You cannot catch me, I am the Gingerbread Man

Once there lived an old man, an old woman, and a little boy. One day, the old woman was baking bread. With the dough that was left over, she made a Gingerbread Man with the little boy’s help. The old woman made the shape of the Gingerbread Man. The boy put two black currants as his eyes, and a red cherry as the nose, a crescent-shaped apple slice as the smiley mouth, and three grapes as three buttons on his shirt.

Then the old woman popped the Gingerbread Man into the oven, and went out to the garden. The little boy waited by the oven. He was very hungry.

After a while, the oven door opened suddenly, and the Gingerbread Man leapt out! The boy was amazed. The Gingerbread Man ran towards the door and raced down the garden.

The boy could not believe his eyes, but he soon yelled out, “Help! The Gingerbread Man is getting away!”

The old man, who was repairing his lawn mower, and the old woman, ran after the Gingerbread Man, shouting and screaming. The little boy joined them. So all three began to chase the Gingerbread Man.

However, the Gingerbread Man, still racing, shouted to them,
“Run! Run! As fast as you can! But you cannot catch me. I am the Gingerbread Man!”

Soon, a spotted dog saw the Gingerbread Man and joined in the chase. He barked, “If I catch you, I will gobble you up.”

A hungry cow grazing in the barn saw the Gingerbread Man, and she also wanted to take a bite. “I will get you and munch on you,” she screeched.

She joined the little boy, the old man, the old woman, and the dog in chasing the Gingerbread Man.

However, the Gingerbread Man, still racing, shouted to them,
“Run! Run! As fast as you can! But you cannot catch me. I am the Gingerbread Man!”

At the end of the lane, three mowers were busy cutting grass. When they saw the Gingerbread Man, they stopped working, and wanted to eat him. They also ran after the Gingerbread Man.

Thus, the little boy, the old man, the old woman, the spotted dog, the hungry cow, and the three mowers were chasing the Gingerbread Man. However, the Gingerbread Man, still racing, shouted to them,
“Run! Run! As fast as you can! But you cannot catch me. I am the Gingerbread Man!”

After a while, the Gingerbread Man reached a farm. Standing at the gate, were two piglets waiting for the farmer to feed them. They were really hungry. When they saw the Gingerbread Man, they jumped out, and joined in the chase.

Thus, the little boy, the old man, the old woman, the spotted dog, the hungry cow, the three mowers, and the two piglets were chasing the Gingerbread Man.

However, the Gingerbread Man, still racing, shouted to them,
“Run! Run! As fast as you can! But you cannot catch me. I am the Gingerbread Man!”

As the Gingerbread Man raced on, a pony grazing on a meadow saw him. The pony thought the Gingerbread Man would be very tasty. “I will devour you in a couple of bites!” said the pony, and began to trot after the Gingerbread Man.

Thus, the little boy, the old man, the old woman, the spotted dog, the hungry cow, the three mowers, the two piglets and the pony were chasing the Gingerbread Man.

However, the Gingerbread Man, still racing, shouted to them,
“Run! Run! As fast as you can! But you cannot catch me. I am the Gingerbread Man!”

The Gingerbread Man raced faster than ever, and soon reached a riverbank. The river seemed quite deep. He gazed down at the water, and sighed, “Oh dear! What shall I do? I don’t know how to swim. They will catch me and eat me.”

.

 

Just then a cunning fox came to him and said- ‘I will help you cross the river, donot worry. Climb on my back’ The gingerbread man climbed over it.

As they were in the middle of the river, the fox asked the Gingerbread Man to climb over it’s nose as the water was rising high. When the Gingerbread man climbed on his nose, the fox jerked its snout up, throwing the Gingerbread Man up in the air. The fox opened it’s greedy mouth to gulp it in, but a dove was flying by and the Gingerbreadman caught its tail and swung with it to jump to the other shore, and ran towards the woods.

‘I won’t spare you’ shouted the fox and climbed the shore. Meanwhile the little boy, the old man, the old woman, the spotted dog, the hungry cow, the three mowers, the two piglets and the pony also reached the other side.

They looked left and right and hither and tither and yonder and tonder but they couldn’t find the Gingerbreadman.’Oh we have lost it’ they groaned. So they all got sad and returned to their homes.

Since then, whenever they slept at night, they would dream of working in the garden or walking in the fields and a tiny figure would run besides them and they will run after it, hungrily!

‘Wait, Wait I want to eat you man’

And the tiny figure will say, as it ran forever away from their clutches-

“Run Run as fast as you can! You can not catch me, I am the Gingerbread Man.”

****

 

Afterwords: I got a chance to revisit the story of Gingerbread Man today, after so many years! I immensely liked the beautiful artwork by Carol of Gingerbread Man which prompted me to get back to the story once again.   I read the story published on kidsworldfun.com. I loved experiencing again the zest, playfullness and energy of the Gingerbread Man. It wanted to be free and was proud to outrun everyone who tried to catch it. It was unfortunate it reached the river and it did not know how to swim and the cunning fox devoured it.

Few days back, I had shared a post Should Wizard Hit Mommy in which I had shared a thought that children stories should have more practical endings. But today I felt that children stories should have happy endings! As I read the Gingerbread Man today, I didn’t like the fact that such a free spirited character should meet such a morbid conclusion. So, I re-wrote this story, borrowing the original content from kidsworldfun.com, and then introducing a new ending to the story after Gingerbread Man reaches the river.

I think a character like Gingerbread Man, who got alive so mysteriously and displayed such vivacity should remain alive and keep haunting people with it’s memorable lines!

gin

 

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24 thoughts on “You cannot catch me, I am the Gingerbread Man

  1. I laughed as I was reading this, remembering the story from a long time ago and then when he reached the river and the fox I said oh yeah and knew what was going to happen next but when it didn’t I thought huh, I don’t remember the story going that way I thought the fox ate him. And then of course you explained, thanks for rewriting the story…I like your version much better!!! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Yeah, I always thought this story needed a new ending – love yours!😀 I’ve always found it so sad otherwise…after all that running only to be gobbled up. Making Swedish Gingerbiscuits at the weekend we often cut many into the gingerbread man shape and I always think of this story then – feeling guilty!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Thank you for the reminder of this lovely children’s story. Prabhat. I agree that such a cheery little chappie as the Gingerbread Man should come to a happier end than being gobbled up by the cunning fox. After outrunning so many people and animals he deserves a ‘happy ever after’. The artwork by Carol is lovely and bright and really shows how happy the little man is! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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