The Gingerbread Man

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Gingerbread Man audio storyThis is the fast paced tale of the Gingerbread Man who leapt out of the oven and ran away. In the 1890 version by Joseph Jacobs, the hero was Johnny-Cake, but we have changed him to the more familiar Gingerbread Man. You will find the full text of the Gingerbread Man here.

Duration 8 Minutes. Read by Natasha.

Once upon a time there was an old man, an old woman, and a little boy. One morning the old woman made some gingerbread in the shape of a man. She added icing for his hair and clothes, and little blobs of dough for his nose and eyes. When she put him in the oven to bake, she said to the little boy, “You watch the gingerbread man while your grandfather and I go out to work in the garden.”

So the old man and the old woman went out and began to dig potatoes, and left the little boy to tend the oven. But he started to day dream, and didn’t watch it all of the time. All of a sudden he heard a noise, and he looked up and the oven door popped open, and out of the oven jumped a gingerbread man, and went rolling along end over end towards the open door of the house. The little boy ran to shut the door, but the gingerbread man was too quick for him and rolled through the door, down the steps, and out into the road long before the little boy could catch him.

The little boy ran after him as fast as he could manage, crying out to his grandfather and grandmother, who heard the noise, and threw down their spades in the garden to give chase too. The gingerbread man outran all three a long way, and was soon out of sight, while they had to sit down, all out of breath, on a bank to rest.

On went the gingerbread man, and by-and-by he came to two men digging a well who looked up from their work and called out, “Where ye going, gingerbread man?”

He said, “I’ve outrun an old man, an old woman, and a little boy – and I can outrun you too-o-o!”
“You can, can you? We’ll see about that?” Said they, and so they threw down their picks and ran after him, but couldn’t catch up with him, and soon they had to sit down by the roadside to rest.

On ran the gingerbread man, and by-and-by he came to two men digging a ditch. “Where ye going, gingerbread man?” said they.

He said, “I’ve outrun an old man, an old woman, a little boy, and two well diggers, and I can outrun you too-o-o!”
“You can, can you? We’ll see about that!” said they, and they too threw down their spades, and ran after him. The gingerbread man soon outstripped them also, and seeing they could never catch him, gave up the chase and sat down to rest.

On went the gingerbread man, and by-and-by he came to a bear. The bear said, “Where are ye going, gingerbread man?”
He said, “I’ve outrun an old man, an old woman, a little boy, two well diggers, and two ditch diggers, and I can outrun you too-o-o!”

“You can, can you?” Growled the bear. “We’ll see about that!” He trotted as fast as his legs could carry him after the gingerbread man, who never stopped to look behind him. Before long the bear was left so far behind that he saw he might as well given up the hunt at the start, so he stretched himself out by the roadside to rest.

On went the gingerbread man and by-and-by he came to a wolf. The wolf said, “Where ye going, gingerbread man?”

He said, “I’ve outrun an old man, an old woman, a little boy, two well diggers, two ditch diggers, and a bear, and I can outrun you too-o-o!”

“You can, can you?” Snarled the wolf. “We’ll see about that!” So he set into a gallop after the gingerbread man, who went on and on so fast, that the wolf too saw there was no hope of overtaking him, and he too lay down to rest.

On went the gingerbread man, and by-and-by he came to a fox that lay quietly in a corner of the fence. The fox called out in a sharp voice, but without getting up, “Where ye going, gingerbread man?”

He said: “I’ve outrun an old man, an old woman, a little boy, two well diggers, two ditch diggers, a bear, and a wolf, and I can outrun you too-o-o!”

The fox said, “I can’t quite hear you, gingerbread man. Won’t you come a little closer?” Turning his head a little to one side.

The gingerbread man stopped his race for the first time, and went a little closer, and called out in a very loud voice, “I’ve outrun an old man, an old woman, a little boy, two well diggers, two ditch diggers, a bear and a wolf, and I can outrun you too-o-o.”

“I still can’t quite hear you. Won’t you come a little closer?” Said the fox in a feeble voice, as he stretched out his neck towards the gingerbread man, and put one paw behind his ear.

The gingerbread man came up close, and leaning towards the fox, screamed out “I’VE OUTRUN AN OLD MAN, AN OLD WOMAN, A LITTLE BOY, TWO WELL DIGGERS, TWO DITCH DIGGERS, A BEAR AND A WOLF, AND I CAN OUTRUN YOU TOO-O-O!”

“You can, can you?” Yelped the fox, and he snapped up the gingerbread man in his sharp teeth in the twinkling of an eye.

And that was the storynory of the gingerbread man. I think that the ending is rather sad, but Bertie doesn’t agree. He says that gingerbread is extremely tasty, and he doesn’t blame that fox at all for wanting to eat it. I suppose he has a point, but then again, it’s not just any old piece of gingerbread that can run.

You can find out about more Prince Bertie the frog’s stories at Storynory.com, where all Prince Bertie the Frog’s stories are free, and if you like you can buy a personalised story for a very special person in your life. So tell all your friends to visit Storynory.com. For now, from me, Natasha, Bye Bye!

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