Thursday, June 20, 2013

The Gingerbread Boy

Run, Run, Run as fast as you can
You can't catch me I'm the Gingerbread Man.

The story of "The Gingerbread Man" is based on a very interesting folk belief which could make for some interesting stories.

In some parts of Russia people would attempt to strengthen or heal weak and crippled children by wrapping them in a special dough and putting them in the large oven which was heated just enough to make the dough rise but not hot enough to seriously hurt the child. (In parts of Russia people used these large ovens as a sort of sauna for Pregnant women or those about to be married as well).

Such folk magic could lead to the child being obstinate so that like the Gingerbread Man of folktales they would run away from home. Further these children would  trust those they shouldn't while not trusting those they should.

In other words the person would become powerful, fast, in essence a superhero but they would loose their ability to gauge a persons honesty and they would grow ever more obstinate. Think about how the parents who tried to heal their crippled child only to have him turn into an obstinate child would feel. Further how might the "gingerbread boy" be manipulated by unscrupulous people. Imagine that the 'gingerbread person" wants to be a hero and so does good when they can, but since they can't determine whose lying to them they are heroic only when they work on their own. But part of their curse is that they can't see this.