The Smartest Gingerbread Man

by Binah Friedman, age 11
The Smartest Gingerbread Man Binah likes reading and swimming. Her favorite animal is a dog, and she goes to Speyer Legacy School.

“You’ve heard the other stories, I bet. Somebody makes a gingerbread man, he runs away, and he eventually gets eaten. Well, my story isn’t like that. Maybe it’s the dough I’m made of, or maybe it’s my raisin brain, but I survived.”

I remember it like it was yesterday…

 

The Great Escape

You’ve heard the other stories, I bet. Somebody makes a gingerbread man, he runs away, and he eventually gets eaten. Well, my story isn’t like that. Maybe it’s the dough I’m made of, or maybe it’s my raisin brain, but I survived.

 

Chapter One

The first thing I can remember is entering the oven. I couldn’t move, and it was getting hotter by the second. I braced myself for incineration. Why must my life end before it has truly begun? But just before the baking heat took me, I was lifted away. My savior was a large woman (she seemed large to me, at least). But before I could thank her, her voice boomed:

“Marigold! Dessert’s ready!” I froze. Surely she didn’t mean…

Before I could make a decision, a hand reached out towards me. Had I been a second later, it would have been crumbs for me. I leapt off the table and came down hard on the floor. I could have been hurt badly, but the plush carpet cushioned my fall. Then I ran. A huge oak door loomed up in front of me. I stopped. Behind me, the monster was getting closer and closer. I turned around and slid under the door. I stood up and looked around.

Over by the wall, in a little nook, I saw another gingerbread man. I gasped and walked towards him. He was cinnamon brown, with raisin eyes and an icing mouth and coat. I reached out to touch him, but pulled back, because it seemed rude. He did the same.

“Hello?”

He didn’t respond. Then, I saw the monster coming up behind him.

“Look out!” I yelled, and jumped out of the way. I looked behind me — and there was the monster. It was then I realized that the other gingerbread man was only my reflection. But there was no time to mourn my friend that had never existed. I dashed between the monster’s legs and out under another door.

But in front of me was my greatest challenge yet: the steps. I hoisted myself down a few, my breaded muscles straining. But then I had an idea. I pulled myself up to the railing, just as the door opened and down I slid, holding on for dear life.

Ah!!!” I screamed.

After a terrifying descent, I finally reached the bottom. Squeezing my eyes shut, I slid down on the end of the rail. The door creaked open. Shoes clacked through the hallway. I slipped through the door just before it closed. The sights and sounds of the outside world greeted me. Dogs barked, people yelled, and commotion was everywhere in the big city. I timidly crept into the street and was immediately knocked over. I crawled behind a plant and dusted myself off.          

                                                                                                    

Chapter Two

I didn’t know what else to do, so I ran. Dodging huge shoes left and right, I darted through the crowd of feet. I was infinitely relieved when I burst out into the sunlight. Grass and trees surrounded me, bigger than I ever thought anything could be. I wandered around aimlessly, staring up at the beauty that surrounded me. There weren’t many people around; it seemed like paradise. But just then I saw a flash of orange in the bushes. I looked in the bushes, but saw nothing, and decided to ignore it.

I came to a river. The roaring floods frightened me, but I went up to the water and dipped in my toe. It stung worse than any pain I had ever felt before. I quickly pulled it out and looked around for a mode of transportation across the river. But I saw nothing. Just then, I felt hot breath on the back of my neck.

I turned around. There stood a fox, with an evil gleam in his eye.

He said to me, “I can carry you across this river on my back, if you would like.”

But I knew his true intentions. “Not on your life, mister!”

Then I ran. Away from the fox, away from the river. I heard his paws pounding on the ground behind me. But I didn’t look back. A moment’s slowness could mean death. I dived between two large roots of a tree and dug frantically with my hands. Just as the fox reached me, I had dug a hole deep enough so his snout could not reach me. Plastered against the end of the hole, I waited. I don’t know for how long. But when I finally stepped outside, it was dark and the fox was asleep. I carefully tiptoed past him. Then I ran, again.

I looked around for any sign of life, but I saw nothing. I would have to brave the streets again.

 

 The End

 

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