paint-brush
Stories for Telling: The Gingerbread Boyby@carolynsherwin
349 reads
349 reads

Stories for Telling: The Gingerbread Boy

by Carolyn SherwinAugust 18th, 2022
Read on Terminal Reader
Read this story w/o Javascript
tldt arrow

Too Long; Didn't Read

About HackerNoon Book Series: We bring you the most important technical, scientific, and insightful public domain books. This book is part of the public domain.
featured image - Stories for Telling: The Gingerbread Boy
Carolyn Sherwin HackerNoon profile picture

For the Story Teller: Story Telling and Stories to Tell, by Carolyn Sherwin Bailey is part of the HackerNoon Books series. You can jump to any chapter in this book here. The Gingerbread Boy

The Gingerbread Boy

Act I

Place: A Kitchen.

Time: Saturday Morning.

The Little Old Man Sits in a corner.

The Little Old Woman is seen, too, stirring cake dough and singing as she stirs:

“Sugar, and spice, and everything nice—

That’s what a little girl’s made of;

Snaps, and snails, and puppy dogs’ tails;

That’s what a little boy’s made of!

“Ah, well-a-day, but I wish I had a little boy for all that! Some one to run to the store, and bring in the kindlings, and drive the cows to pasture, and feed the pig, and get into mischief, and be rocked to sleep in the evening.”

She calls to the Little Old Man:

“Father! Oh, I say, Father! Fetch me the jug of molasses from the pantry. I am making a gingerbread cake for your supper!”

The Little Old Man does not move, or stir.

The Little Old Woman calls louder: “Fetch me the molasses jug, Father!”

The Little Old Woman crosses to the chimney corner, and shakes the Little Old Man, but he is asleep and does not wake.

The Little Old Woman holds up her hands in despair.

“Dearie me! I might as well have a broom for a Goodman as he. There is nothing done in the house unless I attend to it myself,” she says.

She leaves the kitchen for a moment, returning with the jug of molasses. She pours some molasses into the bowl, stirs again, and finally empties the dough out upon the board, rolling it flat with her rolling pin. Suddenly she stops, rolling pin in air.

The Little Old Woman: “I have it! I will make me a Gingerbread Boy!”

She works very fast, talking as she shapes the Gingerbread Boy with her fingers.

The Little Old Woman: “Here is his dear little head, with currants for eyes, and one raisin for his nose, and three raisins for his mouth. Here is his fine little jacket with a row of currants for buttons; and here are his two fine, fat little legs. Here are his arms, and here are his shoes!”

She lays the completed Gingerbread Boy in the baking pan and dances about the kitchen with it in her hands, singing as she dances, the Song of the Gingerbread Man:

“Hickory, dickory, dickory, dan;

Heigho, I sing for a Gingerbread Man!

Currants for eyes, and a round raisin nose,

Gingerbread shoes on his gingerbread toes,

Gingerbread jacket, so tight and neat,

Gingerbread smiles on his face so sweet,

Hickory, dickory, dickory, dan;

Heigho, I sing for a Gingerbread Man!”

As she finishes her song, she opens the imaginary oven door, and, kneeling down, puts in the tin which holds the Gingerbread Boy. Then she shakes the Little Old Man again.

The Little Old Woman: “Wake up, I say, Father! Wake up! Wake up! The garden’s to be weeded, and the butter’s to be churned! Wake up, I say, and mind the oven. There’s a fine little Gingerbread Boy baking inside!”

The Little Old Man wakes very slowly, and looking all about the kitchen says in a dazed sort of way: “What’s that you say, Mother? I don’t see any little Gingerbread Boy.”

The Little Old Woman goes to the stove and points to the oven. “He’s in here baking. Do you mind him while I’m away. In twenty minutes by the clock, do you open the oven door, and the Gingerbread Boy will be baked.”

The Little Old Man: “Yes, yes, Mother. Do you go and weed the garden and churn. I’ll sit here, and mind the oven.”

The Little Old Woman leaves the kitchen. After she has gone, the Little Old Man re-lights his pipe. Then he gets up from his chair and peeps in the oven door.

The Little Old Man: “A fine, fat Boy! A very fine, fat Gingerbread Boy! How his buttons shine, and he is swelling so much that his jacket is splitting. I shall eat him for my supper!”

He goes back to his chair, and begins smoking, but soon his head nods. He looks up at the clock.

The Little Old Man: “In twenty minutes I will take him out. I think I shall have a short nap in the meantime.”

The Little Old Man falls fast asleep again, his pipe falling to the floor. As he sleeps, the oven door opens a little as if some one had pushed it from the inside. The real Gingerbread Boy peeps out through the crack. When he sees that the Little Old Man is asleep, he steps out. He begins blowing on his fingers and he puts them in his mouth as if they were burned. He fans himself with the baking tin which he brings with him out of the oven, and he hops about the kitchen on the tips of his toes.

The Gingerbread Boy: “My, but that oven was warm! I might have been burned to a crisp before any one remembered to take me out. So this is my new home!”

He looks about in all the corners of the kitchen.

“And this is my new father!”

He goes over to the Little Old Man, and pulls his wig. Then he sits down, cross-legged on the hearth, and goes on talking to himself.

