The Gingerbread Man
"RUN, RUN, FAST AS YOU CAN. YOU CAN'T CATCH ME, I'M THE GINGERBREAD MAN!"
The Gingerbread Man Cook Takes a TumbleHe thought at once that the cat must have stolen something, and that it was the cat the cook wanted him to stop.
Now, if there was anything that Towser liked, it was going after the cat, and he jumped up the walk so fiercely that the poor cat did not have time to stop herself or to get out of his way, and they came together with a great fizzing, and barking, and meowing, and howling, and scratching, and biting, as if a couple of Catherine-wheels had gone off in the wrong way and had got mixed up with one another.
But the old cook had been running so hard that she was not able to stop herself any better than the cat had done, and she fell right on top of the mixed up dog and cat, so that all three rolled over on the walk in a heap together.
And the cat scratched whichever came nearest, whether it was a piece of the dog or of the cook, and the dog bit at whatever came nearest, whether it was a piece of the cat or of the cook, so that the poor cook was badly pummelled on both sides.
Meanwhile, the gingerbread man had climbed up on the garden wall, and stood on the top with his hands in his pockets, looking at the scrimmage, and laughing till the tears ran down from his little caraway-seed eyes and his raisin mouth was bubbling all over with fun. "RUN, RUN, FAST AS YOU CAN. YOU CAN'T CATCH ME, I'M THE GINGERBREAD MAN!"
After a little while, the cat managed to pull herself out from under the cook and the dog, and a very cast-down and crumpled-up-looking cat she was. She had had enough of hunting gingerbread men, and she crept back to the kitchen to repair damages.
The dog, who was very cross because his face had been badly scratched, let go of the cook, and at last, catching sight of the gingerbread man, made a bolt for the garden wall.
The cook picked herself up, and although her face was also badly scratched and her dress was torn, she was determined to see the end of the chase, and she followed after the dog, though this time more slowly.
The Gingerbread Man Monkey CatchesWhen the gingerbread man saw the dog coming, he jumped down on the farther side of the wall, and began running across the field.
Now in the middle of the field was a tree, and at the foot of the tree was lying Jocko, the monkey.
He wasn’t asleep—monkeys never are—and when hesaw the little man running across the field and heard the cook calling, “Jocko, Jocko, stop the gingerbreadman,” he at once gave one big jump.
But he jumped so fast and so far that he went right over the gingerbread man, and as luck would have it, he came down on the back of Towser, the dog, who had just scrambled over the wall, and whom he had not before noticed.
Towser was naturally taken by surprise, but he turned his head around and promptly bit off the end of the monkey’s tail, and Jocko quickly jumped off again, chattering his indignation.
Meanwhile, the gingerbread man had got to the bottom of the tree, and was saying to himself:
“Now, I know the dog can’t climb a tree, and I don’t believe the old cook can climb a tree;
and as for the monkey I’m not sure, for I’ve never seen a monkey before, but I am going up.”
So he pulled himself up hand over hand until he had got to the topmost branch."CLIMB, CLIMB, FAST AS YOU CAN. YOU CAN'T CATCH ME, I'M THE GINGERBREAD MAN!"
But the monkey had jumped with one spring onto the lowest branch, and in an instant he also was at the top of the tree.
The gingerbread man crawled out to the furthermost end of the branch, and hung by one hand, but the monkey swung himself under the branch, and stretching out his long arm, he pulled the gingerbread man in.
Then he held him up and looked at him so hungrily that the little raisin mouth began to pucker down at the corners, and the caraway-seed eyes filled with tears.
The Gingerbread Man Bobby Heard SomeoneAnd then what do you think happened? Why, little Bobby himself came running up.
He had been taking his noon-day nap upstairs, and in his dreams it seemed as if he kept hearing people call “Little Bobby, little Bobby!”
until finally he jumped up with a start, and was so sure that some one was calling him that he ran down-stairs, without even waiting to put on his shoes.
As he came down, he could see through the window in the field beyond the garden the cook, and the dog, and the monkey, and could even hear the barking of Towser and the chattering of Jocko.
He scampered down the walk, with his little bare feet pattering against the warm gravel, climbed over the wall, and in a few seconds arrived under the tree, just as Jocko was holding up the poor little gingerbread man.
The Gingerbread Man Drop It, Jocko“Drop it, Jocko!” cried Bobby, and drop it Jocko did, for he always had to mind Bobby. He dropped it so straight that the gingerbread man fell right into Bobby’s uplifted pinafore.
Then Bobby held him up and looked at him, and the little raisin mouth puckered down lower than ever, and the tears ran right out of the caraway-seed eyes.
But Bobby was too hungry to mind gingerbread tears, and he gave one big bite, and swallowed down both legs and a piece of the body.“OH!” said the gingerbread man, “I’M ONE-THIRD GONE!”
The Gingerbread Man 1/3 Gone
Bobby gave a second bite, and swallowed the rest of the body and the arms.
“OH!” said the gingerbread man, “I’M TWO-THIRDS GONE!”
The Gingerbread Man 2/3 Gone
Bobby gave a third bite, and gulped down the head.
“OH!” said the gingerbread man, “I’M ALL GONE!”
The Gingerbread Man All Gone
And so he was—and that is the end of the story.The Gingerbread Man
Robert Gaston Herbert The Gingerbread Man 1
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