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Goldilocks & the Gingerbread Man
Goldilocks ran down the street. Panting, she looked back over her shoulder. Phew! “I’ve lost them!”
“Who have you lost?”
Who had just spoken? She didn’t see anyone.
“Who have you lost?” the voice repeated.
“The bears; they ran me out of their house!” Goldilocks said, uncertainly.
“Whatever for?” asked the voice.
“It’s a long story,” said Goldilocks. “Now, who, or what, and where are you?”
“Run, run, as fast as you can! You can’t catch me, I’m the Gingerbread Man!” he chanted. “And I’m down here!”
Goldilocks looked to her feet. There stood a little man made entirely out of gingerbread. He looked up at her with his piercing chocolate chip eyes.
“I’m running away from someone, or rather, a few someones, too!” he said.
“Who?” Goldilocks asked.
“Actually, I’m running away from the whole town! They’re trying to eat me!” the Gingerbread Man said. “Mine is a long story too!”
“Do you need a lift?” Goldilocks asked.
“Yes! Literally!” the Gingerbread Man replied.
So Goldilocks picked up the Gingerbread Man and they ran off together. Soon, they came to a lake.
The Gingerbread Man said, “Goldilocks, you may put me down here while we try to figure out how to get across this lake.”
A fox slinked out of the wood. “I can help you get across the lake,” he said. Goldilocks was wary. Her mother had told her plenty of stories about the cunningness of foxes. The Gingerbread Man was also unsure.
“Why would you want to help us?” he asked the fox.
“Because I am a kind, generous soul! Why else?” replied the fox slyly. “I also happen to know a certain Big Bad Wolf among whose top favorite pig polishing desserts are gingerbread and little girls. It just happens that he is heading toward this very lake, quite stuffed from his midday meal, to get a drink. And, if he finds his two favorite desserts here, well, he can’t help but find enough room in his stomach for just a few bites! Now, how about my offer?”
“He’s bluffing!” Goldilocks whispered, “My friend Red has met him! He wouldn’t associate with a lowly fox!”
“We have no choice Goldie!” the Gingerbread Man exclaimed, “I can hear the villagers, and the bears, coming over the hill!”
“Fine! But, this really isn’t a good idea…” murmured Goldilocks.
“All right,” smiled the fox, “Gingy first.”
The Gingerbread Man tentatively climbed onto the fox’s back. The fox waded into the water.
“Don’t worry, I won’t hurt you,” he said.
“I highly doubt you won’t try,” the Gingerbread Man muttered under his breath.
“What was that?” asked the fox.
“Nothing,” replied the Gingerbread Man.
Goldilocks clenched her teeth, bit her nails, and practically broke out in a cold sweat. The pair was in the middle of the lake now.
She could just make out the fox saying, “Now, step onto my nose, Gingy.”
Right then, time seemed to move in slow motion and three things happened within the same fraction of a second. The villagers, and bears, came over the hill; the fox flipped the Gingerbread Man up and towards his mouth; and Goldilocks dove into the lake to save the Gingerbread Man.
Time resumed its normal speed. Goldilocks extended her arm right above the fox’s mouth just as the Gingerbread Man was about to fall into it. She caught the Gingerbread Man at the exact moment that she pushed the fox deeper into the water, where he couldn’t stand. It turned out that the fox couldn’t swim! He sank to the bottom like a rock and Goldilocks, carrying the Gingerbread Man, marched back to shore.
She held the Gingerbread Man close, away from the hungry townspeople. Her eyes downcast, she stepped out of the cattails on the perimeter of the lake, prepared for much yelling, and growling, about her nosing where she didn’t belong. Instead she was met by something she never would have expected; applause! Goldilocks looked up to see lots of smiling faces. Papa Bear came forward.
“After the fearless, courageous, valiant act that we have all just witnessed,” he said, “My family has decided to forgive you and we will not press charges. Even though breaking and entering is unlawful, this act shows us that you are not a bad person, and just a young girl after all!”
“Oh thank you so much Mr. Bear, sir!” Goldilocks exclaimed. In a more hushed tone she said, “Please don’t tell my mother though sir!”
“Sorry! Too late!” but it wasn’t the bear that answered.
A woman holding a little orange gumdrop stepped out of the crowd. Goldilocks’s mother.
“Young lady! I am very disappointed in you! We will discuss this when we get home! Now, let me see that little man!”
“No! I won’t let you eat him!” Goldilocks exclaimed.
“Why, who said anything about eating him love?”
“Wait…but…don’t you…why…WHAT?” Goldilocks stammered out.
“We were chasing him to return his button!” Goldilocks’s mother said.
The Gingerbread Man finally spoke, “Why thank you ma’am! I hadn’t even noticed it had gone missing!”
Goldilocks’s mother gently handed the little orange gumdrop to the baker had come forward with a bit of frosting. He placed it on the back of the gumdrop and carefully handed the button to the Gingerbread Man, who positioned it on his stomach, said his “thank you” and asked to be let down. Goldilocks set him on the ground.
The last time he was seen, he was running away, into the hills chanting, “Run, run, as fast as you can! You can’t catch me! I’m the Gingerbread Man!”
And everyone lived happily ever after!
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"Our truest responsibility to the irrationality of the world is to paint or sing or write, for only in such response do we find the truth."
- Madeleine L'Engle
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"See in what peace a Christian can die." - Joseph Addison
"How come everyone will come to your funeral, but nobody will come see you when you are living?"