The Runaway Pancake

folktales of Aarne-Thompson-Uther type 2025
translated and/or edited by

D. L. Ashliman

© 2000-2010


Contents

  1. The Pancake (Norway).

  2. The Runaway Pancake (Germany).

  3. The Thick, Fat Pancake (Germany).

  4. Dathera Dad (England).

  5. The Wonderful Cake (Ireland).

  6. The Wee Bunnock (Scotland [Ayrshire]).

  7. The Wee Bannock (Scotland [Dumfriesshire]).

  8. The Wee Bannock (Scotland [Selkirkshire]).

  9. The Fox and the Little Bonnach (Scotland).

  10. The Gingerbread Boy (USA).

  11. The Johnny-Cake (USA).

  12. The Little Cakeen (USA).

  13. The Devil in the Dough-Pan (Russia).

  14. Links to related sites.


Return to D. L. Ashliman's folktexts, a library of folktales, folklore, fairy tales, and mythology.

The Pancake

Norway

Once upon a time there was a good housewife, who had seven hungry children. One day she was busy frying pancakes for them, and this time she had used new milk in the making of them. One was lying in the pan, frizzling away -- ah! so beautiful and thick -- it was a pleasure to look at it. The children were standing round the fire, and the husband sat in the corner and looked on.

"Oh, give me a bit of pancake, mother, I am so hungry!" said one child.

"Ah, do! dear mother," said the second.

"Ah, do! dear, good mother," said the third.

"Ah, do! dear, good, kind mother," said the fourth.

"Ah, do! dear, good, kind, nice mother," said the fifth.

"Ah, do! dear, good, kind, nice, sweet mother," said the sixth.

"Ah, do! dear, good, kind, nice, sweet, darling mother," said the seventh. And thus they were all begging for pancakes, the one more prettily than the other, because they were so hungry, and such good little children.

"Yes, children dear, wait a bit until it turns itself," she answered -- she ought to have said "until I turn it" -- "and then you shall all have pancakes, beautiful pancakes, made of new milk -- only look how thick and happy it lies there."

When the pancake heard this, it got frightened, and all of a sudden, it turned itself and wanted to get out of the pan, but it fell down in it again on the other side, and when it had been fried a little on that side too, it felt a little stronger in the back, jumped out on the floor, and rolled away, like a wheel, right through the door and down the road.

"Halloo!" cried the good wife, and away she ran after it, with the frying pan in one hand and the ladle in the other, as fast as she could, and the children behind her, while the husband came limping after, last of all.

"Halloo, won't you stop? Catch it, stop it. Halloo there!" they all screamed, the one louder than the other, trying to catch it on the run, but the pancake rolled and rolled, and before long, it was so far ahead, that they could not see it, for the pancake was much smarter on its legs than any of them.

When it had rolled a time, it met a man.

"Good day, pancake!" said the man.

"Well met, Manny Panny," said the pancake.

"Dear pancake," said the man, "don't roll so fast, but wait a bit and let me eat you."

"When I have run away from Goody Poody and the husband and seven squalling children, I must run away from you too, Manny Panny," said the pancake, and rolled on and on, until it met a hen.

"Good day, pancake," said the hen.

"Good day, Henny Penny," said the pancake.

"My dear pancake, don't roll so fast, but wait a bit and let me eat you," said the hen.

"When I have run away from Goody Poody and the husband and seven squalling children, and from Manny Panny, I must run away from you too, Henny Penny," said the pancake, and rolled on like a wheel down the road. Then it met a cock.

"Good day, pancake," said the cock.

"Good day, Cocky Locky," said the pancake.

"My dear pancake, don't roll so fast, but wait a bit and let me eat you," said the cock.

"When I have run away from Goody Poody and the husband and seven squalling children, from Manny Panny, and Henny Penny, I must run away from you too, Cocky Locky," said the pancake, and rolled and rolled on as fast as it could. When it had rolled a long time, it met a duck.

"Good day, pancake," said the duck.

"Good day, Ducky Lucky," said the pancake.

"My dear pancake, don't roll so fast, but wait a bit and let me eat you," said the duck.

