Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves

As you have read, our dad was a fabulous storyteller. He used different voices, engaged us in the story and was very animated with his delivery.

Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves (1944 film)

One of our favorites was “Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves”. He taught us the lines said before entering the cave and the lines when leaving. When he got to the part where Ali Baba was going into the cave, we would all join in with “Open Sesame”. Dad taught us to say it in an especially loud and deep voice to make sure that it would work in opening the way into the cave. Upon departure we would all say, “Close Sesame”.

As a small child, it did sound very much like “open says me”. My sister Abby and I got a real kick out of that!

The three of us would be together on the bed or the couch and Dad would regale us with all the classics. He taught us to use our imaginations and we can still paint a picture in our minds when reading. He continued this tradition with the grandchildren and I know they treasure those special times as much as Abby and I do.

Where was Mother during the storytelling? She was busy pretending that she had no children and was as free as a bird. The truth is she did not enjoy using her imagination unless it pertained to her. When Abby and I would say “Open sesame”, she thought we were doing some kind of voodoo. Mother did not enjoy the classics and chose to ignore our raucous laughter at the simple phrase (and at her reaction to it).

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