks so much for the nomination. I never knew this existed. ONE of these day I may learn it all...nah, doubt it.


cardelean profile image

cardelean 5 years ago from Michigan

Great selections as always! Read and voted.


Enelle Lamb profile image

Enelle Lamb 5 years ago from Canada's 'California' Author

Thanks Krysanthe, so pleased you enjoyed it :D...I love the mood music too :D Hearty congratulations on your nomination!!

I agree cardelean, It was tough to choose!


Mrs. Menagerie profile image

Mrs. Menagerie 5 years ago from The Zoo

Whew! Voted. It is so hard to pick just one (per group.)

Great story!


Londonlady profile image

Londonlady 5 years ago

The title of this hub had me hooked, haha. Also, I love the creative "writing-dividers" they are really ingenious! I usually just used the dashed lines, but this is a much better idea. Great hub, voted UP :)


RedElf profile image

RedElf 5 years ago from Canada

Super hub, as always, Enelle-Baba! Loved the whole story, as well as the way you wove in the HubNuggets!

Congratulations to all the nominees!


Enelle Lamb profile image

Enelle Lamb 5 years ago from Canada's 'California' Author

Mrs. Menagerie, I know what you mean! It keeps getting harder and harder to vote for just one in each category! The nominees are great!!

Londonlady, the title was the easiest part of the hub! I "borrowed" the writing dividers idea from Patty Inglish and RedElf, cause I loved the look :D

Thanks RedElf, it was difficult to choose which story I wanted to do (of the 1001 Arabian Nights collection.)

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