"When I have run away from Goody Poody and the husband and seven squalling children, from Manny Panny, and Henny Penny, and Cocky Locky, I must run away from you too, Ducky Lucky," said the pancake, and with that it fell to rolling and rolling as fast as ever it could. When it had rolled a long, long time, it met a goose.

Good day, pancake," said the goose.

"Good day, Goosey Poosey," said the pancake.

"My dear pancake, don't roll so fast, but wait a bit and let me eat you," said the goose.

"When I have run away from Goody Poody and the husband and seven squalling children, from Manny Panny, and Henny Penny, and Cocky Locky, and Ducky Lucky, I must run away from you too, Goosey Poosey," said the pancake, and away it rolled. So when it had rolled a long, very long time, it met a gander.

Good day, pancake," said the gander.

"Good day, Gander Pander," said the pancake.

"My dear pancake, don't roll so fast, but wait a bit and let me eat you," said the gander.

"When I have run away from Goody Poody and the husband and seven squalling children, from Manny Panny, and Henny Penny, and Cocky Locky, and Ducky Lucky, and Goosey Poosey, I must run away from you too, Gander Pander," said the pancake, and rolled and rolled as fast as it could. When it had rolled on a long, long time, it met a pig.

Good day, pancake," said the pig.

"Good day, Piggy Wiggy," said the pancake, and began to roll on faster than ever.

Nay, wait a bit," said the pig, "you needn't be in such a hurry-scurry; we two can walk quietly together and keep each other company through the wood, because they say it isn't very safe there."

The pancake thought there might be something in that, and so they walked together through the wood; but when they had gone some distance, they came to a brook.

The pig was so fat it wasn't much trouble for him to swim across, but the pancake couldn't get over.

"Sit on my snout," said the pig, "and I will ferry you over."

The pancake did so.

"Ouf, ouf," grunted the pig, and swallowed the pancake in one gulp, and as the pancake couldn't get any farther -- well, you see we can't go on with this story any farther, either.




The Runaway Pancake

Germany

Two women in Jetzschko were baking a pancake, and when it was almost done they began to quarrel, because each one wanted the whole thing.

The one woman said, "I get the pancake!"

The other one replied, "No, I want all of it!"

Before they knew what was happening, the pancake suddenly grew feet, jumped out of the pan, and ran away.

He came to a fox, who said to him, "Pancake, pancake, where are you going?"

The pancake answered, "I ran away from two old women, and I shall run away from you as well!"

Then he met a hare. It too shouted, "Pancake, pancake, where are you going?"

The pancake answered, "I ran away from two old women, Reynard the Fox, and I shall run away from you as well.

The pancake ran on until he came to some water. A ship full of people was floating on the water. They too cried out to him, "Pancake, pancake, where are you going?"

Again he said, "I ran away from two old women, Reynard the Fox, Speedy the Hare, and I shall run away from you as well."

Then he came to a large pig. It too shouted to him, "Pancake, pancake, where are you going?"

"Oh," he said, "I ran away from two old women, Reynard the Fox, Speedy the Hare, a ship full of people, and I shall run away from you as well."

The pig said, "Pancake, I am hard of hearing. You'll have to say it into my ear!"

So the pancake went up close, and bam! bam! the pig snatched him and ate him up, and with that the story is ended.




The Thick, Fat Pancake

Germany

Once upon a time there were three old women who wanted a pancake to eat. The first one brought an egg, the second one milk, and the third one grease and flour. When the thick, fat pancake was done, it pulled itself up in the pan and ran away from the three old women. It ran and ran, steadfastly, steadfastly into the woods. There he came upon a little hare, who cried, "Thick, fat pancake, stop! I want to eat you!"

The pancake answered, "I have run away from three old women. Can I not run away from Hoppity Hare as well?" And it ran steadfastly, steadfastly into the woods.

Then a wolf came running toward him, and cried, "Thick, fat pancake, stop! I want to eat you!"

The pancake answered, "I have run away from three old women and Hoppity Hare. Can I not run away from Waddly Wolf as well?" And it ran steadfastly, steadfastly into the woods.

Then a goat came hopping by, and cried, "Thick, fat pancake, stop! I want to eat you!"

