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Once upon a time there was an old man, and 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 the time, and all of a sudden he heard a noise, and he looked up and the oven door popped open, and out of the oven jumped 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 and gave chase too.
But the ginger bread 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, and 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 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, and an old woman, and 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 threw down their spades, and ran after him, too. But the gingerbread man soon outstripped them also, and seeing they could never catch him, they gave up the chase and sat down to rest.