The cold temperatures, endless supply of fattening treats, and the busyness of November and December are a trifecta threatening to throw a wrench into the healthy diet and exercise plans of countless people. Inspired by this struggle, I wrote this fractured fairy tale. I hope you enjoy it!
Mr. Ginger and the Sedentary Boy
It was the third week of Advent, and Christmas was nigh
When dear, sweet old granny with a glint in her eye
Formed a soft ginger dough, and rolled it out flat
And cut out small men, each donning a top hat.
With such tender care, and slight arthritic ache
Granny placed each cookie sheet into the oven to bake.
I was a small, spritely child, and could not wait to see
The delicate cookie man Granny would make just for me.
Ten long minutes had passed when the egg timer rang
And Granny up from her wooden rocker sprang.
She took out the cookies. I could feel myself drool.
“Don’t touch these,” she scolded, “They still have to cool”
I thought about waiting, but my feet were so sore
I knew I could not stand even one minute more.
There in the corner of the den was a seat,
A place to watch TV while I rested my feet.
Granny busied herself and washed all the dishes,
And I could hear her sing sweetly about holiday wishes.
The strangest song, by far, that Granny did sing
Was about how children these days never do anything.
Just as she sang, “That’s why kids have grown stout,”
I heard a commotion, and a cookie from the kitchen dashed out.
“Hey! You’re for me!” I called with genuine surprise.
And that cookie yelled back with a voice twice his size.
“Your dear Granny’s right,” he said, giving his hat a flick.
“Kids like you sit so much, it just makes me sick.”
And with that he was gone, he rushed out the front door.
I stood up and followed. I just had to see more.
The man raced up the street, yelling cruelly and lispy,
“I’m a delicious cookie, delicate and crispy.
I’ll let someone eat me, but first you must prove
That you won’t get winded by how fast you must move!”
One by one, eager children from their houses did peer
Hoping the ginger man would be perfectly near
So they wouldn’t have need to break into a run
Because for young children, running just isn’t fun.
I peered through the window of a boy on my street
I noticed the sofa was formed to his seat.
His mother was screeching, “Sonny, get that rude treat!”
But he just responded, “That treat isn’t so neat.”
I’ve got other things that are calling my name.
And I don’t have to move to keep playing my game.”
The ginger man hopped gleefully, and taunted our block
“Will no one come get me? Are you slowed by your stock?”
And he let forth a cackle, and his sprinkles did dances
While he contorted his face into awful, mean glances.
After nearly an hour, and all kinds of ruckus
Mrs. Jackson couldn’t take it and got off of her tuckus.
She sent her dog Furball to catch the rogue snack
Furball’s belly was dragging, his pace rather slack.
The dog walked a few feet toward the cookie, then stopped
And Furball flopped down with an enormous kerplop.
“Oho!” yelled the cookie with vigor and glee
“Looks like Furball’s too chubby to come after me!”
An older boy, Sam, had heard quite enough
Of the ginger man’s taunting. It was time to get tough.
Sam thought his skateboard would give him great speed
He could zoom at the cookie and catch him indeed.
So Sam mounted his board and showed us his best
Tricks and smooth moves. All of us were impressed.
But the cookie had plenty of moves of his own.
It didn’t take long before Sam headed home.
Young and old all alike soon became tired of the show,
But the gingerbread man’s heckling only did grow.
My neighbors and friends all went back to their resting.
We’d all had enough of the cookie man’s jesting.
I wanted to leave, I wanted to quit.
I wanted to lie down, or at least stop and sit.
But something seemed wrong with just going back home.
It seemed far too risky to leave the cookie alone.
Suddenly it hit me – one glorious muse!
And I remembered the things I once used to do.
Afternoons spent at play; parks, slides and trees
I once took great pleasure in things such as these.
And so I spoke up and yelled to the treat
I had to make clear I would not be beat.
“Mr. Ginger,” I yelled as politely as I could,
“I think you have me misunderstood.”
“You think I’ll give up; you’re sure I’ll give in,
If I go back home now, you’ll certainly win.”
And so I stood tall, then broke into a sprint.
I followed that cookie wherever he went.
Though it took a long time, the spry treat did grow weary.
He smiled right at me, his candy eyes looking teary.
“I knew you could do it, your energy was reserved.
Take a bite, dear child, for this treat is deserved.”