The pancake answered, "I have run away from three old women, Hoppity Hare, and Waddly Wolf. Can I not run away from Longbeard Goat as well?" And it ran steadfastly, steadfastly into the woods.

Then a horse came galloping by, and cried, "Thick, fat pancake, stop! I want to eat you!"

The pancake answered, "I have run away from three old women, Hoppity Hare, Waddly Wolf, and Longbeard Goat. Can I not run away from Flatfoot Horse as well?" And it ran steadfastly, steadfastly into the woods.

Then a sow came running up, and cried, "Thick, fat pancake, stop! I want to eat you!"

The pancake answered, "I have run away from three old women, Hoppity Hare, Waddly Wolf, Longbeard Goat, and Flatfoot Horse. Can I not run away from Oink-Oink Sow as well?" And it ran steadfastly, steadfastly into the woods.

Then three children came by. They had neither father nor mother, and they said, "Dear pancake, stop! We have had nothing to eat the entire day!" So the thick, fat pancake jumped into the children's basket and let them eat it up.




Dathera Dad

England

There was once a farmer's wife who made a pudding and set it on the fire to be boiled. As soon as the water began to boil the pudding jumped, and at last it jumped out upon the floor and rolled about as if it were bewitched. As the pudding was rolling about on the floor a travelling tinker came to the door, and the woman picked the pudding up and gave it to him. So the tinker put it into his budget and slung it over his back. As he trudged along the road the pudding kept rolling about in the budget till at last it broke in pieces, when out came a littlo fairy child who cried, "Take me to my dathera dad, take me to my dathera dad."




The Wonderful Cake

Ireland

A mouse, a rat, and a little red hen once lived together in the same cabin, and one day the little red hen said, "Let us bake a cake and have a feast."

"Let us," says the mouse; and "Let us," says the rat.

"Who'll go get the wheat ground?" says the hen.

"I won't," says the mouse; "I won't," says the rat; "I'll go myself," says the little red hen.

"Who'll make the cake?

"I won't," says the mouse; "I won't," says the rat; "I will myself," says the little red hen.

"Who'll eat the cake?"

"I will," says the mouse; "I will," says the rat; "Dickens a bit you shall," says the little red hen.

Well, while the hen was putting over her hand to it, magh go brath with it out of the door, and after it with the three housekeepers.

When it was running away, it went by a barn full of thrashers, and they asked it where it was running.

"Oh," says it, "I'm running away from the mouse, the rat, and the little red hen, and from you too if I can."

So they piked away after it with their flails, and it run and it run till it came to a ditch full of ditchers, and they asked it where it was running.

"Oh, I'm running away from the mouse, the rat, and the little red hen, and from a barn full of thrashers, and from you too if I can."

Well they all ran after it along with the rest till it came to a well full of washers, and they asked the same question, and it returned the same answer, and after it they went.

At last it came to a ford where it met with a fox, who asked where it was running.

"Oh, I'm running away from the mouse, the rat, and the little red hen, from a barn full of thrashers, a ditch full of ditchers, a well full of washers, a crumply-horned cow, a saddled-backed sow, and from you too if I can."

"But you can't cross the ford," says the fox.

"And can't you carry me over?" says the cake.

"What'll you give me?" says the fox.

"A kiss at Christmas, and an egg at Easter," says the cake.

"Very well," says the fox." Up with you."

So he sat on his currabingo with his nose in the air, and the cake got up by his tail till it sat on his crupper.

"Now over with you," says the cake.

"You're not high enough."

Then it scrambled up on his shoulder.

"Up higher still," says he, "you wouldn't be safe there."

"Am I right now ?" says the cake, when it was on his head.

"Not quite," says he; "you'll be safer on the ridge pole of my nose."

"Well," says the cake, "I think I can go no further."

"Oh, yes," says he, and he shot it up in the air, caught it in his mouth, and sent it down the red lane.




The Wee Bunnock

Scotland

"Grannie, grannie, come tell us the story o' the wee bunnock."

"Hout, bairns, ye've heard it a hunner times afore. I needna tell it owre again."

"Ah, but, grannie, it's sic a fine ane. Ye maun tell't. Just ance."

