The Gingerbread Monster

This is a rewrite of The Gingerbread Man/Boy/Runner fairy tale.  I hope you enjoy it.

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The Gingerbread Monster (Also Entitled: The Modern Aspiring Prometheus)

One day after losing a particularly long game of checkers to her husband Roderick, an old woman named Minerva (commonly called “Nerve”) pulled out her gingerbread recipe, selected a couple dubiously-edible objects from her pantry that were never mentioned in the recipe and stirred them together haphazardly.  Throwing the lump in the oven, she let it bake.

It wasn’t half an hour before the dog began to whine and bury its nose in the dirt.  Ten minutes later Roderick sniffed the air and almost lost his lunch.  Laboriously climbing to his feet (a feat as difficult as climbing Mount Everest with only a pair of crutches), he hobbled inside, following the smell.  Realizing it came from the oven, he cracked it open to look inside.

The old man cried out in fright as something brown flew past his face and hit his shoulder, knocking him over.  Leaning over him he saw a head-sized amorphous mass, vaguely humanoid, all brown except for a large yellow patch in its middle.  Seeing that Roderick was of no interest, the little monster used his frail chest as a springboard and bounded out the door.

Minerva, hearing an odd thump from the kitchen, came through sweeping.  Seeing the oven open, she screamed and began laying about with her broom, trying to hit her diminutive culinary flop.  Roderick suffered more than one of these blows before Minerva actually heard his cries.  Frantically looking around and not seeing her creation, Minerva rushed out of the house, still waving her broom.

As the stench grew stronger, the dog dove for the fence around the house.  The same fence he had spent countless hours trying to break through was no match for his frenzy now.  Minerva watched in despair as a large hole was torn in the fence, through which both the dog and the shapeless monster fled.  Cursing in a highly unladylike way, Minerva enlarged the hole with her broom handle and gave chase.

The gingerbread monster ran as quickly as he could, though only half-baked and still oozing.  The yellow splotch in his middle had moved down into his foot and was threatening to disassociate itself entirely from the rest of his body.  In light of this, he jumped onto a passing horsecart, currently occupied by a fat pig.

The displeasing smell of the monster meandered its way toward the pig’s nose, infiltrated it, and attacked it with a vengeance.  The pig snorted twice, then rolled over.  The side of the cart succumbed to the pig’s weight and dumped the pig mercilessly on the ground.  The pig didn’t care; it stood and ran the way the gingerbread monster had come, grunting all the way.

The driver of the cart heard something vaguely reminiscent of his sister sneezing and looked around.  Seeing his pig running off, he ran after it shouting.  He collided with Minerva, who had seen the monster on the empty cart ahead.  After brief conflict as to whether to be gentlemanly and help Minerva or to follow his pig-shaped investment, the driver ran in the direction of the pig, having smelled the monster’s distinctive odor.

Minerva, shrugging her shoulders and hefting her broom, hiked up her skirts and ran after the unmanned cart on the road ahead.  She meant business.

The gingerbread monster, reveling in the havoc he was causing, decided that a rhyme might be fitting for the occasion.  Thinking hard, he finally came up with something.

“Forsooth, you look as red as a lobster,
But you can’t touch me, the gingerbread monster!”

He wasn’t too proud of it, but it would do for now.

The cart he was on rolled on, propelled by the horse’s nose.  Having smelled the terrible scent of the monster behind him, he tried to escape with all his might.  Soon the horse was galloping along the road, scattering pedestrians left and right.

The cart had been made badly, as with all the products of Carpenter Bob from town.  The wheels in particular had been overlooked more than once during inspections.

Thus, they fell off.

First one rolled away, pitching the monster to one side.  Then the other followed its brother, letting the cart do its own rolling.  Hitting a pothole, the cart threw the gingerbread monster forward through the air.  The horse backed up quickly, turning on the cart and trampling it to pieces.  Neither the cart nor the horse were ever seen again.

The gingerbread monster landed on the ground and wasted precious seconds trying to put himself back together, gluing himself with mud.  By the time he was able to run, Minerva was almost upon him.

But not quite.  Chanting his annoying couplet again, the gingerbread monster ran, now wearing the yellow blob as a hat.  He leapt beyond Minerva’s grasping fingertips, spitting on them for good measure.

No one had ever taught this gingerbread monster his manners.

The gingerbread monster ran through a crowd of people, causing them to flee before him.  He laughed at their fright.

Minerva, stumbling along behind him, finally took a good breath and smelled his odor.  “Perhaps I shouldn’t have used Roderick’s deodorant as seasoning,” she admonished herself, wrinkling her nose.  Swinging her broom like a pendulum, she tried to stun the monster.  She didn’t succeed, for the gingerbread monster was wise to her plan.  He jumped onto her broom.  Shrieking in her surprise, she whipped the broom up over her head to dislodge the unwanted lodger.  Flying through the air, the monster shouted his rhyme to the world, by now quite blind to its faults.

He landed heavily on the riverbank.  Sinking to the ground, he tried to gather his middle back into its rightful place.  Seeing Minerva chasing him with determination in his eyes, he squeaked with fright.  Turning, he saw a fox with a mutilated nose.  He squeaked in fright again.

But the fox looked at him kindly.  “You are being chased,” he said in a nasal accent.

“You have a good sense of the obvious,” said the gingerbread monster, sarcastic even in the face of imminent death.

“I will protect you,” said the fox, standing over him protectively.

The gingerbread monster turned to look at Minerva, who had stopped.  He stuck out his tongue impudently.

Thus, his tongue was the only thing that escaped the fox’s massive bite.  With a muffled squeak the gingerbread monster vanished, the fox licking up the severed tongue moments later.

The gingerbread man was no more.

The fox died a day later of food poisoning.

We now see why in some cultures boredom is considered evil.

Leave a comment

11 Comments

  1. Rachel R.

     /  June 25, 2012

    Interesting story……….

    Reply
  2. Wow. This story… I like it!

    Reply
  3. I hope the moral of this story isn’t that you should have a good sense of smell.

    Reply

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