What Is the Legend of the Gingerbread Man?

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The legend of the gingerbread man exists in many forms, but it always consists of an animate, humanoid gingerbread cookie who is forced to flee from creatures who wish to eat him. The gingerbread man encounters many creatures but is ultimately tricked and eaten by a cunning fox.

In the beginning of the story, the gingerbread man is created when a little, old woman decides to bake a gingerbread snack. When she looks into the oven to check the progress of her creation, the gingerbread man jumps out of the oven. The woman desires to eat him, so the gingerbread man runs away from her. He encounters an old man, a dog, a pig and a group of cows who also express their desire to eat him. The gingerbread man continues to flee until meeting a fox.

The gingerbread man was ready to run away from the fox, but the fox expressed no apparent desire to eat him. Instead, the fox offered to help ferry the gingerbread man across a river. The gingerbread man agreed and climbed on the back of the fox. As the river began to get deeper, the fox urged the gingerbread man to come closer and closer to his mouth in order to stay dry. When the gingerbread man got to the nose of the fox, the fox quickly devoured him.