"Weel, weel, bairns, if ye'll a' promise to be guid, I'll tell ye't again.

But I'll tell you a bonny tale about a guid aitmeal bunnock.

There lived an auld man and an auld wife at the side o' a burn. They had twa kye, five hens and a cock, a cat and twa kittlins. The auld man lookit after the kye, and the auld wife span on the tow-rock. The kittlins aft grippit at the auld wife's spindle, as it tussled owre the hearth-stane.

"Sho, sho," she wad say, "gae wa';" and so it tussled about.

Ae day, after parritch time, she thought she wad hae a bunnock. Sae she bakit twa aitmeal bunnocks, and set them to to the fire to harden. After a while, the auld man came in, and sat down aside the fire, and takes ane o' the bunnocks, and snappit it through the middle. When the tither ane sees this, it rins aff as fast as it could, and the auld wife after't, wi' the spindle in the tae hand and the tow-rock in the tither.

But the wee bunnock wan awa', and out o' sight, and ran till it came to a guid muckle thack house, and ben it ran boldly to the fireside; and there were three tailors sitting on a muckle table. When they saw the wee bunnock come ben, they jumpit up, and gat in ahint the goodwife, that was cardin' tow ayont the fire.

"Hout," quo' she, "be na fleyt; it's but a wee bunnock. Grip it, and I'll gie ye a soup milk till 't."

Up she gets wi' the tow-cards, and the tailor wi' the goose, and the twa prentices, the ane wi' the muckle shears, and the tither wi' the lawbrod; but it jinkit them, and ran round about the fire; and ane o' the prentices, thinking to snap it wi' the shears, fell i' the ase-pit. The tailor cuist the goose, and the goodwife the tow-cards; but a' wadna do. The bunnock wan awa', and ran till it came to a wee house at the roadside; and in it rins, and there was a weaver sittin' on the loom, and the wife winnin' a clue o' yarn.

"Tibby," quo' he, "what's tat?"

"Oh," quo' she, "it's a wee bunnock."

"It's weel come," quo' he, "for our sowens were but thin the day. Grip it, my woman; grip it."

"Ay," quo' she; "what recks! That's a clever bunnock. Kep, Willie; kep, man."

"Hout," quo' Willie, "cast the clue at it."

But the bunnock whipit round about, and but the floor, and aff it gaed, and owre the knowe, like a new-tarred sheep or a daft yell cow. And forrit it runs to the niest house, and ben to the fireside; and there was the goodwife kirnin'.

"Come awa', wee bunnock," quo' she; "I'se hae ream and bread the day."

But the wee bunnock whipit round about the kirn, and the wife after't, and i' the hurry she had near-hand coupit the kirn. And afore she got it set right again, the wee bunnock was aff, and down the brae to the mill; and in it ran.

The miller was siftin' meal i' the trough; but, looking up: " Ay," quo' he, "it's a sign o' plenty when ye're rinnin' about, and naebody to look after ye. But I like a bunnock and cheese. Come your wa's ben, and I'll gie ye a night's quarters."

But the bunnock wadna trust itsel' wi' the miller and his cheese. Sae it turned and ran its wa's out; but the miller didna fash his head wi't.

So it toddled awa', and ran till it came to the smithy; and in it rins, and up to the studdy. The smith was making horse-nails.

Quo' he: "I like a bicker o' guid yill and a weel-toastit bunnock. Come your wa's in by here."

But the bunnock was frightened when it heard about the yill, and turned and aff as hard as it could, and the smith after't, and cuist the hammer. But it whirlt awa', and out o' sight in a crack, and ran till it came to a farm-house wi' a guid muckle peat-stack at the end o't. Ben it rins to the fireside. The goodman was clovin' lint, and the goodwife hecklin'.

"O Janet," quo' he, "there's a wee bunnock; I'se hae the hauf o't."

"Weel, John, I'se hae the tither hauf. Hit it owre the back wi' the clove."

But the bunnock playt jink-about.

"Hout, tout," quo' the wife, and gart the heckle flee at it. But it was owre clever for her.

