Sunday, November 13, 2016

The GIngerbread Man Comes Home



Once upon a time a little old woman and a little old man lived alone in a little old house. The couple had no children, and they were lonely. It was almost Christmas. The little old woman was baking cookies, though she had no one to share them with. The woman decided to make a boy of gingerbread. She carefully rolled out the dough, and cut out a very nice gingerbread cookie. 

The old woman used icing to give the boy wavy hair, a red mouth, and handsome clothes. She gave him candy eyes and smart candy buttons. What a fine looking gingerbread man he was! 

The old woman put him in the oven to bake. When he was done, she carefully opened the oven door. The gingerbread man jumped up, and he ran out the door saying,

“Run, run, as fast as you can! You can’t catch me! I’m the Gingerbread Man!”

The old woman and the old man ran after him, but they could not catch him.

The Gingerbread Man ran and ran. While he ran, he met a cow.

“Moo,” said the cow. “You look very fine! Fine enough to eat!” And the cow started to chase to little man.

But the Gingerbread Man ran faster, saying, “I ran away from an old woman. I ran away from an old man. I can run away from you!”

“Run, run, as fast as you can! You can’t catch me! I’m the Gingerbread Man!”

The cow ran after the Gingerbread Man, but she could not catch him.

The Gingerbread Man kept running, and soon he met a horse.

“Neigh, neigh,” said the horse. “You look mighty tasty! I think I would like to eat you.” And the horse started to chase the little man.

But the Gingerbread Man ran faster, saying, “I ran away from an old woman. I ran away from an old man. I ran away from a cow. I can run away from you!”

“Run, run, as fast as you can! You can’t catch me! I’m the Gingerbread Man!”

The horse ran after the Gingerbread Man, but he could not catch him.

The Gingerbread Man kept running, and soon he met a chicken.

“Cackle, cackle!” said the chicken. “You look fine enough to peck for dinner. I’m going to eat you, Mr. Gingerbread Man!”

But the Gingerbread Man just laughed. “I ran away from an old woman. I ran away from an old man. I ran away from a cow. I ran away from a horse. I can run away from you!”

“Run, run, as fast as you can! You can’t catch me! I’m the Gingerbread Man!”

The chicken ran after the Gingerbread Man, but she could not catch him.

The Gingerbread Man was proud that he could run so fast. “Nobody can catch me,” he thought.

But he was beginning to feel tired and hungry. He was also feeling lonely because he ran away from everybody and never made any friends. He remembered the little old woman and the little old man in their little old house. He remembered the cozy kitchen and the smell of cookies baking. He began to think he might like to go home.

Then he met a fox. The gingerbread man was a little bit afraid of the fox, but he didn’t let it show. Instead he bragged to the fox how he ran faster than everyone else: the little old woman, the little old man, the cow, the horse, and the chicken.

“You must be tired,” the fox suggested. “I can give you a ride.”

The Gingerbread Man thought about it. “Where will you take me?” he wondered.

They were standing on the bank of a wide river. “Jump on my back,” the fox invited, “and I’ll carry you across the river.”

“What river is this?” the Gingerbread Man asked nervously.

“The River Styx,” the fox answered calmly.

Hearing that, the Gingerbread Man ran away as fast as he could. He ran past the chicken, past the horse, past the cow, right up the road to the little old house where the little old woman and the little old man were waiting for him. When they saw him coming, they ran to him and threw their arms around him.

“We feared you’d been eaten!” they said. “We’re so happy that you’ve come home!” And they celebrated the merriest Christmas they’d ever had, with turkey and stuffing and plates and plates of delicious Christmas cookies.

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