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The Gingerbread Man and How the Cookie Crumbles

“Run, run fast as you can, can’t catch me, I’m the Gingerbread Man.” Can anyone guess what this article is going to be about? I often return to children’s stories to drive home a point by identifying the moral of a story and then applying it to commonly occurring behavior in today’s world. This is no different - LOL. Go ahead and laugh - you know you want to!

The story of The Gingerbread Man tells the delightful tale of how a gingerbread cookie, here after referred to as a gingerbread man, is created to behave in a certain manner. He was a cookie. He was made to be eaten but he had other ideas. As soon as the old woman who baked him turned her attention to something else for a second that cookie decided he wasn’t having it and he jumped and ran as fast as he could away from the woman and from his responsibility to be what he was intended to be – an enjoyable dessert. As if it wasn’t bad enough that the Gingerbread Man ran away from his intended purpose in life, as he ran he taunted anyone that tried to catch him to try to make him understand that he should live up to his intended purpose in life. As he ran he’d bat his raisin eyes as he passed by and he kept yelling his taunting words, “run, run, as fast as you can, can’t catch me I’m the Gingerbread Man.”

That irresponsible cookie ran from the old woman, the old man, a pig, a dog, and a cow and then he came to a body of water that he wanted to cross to find some new places to run and play his irresponsible games. Well, this was a bit of a dilemma. His normal pattern of running just wouldn’t get him across the water. He may have thought he was really important, but even an important tricky Gingerbread Man Cookie was still a cookie with all the glitches that go along with that. He couldn’t get wet because he’d get soggy and then he’d just disintegrate into nothingness. He would not only not fulfill his purpose of being a dessert; he would also accomplish nothing else by all his running because he would ultimately become a great big nothing. He thought what to do, what to do? He had to keep running so he wouldn’t be under someone else's control and then get eaten. Well, along came a fox who offered very coyly to give that cookie man a ride across the water on his tail. Since the Gingerbread Man looked good but wasn’t really all that smart, he accepted the fox’s offer thinking it sounded like a quick and easy answer to his temporary problem. He wanted to get across that water so he could keep taunting anyone and anything he ran past with his magnificence and irresponsibly and merrily say and do whatever he wanted to say and do. He jumped on the fox’s tail thinking he’d enjoy the ride and the view and then the water started to get a little bit high so when the fox suggested he move onto his back to remain dry he thought hey man, that’s a great idea, this happened again and he moved onto his neck and then his head, then again and he moved onto his nose and then boom – the fox took advantage of his nature and in one big bite he ate that irresponsible cookie.

The Gingerbread Man wasn’t so smug anymore. In fact that Gingerbread Man didn’t exist anymore and as if that wasn’t bad enough because of the fact that he was so irresponsible he wasn’t even thought highly of after he was gone. Maybe it would have been a better idea for him to have lived up to his original potential and purpose and responsibilities than to taunt and mess around with that pig and that dog and that cow because in the end a running man will always meet his foxy match and he will get his just desserts, Ooopps, I mean he will become just dessert and will be done and gone.

So, maybe the moral of this story is interesting food for thought. To everyone, everywhere, who thinks they can run, run, run as fast as they can from responsible behavior, taunting and messing with others along the way, eventually they will hit an obstacle and they will be outsmarted by someone foxy and they will get their just desserts because that’s just the way the cookie crumbles.

It might just be easier to make the right appropriate choices in the beginning because I don’t imagine it’s much fun to be a crumbling, bumbling cookie!

Until next time, have a warm heart but be COOL! Be happy, be well, and be the best you that you can be!

Best Regards,


Kate Woods
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