And aff and up the burn it ran to the niest house, and whirlt its wa's ben to the fireside. The goodwife was stirrin' the sowens, and the goodman plettin' sprit-binnings for the kye.

"Ho, Jock," quo' the goodwife, "come here. Thou's aye crying about a wee bunnock. Here's ane. Come in, haste ye, and I'1l help thee to grip it."

"Ay, mither, whaur is't ?"

"See there. Rin owre o' that side."

But the bunnock ran in ahint the goodman's chair. Jock fell amang the sprits. The goodman cuist a binning, and the goodwife the spurtle. But it was owre clever for Jock and her baith. It was aff and out o' sight in a crack, and through among the whins, and down the road to the niest house, and in, and ben to the fireside. The folk were just sittin' down to their sowens, and the goodwife scartin' the pat.

"Losh," quo' she, "there's a wee bunnock come in to warm itsel' at our fireside."

"Steek the door," quo' the goodman, "and we'll try to get a grip o't."

When the bunnock heard that, it ran but the house, and they after't wi' their spunes, and the goodman cuist his bunnat. But it whirlt awa', and ran, and better ran, till it came to another house; and when it gaed ben, the folk were just gaun to their beds. The goodman was castin' aff his breeks, and the goodwife rakin' the fire.

"What's tat?" quo' he.

"O," quo' she, "it's a wee bunnock."

Quo' he, "I could eat the hauf o't, for a' the brose I hae suppit."

"Grip it," quo' the wife, " and I'll hae a bit too."

"Cast your breaks at it -- kep -- kep!"

The goodman cuist the breeks, and had near-hand smoor't it . But it warsl't out, and ran, and the goodman after't, wanting the breeks; and there was a clean chase owre the craft park, and up the wunyerd, and in amang the whins; and the goodman lost it, and had to come his wa's trottin' hame hauf-nakit.

But now it was grown dark, and the wee bunnock couldna see; but it gaed into the side o' a muckle whin bush, and into a tod's hole. The tod had gotten nae meat for twa days. "O welcome, welcome," quo' the tod, and snappit it in twa i' the middle. And that was the end o' the wee bunnock.

Now, be ye lords or commoners,
Ye needna laugh nor sneer,
For ye'll be a' i' the tod's hole
In less than a hunner year.

At the conclusion, Grannie would look round upon her little audience, and add the following, by way of moral: "Now, weans, an ye live to grow muckle, be na owre lifted up about onything, nor owre sair cuisten down; for ye see the folk were a' cheated, and the puir tod got the bunnock."




The Wee Bannock

Scotland

A variation of the story of the Wee Bannock, from Dumfriesshire, is as follows:
When cockle shells turned music bells,
And turkeys chewed tobacco,
And birds biggit their nests in auld men's beards, as hereafter they may do in mine -- There was an auld man and an auld wife. and they lived in a killogie.

Quoth the auld man to the auld wife: "Rise, and bake me a bannock."

So she rase and bakit a bannock, and set it afore the greeshoch to harden.

Quoth the auld wife to the auld man: "Rise and turn the bannock."

"Na, na," quoth the bannock, "I'll turn mysel'."

And it turned round, and whirl't out at the door. And after it they ran, and the tane flang at it a pot, and the t'other a pan; but baith missed it . And it ran, and it ran, till it came to twa well-washers.

"Welcome, welcome, wee bannockie," quo' they; "where came thou fra?"

I fore-ran
A wee wee wife and a wee wee man;
A wee wee pot and a wee wee pan;
And sae will I you an I can.

And they ran after't, to daud it wi' wat claes. But it ran, and it ran, till it came to twa barn-threshers.

"Welcome, welcome, wee bannockie," quo' they; 'where came thou frae?"

I fore-ran
A wee wee wife and a wee wee man;
A wee wee pot and a wee wee pan;
Twa well-washers and twa barn-threshers;
And sae will I you an I can.

And they ran after't wi' their flails.

Thus the story goes on through a series of adventures, which are perhaps sufficiently indicated by the answer of the bannock to Tod Lowrie at last:

I fore-ran
A wee wee wife and a wee wee man;
A wee wee pot and a wee wee pan;
Twa well-washers and twa barn-threshers;
Twa dike-delvers and twa heather-pu'ers;
Twa ploughmen, twa harrowers, twa hungry herds;
And sae will I you an I can.

