Gateway to the Classics: First Reader by Franklin T. Baker
 
First Reader by  Franklin T. Baker


[Illustration]

The Gingerbread Boy

One day an old woman was making gingerbread cookies.

Her little boy was looking on.

She made a Gingerbread Boy for him.

She put sugar on the head for hair.

She put in two raisins for eyes.

Then she went out to call the old man to his dinner.

She said to her little boy,

"Stay here and watch the oven.

See that the cookies do not burn.

And watch the Gingerbread Boy.

We do not know what he may do."

Well, the boy watched the oven

      for a time;

      but, by and by,

      he went out

      to get a drink of water.

As soon as he was out of the door,

      the Gingerbread Boy

      hopped out of the pan,

      jumped out of the oven,

      and was down on the floor.

The boy heard him and ran back as fast as he could.

He tried to shut the door.

But he was not in time.

In a minute the Gingerbread Boy

      was through the door

      and out in the yard.


[Illustration]

He ran through the yard.

He ran out into the road,

      and he kept running

      as fast as he could go.

The boy ran after him.

He called to his mother.

The old woman saw what had happened, and she ran too.

The old man saw them, and he ran as fast as he could.

But they could not run fast enough.

They could not catch the Gingerbread Boy.

So they walked back home.


The Gingerbread Boy ran on and on.

He felt happy, and he liked to run.

He was pleased with himself.

By and by he came to two farmers.

"Wait a minute," they cried.

"You look good enough to eat.

Come here, and we will eat you."

But the Gingerbread Boy did not stop.

He ran on and called out:

      "I've outrun a woman,

      A boy, and a man.

      I can outrun you, too.

      I'm sure that I can."

Down the road he ran.

The farmers ran behind him as fast as they could.


[Illustration]

But they could not catch him.

So they walked back home.


The Gingerbread Boy ran on and on.

He came to two puppies by the road.

First they saw him, and then they smelled him.

He smelled good enough to eat.

"Wait a minute," they said.

"You smell good enough to eat. Wait, so that we can eat you."

But the Gingerbread Boy ran on.

He called back:

      I've outrun two farmers,

      As fast as they ran,

      A little old woman,

      A boy and a man.

      I can outrun you, too.

      I'm sure that I can."

Down the road ran the Gingerbread Boy.

The puppies ran after him.

They ran as fast as they could.

They ran until their legs were tired.

But they could not run fast enough to catch the Gingerbread Boy.


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So they walked back home.


The Gingerbread Boy ran on and on.

By and by he came to a fox.

The fox was lying close by the road.


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He did not move.

He called to the Gingerbread Boy,

      "Good morning.

      You seem to be in a hurry.

       Where are you going so fast?"

The Gingerbread Boy stopped a minute.

He wanted to hear what the fox said.

"You are a fine boy," said the fox.

"Where are you going so fast?"

Then the Gingerbread boy said

      "I've outrun the puppies,

      And farmers who ran.

      A little old woman,

      A boy and a man.

      I can outrun you, too.

      I'm sure that I can."

"Oh," said the fox, "I see. It's those fine legs of yours.

I think I never saw such fine legs.

Please come close to me.

Don't be in such a hurry."

No one had ever been so kind to the Gingerbread Boy before.

So he came nearer and nearer.

Soon he was close to the fox.

Then the fox gave one jump, and one bite with his teeth.

That was the end of the Gingerbread Boy.


[Illustration]


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