The Gingerbread Boy: “I don’t know whether I want to live in this house or not. I know what little boys have to do.”

He counts on his fingers:

“They have to run to the store, and bring in kindlings, and drive the cows and feed the pigs. I’d rather have a good time. I think I will run away.”

He jumps up, and looks around the room, cautiously.

“There’s nobody here to see me go. Hurrah! Hurrah! Here I go, off by myself to see the world!”

He runs lightly out of the kitchen.

Act II

Place: A country road. The Gingerbread Boy is discovered, sitting on top of the wall, talking to himself.

The Gingerbread Boy: “Here I am, out by myself, seeing the world. The world’s a very pleasant place, only I do wish I were not made of gingerbread, and I do wish that everybody wasn’t so hungry. Wherever I travel some one wants to eat me. Bless my buttons, there comes some one now!”

The Mowers come slowly along with their scythes over their shoulders. They sing as they walk:

“On Chopnose Day the Mowers rise,

As every one supposes,

And march upon the grass and flowers,

And cut off all their noses.”

Suddenly the Mowers discover the Gingerbread Boy.

First Mower: “Who sits there on top of the wall?”

Second Mower: “It is a little boy made of gingerbread.”

First Mower: “Let us eat him!”

Second Mower, going up to the Gingerbread Boy: “Good morning, my lad, where do you come from, and where are you going this fine morning?”

The Gingerbread Boy hops down from the wall, and dances away on the tips of his toes:

“I’ve run away from a Little Old Woman,

And a Little Old Man.

I can run away from you,

I can!Run, run, as fast as you can,You can’t catch me,

I’m the Gingerbread Man!”

He disappears, followed by the Mowers, but reappears at the other end of the road, looking frightened and out of breath.

The Gingerbread Boy: “They didn’t catch me that time, but you never can tell what’s going to happen next. There comes somebody else.”

The Threshers are seen passing with their flails over their backs.

One of the Threshers: “Who is that by the side of the road?”

A Second Thresher: “That is a Gingerbread Boy!”

Both of the Threshers, going up to the Gingerbread Boy very fiercely: “Come with us and be eaten, my lad!”

The Gingerbread Boy dances a little way ahead of the Threshers as he calls back to them:

“I’ve run away from a Little Old Woman,

And a Little Old Man,

Some Mowers—and—I can run away from you,

I can.Run, run, as fast as you can,

You can’t catch me,

I’m the Gingerbread Man.”

He runs away a second time, followed by the Threshers, but he is seen in a moment at the end of the road. He climbs up on the wall again.

The Gingerbread Boy: “I wonder who will try and eat me next!”

He puts his hand up to his eyes. “There comes some one now!”

The Pig enters, grunting.

The Pig:

“One of us went to market; and one of us stayed at home.

One of us had roast beef, but I’m the Pig who had none!”

“I’m hungry enough to eat green apples. Ahe! What do I see? A Gingerbread Boy!” He walks up to the wall, and stands on his back feet, but he cannot reach to the top. The Gingerbread Boy dances on top of the wall.

“I’ve run away from a Little Old Woman,

And a Little Old Man,

Some Mowers, some Threshers—and—

I can get away from you, I can.

Jump, jump, as high as you can,

You can’t catch me,

I’m the Gingerbread Man!”

The Pig tries to get the Gingerbread Boy, but he is not able to, and he walks away, still grunting.

The Gingerbread Boy: “Well, he didn’t get me. I believe I am able to take care of myself after all. Why, who is that great creature, coming down the road?”

The Fox enters. He sees the Gingerbread Boy, but he pretends that he does not. He sits down and waits. The Gingerbread Boy watches the Fox. Then he speaks to him.

“I’ve run away from a Little Old Woman,
A Little Old Man,
Some Mowers, some Threshers, a Pig—and—
I can run away from you, I can!”

the Gingerbread Boy says.

The Fox speaks in a deep, gruff voice, without moving.

The Fox: “Step a little closer, Sonny. I’m very hard of hearing.”

The Gingerbread Boy jumps down from the wall, and goes quite close to the Fox, speaking very loudly:

“I’ve run away from a Little Old Woman,
A Little Old Man.
Some Mowers, some Threshers, a Pig—and—
I can run away from you, I can!”

The Fox speaks again, without moving.

The Fox: “You will have to step closer yet, Sonny, I’m very, very hard of hearing.”

The Gingerbread Boy goes up to the Fox, shouting in his ear. As he does so, the Fox eats him up.

About HackerNoon Book Series: We bring you the most important technical, scientific, and insightful public domain books. This book is part of the public domain.

Bailey, Carolyn Sherwin. 2018. For the Story Teller: Story Telling and Stories to Tell. Urbana, Illinois: Project Gutenberg. Retrieved April 2022 from https://www.gutenberg.org/files/58107/58107-h/58107-h.htm#Page_153

This eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere at no cost and with almost no restrictions whatsoever. You may copy it, give it away or re-use it under the terms of the Project Gutenberg License included with this eBook or online at www.gutenberg.org, located at https://www.gutenberg.org/policy/license.html.