But the tod snappit it a' up at ae mouthful, and that was an end o' the wee bannock.




The Wee Bannock

Scotland

It may be worth while, in order to shew the extent to which nursery stories are provincially varied, to give the Selkirkshire version of the wee bannock:

There was a wife bakin' bannocks, and there was a man cam and wanted ane o' them. And he said to the wife: "Yer bannas is burnin': come awa' and I'1l turn them."

And the wife said: "Na, I'll turn them;" and he said: "Na, I'll turn them;" and she said: "Na, I'1l turn them."

And as they were threepin', ane o' the bannas got up and ran awa', and they couldna catch't. And it ran and ran or it cam to a sheep, and the sheep wantit it, and it said to the sheep:

I've beat a wee wife,
And I've beat a wee man,
And I'll try and beat ye too if I can.

Sae it ran and ran, and beat the sheep. And it cam to a goat, and it said to the goat:

I've beat a wee wife,
And I've beat a wee man,
And I've beat a wee sheep,
And I'll try and beat ye too if I can.

And it ran and ran, and beat the goat. And it cam to a fox, and it said to the fox:

I've beat a wee wife,
And I've beat a wee man,
And I've beat a wee sheep,
And I've beat a wee goat,
And I'll try and beat ye too if I can.

And the fox said: "Get on my back and I'll carry ye;" and the banna said: "Na, I'll rin mysel'."

And the fox said: "Na, get on my back, and I'll carry ye o'er the burn."

Sae the banna got on its back, and the fox turned round its head and took a grip o't.

And the banna cried: "Oh, ye're nippin's, ye're nippin's, ye're nippin's."

And the fox said: "Na, I'm just clawin' mysel'."

And it took anither grip, and the banna cried: "Oh, ye're nippin's, ye're nippin's, ye're nippin's."

And the fox nippit it a' awa' but a wee bit, and it fell into the burn, and that was the end o' the banna.




The Fox and the Little Bonnach

Scotland

The fox was once going over a loch, and there met him a little bonnach, and the fox asked him where he was going. The little bonnach told him he was going to such a place.

"And whence camest thou?" said the fox.

"I came from Geeogan, and I came from Cooaigean, and I came from the slab of the bonnach stone, and I came from the eye of the quern, and I will come from thee if I may," quoth the little bonnach.

"Well, I myself will take thee over on my back," said the fox.

"Thou'lt eat me, thou'lt eat me," quoth the little honnach.

"Come then on the tip of my tail," said the fox.

"Oh! I will not; thou wilt eat me," said the little bonnach.

"Come into my ear," said the fox.

"I will not go; thou wilt eat me," said the little bonnach.

"Come into my mouth," said the fox.

"Thou wilt eat me that time at all events," said the little bonnach.

"Oh, I will not eat thee," said the fox. "At the time when I am swimming I cannot eat anything at all."

He went into his mouth.

"Oh! ho!" said the fox, "I may do my own pleasure to thee now. It is long since it was heard that a hard morsel is good in the mouth of the stomach."

The fox ate the little bonnach. Then he went to the house of a gentleman, and he went to a loch, and he caught hold of a duck that was in if, and he ate that.

He went up to a hill side, and he began to stroke his sides on the hill.

"Oh king! how finely the bullet would spank upon my belly just now."

Who was listening but a hunter.

"It will be tried upon thee directly," said the hunter.

"Bad luck to the place that is here," quoth the fox, "in which a creature dares not say a word in fun that is not taken in earnest."

The hunter put a bullet in his gun, and he fired at him and killed him.




The Gingerbread Boy

USA

Now you shall hear a story that somebody's great-great-grandmother told a little girl ever so many years ago:

There was once a little old man and a little old woman, who lived in a little old house in the edge of a wood. They would have been a very happy old couple but for one thing -- they had no little child, and they wished for one very much. One day, when the little old woman was baking gingerbread, she cut a cake in the shape of a little boy, and put it into the oven.

Presently she went to the oven to see if it was baked. As soon as the oven door was opened, the little gingerbread boy jumped out, and began to run away as fast as he could go.

