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Contents > Author > Sara Cone Bryant > The Gingerbread Man 1873- Unknown
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Sara Cone Bryant
The Gingerbread Man
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[I have tried to give this story in the most familiar form; it
varies a good deal in the hands of different story-tellers, but
this is substantially the version I was "brought up on." The
form of the ending was suggested to me by the story in Carolyn
Bailey's For the Children's Hour (Milton Bradley Co.).]


Once upon a time there was a little old
woman and a little old man, and they
lived all alone in a little old house. They
hadn't any little girls or any little boys,
at all. So one day, the little old woman
made a boy out of gingerbread; she made
him a chocolate jacket, and put cinnamon
seeds in it for buttons; his eyes were made
of fine, fat currants; his mouth was made
of rose-colored sugar; and he had a gay
little cap of orange sugar-candy. When
the little old woman had rolled him out,
and dressed him up, and pinched his
gingerbread shoes into shape, she put him in
a pan; then she put the pan in the oven
and shut the door; and she thought, "Now
I shall have a little boy of my own."

When it was time for the Gingerbread
Boy to be done she opened the oven door
and pulled out the pan. Out jumped the
little Gingerbread Boy on to the floor, and
away he ran, out of the door and down the
street! The little old woman and the little
old man ran after him as fast as they could,
but he just laughed, and shouted,--

"Run! run! as fast as you can!
"You can't catch me, I'm the Gingerbread Man!"

And they couldn't catch him.

The little Gingerbread Boy ran on and
on, until he came to a cow, by the roadside.
"Stop, little Gingerbread Boy," said
the cow; "I want to eat you." The little
Gingerbread Boy laughed, and said,--

"I have run away from a little old woman,
"And a little old man,
"And I can run away from you, I can!"

And, as the cow chased him, he looked
over his shoulder and cried,--

"Run! run! as fast as you can!
"You can't catch me, I'm the Gingerbread Man!"

And the cow couldn't catch him.

The little Gingerbread Boy ran on, and
on, and on, till he came to a horse, in
the pasture. "Please stop, little Gingerbread
Boy," said the horse, "you look very
good to eat." But the little Gingerbread
Boy laughed out loud. "Oho! oho!" he
said,--

"I have run away from a little old woman,
"A little old man,
"A cow,
"And I can run away from you, I can!"

And, as the horse chased him, he looked
over his shoulder and cried,--

"Run! run! as fast as you can!
"You can't catch me, I'm the Gingerbread Man!"

And the horse couldn't catch him.

By and by the little Gingerbread Boy
came to a barn full of threshers. When
the threshers smelled the Gingerbread Boy,
they tried to pick him up, and said, "Don't
run so fast, little Gingerbread Boy; you
look very good to eat." But the little
Gingerbread Boy ran harder than ever, and as
he ran he cried out,--

"I have run away from a little old woman,
"A little old man,
"A cow,
"A horse,
"And I can run away from you, I can!"

And when he found that he was ahead
of the threshers, he turned and shouted
back to them,--

"Run! run! as fast as you can!
"You can't catch me, I'm the Gingerbread Man!"

And the threshers couldn't catch him.

Then the little Gingerbread Boy ran
faster than ever. He ran and ran until he
came to a field full of mowers. When the
mowers saw how fine he looked, they ran
after him, calling out, "Wait a bit! wait a
bit, little Gingerbread Boy, we wish to eat
you!" But the little Gingerbread Boy
laughed harder than ever, and ran like the
wind. "Oho! oho!" he said,--

"I have run away from a little old woman,
"A little old man,
"A cow,
"A horse,
"A barn full of threshers,
"And I can run away from you, I can!"

And when he found that he was ahead
of the mowers, he turned and shouted
back to them,--

"Run! run! as fast as you can!
"You can't catch me, I'm the Gingerbread Man!"

And the mowers couldn't catch him.

By this time the little Gingerbread Boy
was so proud that he didn't think anybody
could catch him. Pretty soon he saw a
fox coming across a field. The fox looked
at him and began to run. But the little
Gingerbread Boy shouted across to him,
"You can't catch me!" The fox began to
run faster, and the little Gingerbread Boy
ran faster, and as he ran he chuckled,--

"I have run away from a little old woman,
"A little old man,
"A cow,
"A horse,
"A barn full of threshers,
"A field full of mowers,
"And I can run away from you, I can!
"Run! run! as fast as you can!
"You can't catch me, I'm the Gingerbread Man!"

"Why," said the fox, "I would not catch
you if I could. I would not think of
disturbing you."

Just then, the little Gingerbread Boy
came to a river. He could not swim across,
and he wanted to keep running away from
the cow and the horse and the people.

"Jump on my tail, and I will take you
across," said the fox.

So the little Gingerbread Boy jumped on
the fox's tail, and the fox swam into the
river. When he was a little way from shore
he turned his head, and said, "You are too
heavy on my tail, little Gingerbread Boy,
I fear I shall let you get wet; jump on my
back."

The little Gingerbread Boy jumped on
his back.

A little farther out, the fox said, "I am
afraid the water will cover you, there; jump
on my shoulder."

The little Gingerbread Boy jumped on
his shoulder.

In the middle of the stream the fox said,
"Oh, dear! little Gingerbread Boy, my
shoulder is sinking; jump on my nose,
and I can hold you out of water."

So the little Gingerbread Boy jumped
on his nose.

The minute the fox got on shore he
threw back his head, and gave a snap!

"Dear me!" said the little Gingerbread
Boy, "I am a quarter gone!" The next
minute he said, "Why, I am half gone!"
The next minute he said, "My goodness
gracious, I am three quarters gone!"

And after that, the little Gingerbread
Boy never said anything more at all.


 

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