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A Dustbin of Milligan: 1961
The Gingerbread Boy
Once upon a time there was a baker and his wife. They lived in a little mill by a stream full of fish and fat frogs. It was all very lovely, _but_ the baker and his wife were very, _very_ unhappy – do you know why? Well they didn't have any children.
'Oh, I _wish_ I had a little boy all of my own.' –
When the baker saw his wife crying, he said, 'Don't cry, wife. I will try and get us a little boy.'
So, that night, he went to the bakery and said to himself, 'If we can't have a real baby, I'll make one.' So — he got a big bag of white flour and he mixed it with water until it was a big ball of dough – it looked like a big snowball – then he took a jar of ginger and mixed it into the dough. All night he worked, and do you know what he was doing? He was making a gingerbread boy. He made the legs, then the arms, the body, and last he made the gingerbread boy's head. Do you know how he made the eyes? How would you make a gingerbread boy's eyes? Well, this is how the baker made them: begot two currants and popped them in, then he made a little heart out of peppermint and pat it inside the body.
When it was all ready he put the gingerbread boy into the oven to make him nice and warm. After a little while the miller heard a tiny voice. 'Let me out, let me out. It's hot in here!' Do you know who was saying it? The gingerbread boy! Quickly, the miller took him out of the oven and he saw the gingerbread boy was alive!
'Hello, my boy,' said the miller.
'Who are _you?_' said the gingerbread boy.
'I am your daddy.' And he picked him up and kissed him.
Then little gingerbread boy said, 'Whet is my name?' The miller said, 'I dun's know yet. I will take you home and ask your mother.'
'Oh, let's harry,' said gingerbread boy, and off they ran to the miller's house. When his wife opened the door and she saw gingerbread boy she was to happy she clapped her hands with joy.
'At last! At last I have a little boy all of my own. 1 shall call him «Gingy» because he
is a ginger colour.'
Next morning they took Gingy to start school. At first Gingy was very happy in school, but then one day a naughty boy called Tommy bit Gingy on the arm. 'Oh!' said poor Gingy and Tommy said,
'You taste like a bit of gingerbread,' and he bit poor Gingy again.
The poor little gingerbread boy started to run home – oh dear – It started to rain and he started to get all soggy, and when he arrived home he was just a big ball of dough, like he first was.
When his mother saw him she started to cry and cry. 'Boo-hoo-hoo, what has happened to my poor boy.' And her tears came running down all over gingerbread boy.
'Please don't cry all over me, or I'll fail into little pieces,' said Gingy.
'Come here. IT make you all better again,' said the baker, and he squeezed all the rain out of gingerbread boy and made him back into a proper boy again.
That night, when they tucked him into bed, gingerbread boy said, 'Mummy, why do I crumble away when it rains?' So mommy had to tell him – he was made of gingerbread, and he was not the same as other girls and boys.
That night little gingerbread boy was very sad. He didn't want to be just made of bread – he wanted to be made of skin.
'I'm going to run away.' So he put on his clothes and took three apples and two oranges in a bag and off he tramped into the fluent behind the house. It was dark at black, and a big owl said, 'Where are _yoo_ going _tooo?_'
'Please owl, I'm cold and tired and hungry. Can I shelter under your wing?
'Oh, all right,' said the owl.
Underneath the wing it was nice and warm, and gingerbread boy went fast asleep. When he woke up it was morning and the owl said, 'I must be off now. I'm going to bed.' And away he flew to bed – because owls don't sleep at night, only in the daytime.
Now gingerbread boy was alone again and he walked through the woods till he came to the top of a hill and there be saw a house. It was a very funny house – it didn't have any windows, only lots and lots of doors. Gingerbread boy knocked at one door, and out came a funny old man wearing a long blue shirt and no trousers
'What do you want? he said,
I’m hungry? said gingerbread boy. ‘and I'm cold.'
The old man took him inside. 'I'll soon have you warm. Just get into this nice bath of hot water,'
_Splash_. In jumped gingerbread boy. 'Oh. this Is lovely,' he said, and then a terrible bad thing happened – gingerbread boy started to come to pieces in the hot water. 'Help! Help! He cryed. 'Get me out!' But it was too late,
The funny old man rolled all the pieces into a big ball of dough and put it on the mantelpiece. Next morning the funny old man went to the market and tried to sell the big piece of gingerbread. No one would buy it, but then along came gingerbread boy's daddy, the baker.
‘l need some dough,' he said, so he bought it off the old man for a penny.
Now, the baker didn't _know_ it was really the gingerbread boy he had bought but, when he got back to the bakery, he saw the little peppermint heart sticking out of the lump of gingerbread.
'Hooray, I've found my gingerbread boy again!' And quickly, quickly he made the gingerbread boy all over again, just like he used to be,
'Oh, daddy, daddy,' said gingerbread boy. 'I'll never run away from home again? And he hugged and kissed him, just then in came mummy and guess what _she_ had – another little gingerbread boy.
'This is your new brother' said daddy. 'When you ran away and we couldn't find you I made _another_ little gingerbread boy.'
'Oh, how lovely! Now we can play together.'
And so they did, and they all lived happy ever after.
Дурак учится на своих ошибках, умный — на чужих, а мудрый использует опыт и тех, и других себе на пользу.