The little old woman called her husband, and they both ran after him. But they could not catch him. And soon the gingerbread boy came to a barn full of threshers. He called out to them as he went by, saying:

I've run away from a little old woman,
A little old man,
And I can run away from you, I can!

Then the barn full of threshers set out to run after him. But, though they ran fast, they could not catch him. And he ran on till he came to a field full of mowers. He called out to them:

I've run away from a little old woman,
A little old man,
A barn full of threshers,
And I can run away from you, I can!

Then the mowers began to run after him, but they couldn't catch him. And he ran on till he came to a cow. He called out to her:

I've run away from a little old woman,
A little old man,
A barn full of threshers,
A field full of mowers,
And I can run away from you, I can!

But, though the cow started at once, she couldn't catch him. And soon he came to a pig. He called out to the pig:

I've run away from a little old woman,
A little old man,
A barn full of threshers,
A field full of mowers,
A cow,
And I can run away from you, I can!

But the pig ran, and couldn't catch him. And he ran till he came across a fox, and to him he called out:

I've run away from a little old woman,
A little old man,
A barn full of threshers,
A field full of mowers,
A cow and a pig,
And I can run away from you, I can!

Then the fox set out to run. Now foxes can run very fast, and so the fox soon caught the gingerbread boy and began to eat him up.

Presently the gingerbread boy said, "Oh dear! I'm quarter gone!" And then, "Oh, I'm half gone!" And soon, "I'm three-quarters gone!" And at last, "I'm all gone!" and never spoke again.




Johnny-Cake

USA

Once upon a time there was an old man, and an old woman, and a little boy. One morning the old woman made a Johnny-Cake and put it in the oven to bake.

"You watch the Johnny-Cake while your father and I go out to work in the garden."

So the old man and the old woman went out and began to hoe potatoes and left the little boy to tend the oven. But he 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 Johnny-Cake and went rolling along end over end towards the open door of the house.

The little boy ran to shut the door, but Johnny-Cake 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 lip it, crying out to his father and mother, who heard the uproar and threw down their hoes and gave chase too. But Johnny-Cake 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 Johnny-Cake, and by and by he came to two well-diggers, who looked up from their work and called out, "Where are you going, Johnny-Cake?"

He said, "I have outrun an old man and an old woman and a little boy, and I can outrun you too-o-o!"

"Ye can, can ye?" 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 Johnny-Cake, and by and by he came to two ditch-diggers who were digging a ditch. "Where ye going, Johnny-Cake?" 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!"

"Ye can, can ye? We'll see about that!" said they, and they threw down their spades and ran after him too. But Johnny-Cake soon outstripped them also, and seeing they could never catch him, they gave up the chase and sat down to rest.

On went Johnny-Cake, and by and by he came to a bear. The bear said, "Where are ye going, Johnny-Cake?"

He said, "I've outrun an old man and an old woman and a little boy and two well-diggers and two ditch-diggers, and I can outrun you too-o-o!"

"Ye can, can ye?" growled the bear. "We'll see about that!" and trotted as fast as his legs could carry him after Johnny-Cake, who never stopped to look behind him. Before long the bear was left so far behind that he saw he might as well give up the hunt first as last, so he stretched himself out by the roadside to rest.

On went Johnny-Cake, and by and by he came to a wolf. The wolf said, "Where ye going, Johnny-Cake?"

He said, "I've outrun an old man and an old woman and a little boy and two well-diggers and two ditch-diggers and a bear, an I can outrun you too-o-o!"

"Ye can, can ye?" snarled the wolf. "We'll see about that!" And he set into a gallop after Johnny-Cake, who went on and on so fast that the wolf too saw there was no hope of overtaking him, and he too lay down to rest.

On went Johnny-Cake, and by and by he came to a fox that lay quietly in a corner of the fence. The fox called out in a sharp voice, but without getting up, "Where ye going, Johnny-Cake?"

He said, "I've outrun an old man and an old woman and a little boy and two well-diggers and two ditch-diggers, a bear, and a wolf, and I can outrun you too-o-o!"

