ali baba and the 40 thieves

(for my father, on his birthday)

"Please tell us another story", we'd beg. "One more story".

"Okay, one more. But you have to sleep afterwards."

My siblings and I know the routine. Night after night, its always the same. My father would tell us a story, we'd beg for one more. And we already know what the story will be. We've heard of Ali Baba's adventures a thousand times, each time slightly different than the other, but the ending is always the same.

"Open sesame. Close sesame", we'd chant loudly, as if we really were in front of a magical cave with hidden treasures inside it.

* * *
This storytelling time with my father will always be one my cherished memories. My childhood is not all fairytale and happy, there were times when I'd wish I was born somewhere else, when I'd wish that I had a different family, but those moments with all of us together in the same room, our breaths held in anticipation as Ali Baba tries to outwit and trick the thieves, those precious moments before we'd each go to our rooms and dream our individual dreams, is as close to perfect as it could get.

So close to perfect that even now, years later, I can still see all 5 of us kids crowding in my parents bed, I can still hear our sighs as the story reaches its happy ending, I can still feel the giddiness, the excitement that comes with believing in magic, even when reality tells you otherwise.

Happy birthday, Pa! Thank you for everything that you do for all of us. Thank you for being you.

With all my love, Odessa.


  1. What a lovely tribute to your father. Thank you for sharing this beautiful memory. Smiling, JP/deb

  2. To Ms. Odessa

    I have read some of your posts. Your writings has the flavour of simplicity and the taste of pleasure. I liked it.

    If you like short stories and paintings, then a flying visit to my blogs would be a good idea.

    Naval Langa

  3. Thanks for sharing this story with us.

  4. :) I know that quality that certain pieces of the past have.

    Random question: were you named after the city?

  5. january, thanks!

    cuileann, yes. the city in ukraine, not the one in texas :)

  6. naval langa, thanks for wandering over here and welcome. i look forward to visiting your site soon.