“Abu Ali planned to climb Sulkpot’s garden wall, hide himself until Silver Bud came out for her daily walk around the lily pond, and then invite her to escape with him over the garden wall” (Langley, 47).
So it starts with Abu Ali arriving in Samarkand. Where he meets Khayyam, a tent-maker. He’s a bit silly and doesn’t seem to make much sense, but Abu Ali likes him and trusts him. (I wasn’t sure why, since he got lost finding his own door which he was already in front of. But he does have a nice attitude, regardless of his bumbling. So there’s that.) That aside, I did like him. So there’s also that.
As Abu Ali gets acquainted, he learns from Khayyam that Silver Bud’s father is a bad sort and especially that,
“‘The old rogue is terrified she’ll fall in love with a some upright lad of no account, like you or sometimes even me. Whereas he intends to marry her to a Prince!’” (45).
Where have I heard that before?
Despite the different circumstances, it’s remarkably similar to Jasmine’s problem in Aladdin; she has to marry a prince. She can’t marry just anyone. In the Disney movie, it’s just a stupid law that Jasmine’s father can change, while here it’s Silver Bud’s father’s elitism.
Speaking of him, what kind of name is that: Sulkpot Ben Nagnag? Odd name. Everyone sure has very pun-like or unusual names.
Ah, and speaking of princes… I love, love, love! how Khayyam didn’t believe Abu Ali was a prince. I thought: why not? It’ll make an interesting plot twist. Everyone’s going to think he’s just an enterprising nobody like his father was. And that just amuses me too much.
There’s also a short scene where the Princes arrive in Samarkand. Upon seeing their rival, Small Slave concocts a plan to interfere with Abu Ali’s attempt to see Silver Bud by replacing his steed with a donkey. He thinks of everything, I see.
Once he does, Rubdub immediately declares “ ‘Isn’t that exactly what I just said? …Put it into effect, Small Slave!’” (57). No, no it wasn’t; it wasn’t even your idea. Also, Rubdub has another character trait — he’s lazy and would rather let others do work for him. That’s not encouraging trait to add onto his obesity.
Anyway, the plan works and I loved Abu Ali’s insistence not to be beaten by a unruly donkey. First the donkey sits down and knocks both Abu Ali and Khayyam off his back. Then Abu Ali tries this solurion:
“‘This time you get on first,’ he said to Omar Khayyam, ‘and I’ll stay here to stop him, if he tries to sit down again!’
‘Very well!’ said Omar Khayyam, and climbed cautiously onto the donkey, which immediately sat down again, this time on Abu Ali”
“‘Perhaps, after all, we’d get there just as soon by foot,’ said Omar Khayyam, when he had helped Abu Ali to his feet.
‘No!’ said Abu Ali, as soon as he got his breath back. ‘I refuse to be beaten! Give me a tack!’” (49). (emphasis mine)
His plan works, since the donkey wasn’t expecting a tack and off they shot to Silver Bud’s home and into the fifth chapter, next week.
.Langley, Noel. The Land of Green Ginger. Jeffrey, NH: David R. Godine Publisher, 1975. Print.