Jussuf Abdul Ben Ulemma, called Jussuf for short, was a carrier in Baghdad who eked out a living for himself, lived in Allah and emulated the Prophet. Old Jussuf had just one unpleasant habit: he liked spying, put his hand on everything, looked into everything, and every now and again found things in his pocket which he very rightly claimed were not his. But he was not "the great thief of Baghdad"; he was merely a very small one. Once he found an iron box in the courtyard of the caliph who had recently died and he just chanced to find the key to it as well. "Oh, misfortune on all caliphs!" - the box was empty. But he suddently threw himself on the ground and called on all the prophets. A genie arose up out of the box breathing a sigh of relief: "You have freed me from this iron prison; I shall therefore give you a present of the magic word "Abracadabra!" Thus spake the genie and disappeared. Jussuf leapt into an empty oil jar, tried out the magic word and, sure enough, found himself flying swiftly over all the roofs of Baghdad in the direction of home. Once he had arrived, he first got a beating from his wife for having been away for so long. But straight away he did a bit of conjuring with "Abracadabra" and a magnificent breakfast appeared on the table with all imaginable trimmings. "That's the life!" sighed the carrier ecstatically. But he whispered softly: "If it weren't for the wife!" Because, despite the piles of gold that he produced by magic, he got beatings morning, noon and night. So Jussuf decided to lead a double life. He did so for two reasons. Firstly because his sudden wealth gave rise to suspicion as he was known to be a thief and pickpocket. Secondly because his wife was souring his life. Without her knowing it, he flew in his oil jar during the daytime to Damascus, where he had built himself a house made of gold in which the diamonds and jewels were lying in heaps. And here he lived like a scheich in the seventh heaven. Here in Damascus he was "rich Jussuf"; back in Baghdad "poor Jussuf". Here he was the omnipotent master of his destiny; there he was a henpecked husband. This was a double life if ever there was one, and his soul revelled in it. Here the most delicious foods and caresses; there the inevitable beatings. There was just one tiny problem: he was deeply attached to the wretched bits and pieces he owned in Baghdad rather as a child clings to trifling objects and mementos. So he expressed the wish to have all his Baghdad possessions with him in his golden palace in Damaskus. - "Abracadabra", double everything I have in Bagdad! - Please! Jussuf smiled in anticipation. He was lying on a silken divan, beautiful odalisques cooling the air with their fans, just having his third helping of hashish when his order arrived - a double set of goods from Baghdad. -
"Almighty Allah!!! Oh, cat-of-nine-tails!!! What is this???" The final double portion that arrived was his wife, who tore in like two hellcats.