THE GINGERBREAD BOY

A little old woman and a little old man once lived all alone in a little old house in the country. One morning the little old woman decided to make a gingerbread boy.

When the little old woman opened the oven to see whether the gingerbread boy was done, out jumped the little gingerbread boy, looking all brown and good to eat. He saw that the door of the house was open, and he ran away as fast as his legs would carry him.

The little old woman and the little old man ran after him as fast as they could.

The little gingerbread boy laughed, and called to them:

"I am a gingerbread boy, I am.
I can run away from you, I can

And the little old woman and the little old man could not 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; "you look good to eat."

The little gingerbread boy laughed and called to the cow:

"I am a gingerbread boy, I am,
I've run away from a little old woman and a little old man.
I can run away from you, I Can."

And the cow ran after the gingerbread boy, but couldn't catch him.

The little gingerbread boy ran on, and on, until he came to a horse in a pasture.

"Please stop, little gingerbread boy," said the horse, "you look very good to eat." But the little gingerbread boy laughed out loud, and called to the horse:

"I am a gingerbread boy, I am.
I've run away from a little old woman and a little old man, and a cow.
I can run away from you, I can."

And the horse ran after the gingerbread boy, but couldn't catch him.

By and by, the little gingerbread boy came to a barn full of threshers.

"Don't run so fast, little gingerbread boy," cried the threshers, "you look very good to eat." But the little gingerbread boy laughed louder than ever, and as he ran he called to the threshers:

"I am a gingerbread boy, I am.
I've run away from a little old woman and a little old man, and a cow, and a horse.
I can run away from you, I Can."

And the threshers ran after the gingerbread boy, but couldn't catch him.

Then the little gingerbread boy hurried on until he came to a field full of mowers.

"Wait a bit.' wait a bit, little gingerbread boy," called the mowers, "you look very good to eat." But the little gingerbread boy ran faster than ever and called to the mowers:

"I am a gingerbread boy, I am.
I've run away from a little old woman and a little old man, and a cow, and a
horse, and a barn full of threshers.
I can run away from you, I can."

And the mowers ran after the gingerbread boy, but couldn't catch him.

Soon the little gingerbread boy saw a fox lying quietly near a fence.
"Where are you going?" asked the fox, without getting up. But the little gingerbread boy didn't answer him. He ran on, and called:

"I am a gingerbread boy, I am.
I've run away from a little old woman and a little old man, and a cow, and a horse, and a barn full of threshers, and a field full of mowers.
I can run away from you, I can."

"I would not catch you if I could," said the fox. But the fox ran after him. On and on ran the little gingerbread boy until he came to a river, and the fox was close behind. The gingerbread boy could not swim. "Jump on my tail, and I'll take you across," said the sly old fox.

So the little gingerbread boy jumped on the fox's tail, and the fox began swimming across the river. But the fox had gone only a few strokes when he turned his head and said: "You are heavy on my tail, and you may fall off. Jump on my back."

So the little gingerbread boy jumped on the fox's back. After swimming a little farther, the fox said: "I'm afraid you will get wet on my back. Jump on my shoulder."

So the little gingerbread boy jumped on the fox's shoulder. When they were near the other side of the river, the fox said: "My shoulder is tired. Jump on my nose."

So the little gingerbread boy jumped on the fox's nose. But just then they reached the other bank. The sly old fox opened his mouth wide and in went the little gingerbread boy!

"Dear me!" said the gingerbread boy, "I am one-quarter gone." And then he said: "Now, I'm half gone!" And then, "I'm three-quarters gone!" And then he said: "Oh, dear; I'm all gone."'

And the little gingerbread boy was all gone.

 

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