The fox said, "I can't quite hear you, Johnny-Cake. Won't you come a little closer?" turning his head a little to one side.

Johnny-Cake stopped his race for the first time, and went a little closer, and called out in a very loud voice, "I've outrun an old man and an old woman and a little boy and two well-diggers and two ditch-diggers and a bear and a wolf, and I can outrun you too-o-o!"

"Can't quite hear you. Won't you come a little closer?"

Johnny-Cake came up close, and leaning towards the fox screamed out, "I'VE OUTRUN AN OLD MAN AND AN OLD WOMAN AND A LITTLE BOY AND TWO WELL-DIGGERS AND TWO DITCH-DIGGERS AND A BEAR AND A WOLF, AND I CAN OUTRUN YOU TOO-O-O!"

"You can, can you?" yelped the fox, and he snapped up the Johnny-Cake in his sharp teeth in the twinkling of an eye.




The Little Cakeen

USA

The following story was written down for me in March, 1889, by Miss Frances Perry, of Exeter, N. H., from her recollection of the form in which it was repeated to her by a relative, some fifteen years ago. It is thought to have been derived from an Irish domestic. "The Little Cakeen" is an interesting variant of the tale already printed in the Journal of American Folk-Lore (vol. ii. pp. 60, 217), under the title of "Johnny-Cake."

Once upon a time there was a little maneen and a little womaneen; and the little womaneen made a little cakeen and put it in the oven to bake. And the little maneen stood at one side of the oven, and said the little cakeen was done; and the little womaneen stood at the other side and said it wasn't. And while they were quarrelling about it, the little cakeen jumped out of the oven and ran off; and the little maneen and the little womaneen ran after it.

Pretty soon the little cakeen came to a little pusheen [cat?], and the little pusheen said, "Where are you going so fast, little cakeen, on those little legs of yours?"

And the little cakeen said: "I'm running away from the little maneen; I'm running away from the little womaneen, and now I'll run away from you!"

So the little pusheen ran after it. Then it came to a little dogeen, and the little dogeen said, "Where are you going so fast, little cakeen, on those little legs of yours?"

And the little cakeen said: "I'm running away from the little maneen; I'm running away from the little womaneen; I'm running away from the little pusheen, and now I'11 run away from you!"

So the little dogeen ran after it (and so on, with coween, heneen, owleen, etc.).

Then it came to a little foxeen; and the little foxeen said: "Where are you going so fast, little cakeen, on those little legs of yours?"

And the little cakeen answered: "I'm running away from the little maneen; I'm running away from the little womaneen; I'm running away from the little pusheen; I'm running away from the little dogeen; I'm running away from the little coween; I'm running away from the little heneen; I'm running away from the little owleen (etc., etc.), and now I'll run away from you."

But the little foxeen said: " Oh! don't do that, little cakeen; I will show you where to hide."

So the little cakeen said, " All right!"

So the little foxeen said: "Jump upon my tail;" and the little cakeen jumped on his tail.

Then the foxeen said: "Jump on my back;" and the little cakeen jumped on his back.

Then the little foxeen said: "Jump on my head;" so the little cakeen jumped on his head.

Then the little foxeen said: "Now jump in my mouth."

So the little cakeen jumped into his mouth, and he ate it all up!




The Devil in the Dough-Pan

Russia

Once a woman was kneading bread, but had forgotten to say the blessing. So the demon, Potánka, ran up and sat down in it. Then she recollected she had kneaded the dough without saying the blessing, went up to it and crossed herself; and Potánka wanted to escape, but could not anyhow, because of the blessing. So she put the leavened dough through a strainer and threw it out into the street, with Potánka inside. The pigs turned him over and over, and he could not escape for three whole days. At last he tore his way out through a crack in the dough and scampered off without looking behind him.

He ran up to his comrades, who asked him, " Where have you been, Potánka?"

"May that woman be accursed!" he said.

"Who?"

"The one who was kneading her dough and had made it without saying the proper blessing; so I ran up and squatted in it. Then she laid hold of me and crossed herself, and after three livelong days I got out, the pigs poking me about and I unable to escape! Never again will I get into a woman's dough."




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Revised August 13, 2010.