Monday, November 11, 2013

A Gingerbread Rebus Story from 1904

      At one time little rebus stories were very popular with American Juvenile Publishers. Newspapers often printed these for their regular story sections devoted to children. Children could help their parents read articles aloud by describing the "picture symbol" used to replace a few words within the context of the type. (text)
      "Please make me a gingerbread man," said Trot. Mama was baking ginger cookies and Twinkle and Tray and Trot all lifted their noses and sniffed at the good smells that came out of the oven, every time the door was opened. Mama smoothed out some dough with a rolling pin and then, with a knife cut out the little figure that looked like a man.
      "Be careful of him," she said when he was baked. "Don't let him drop and don't leave him where Twinkle or Tray can get him," And Trot went off to the room, singing, Twinkle and Tray following close behind, their noses all wrinkled up with their sniffs at the little gingerbread man.
      "I'm going to play soldier," said Trot, only he called it "sojer." So he went to the toy chest where all of his toys were kept and pulled out a little cannon. He crawled under the table and put it down facing the window, where two birds sat cheep-cheeping out side and put the little gingerbread man up against it. Then he took out his cocked hat and his little wooden gun, and started on a march around the table, saying, "Hep, hep, hep," just as papa had taught him. Just before he came to the place where the cannon and the gingerbread man were, he said, "Ready, aim fire!" and the "Bang!" Just then he turned the last corner of the table, and there--oh what did he see? Twinkle on one side of the toy cannon, was chewing on the arm of his dear gingerbread man, and Tray on the other was chewing all that was left of the rest of him.
      Trot threw his gun at them and screamed, "Mama! Mama!" and when mama came to the door in a rush, the big tears were rolling down Trot's cheeks and Twinkle and Tray were dashing wildly around as if pursued by a small boy with fourteen arms. "Never mind, never mind!" said mama, as she wiped Trot's eyes. "There is a little dough left, and I'll make you another gingerbread man. But you must not leave him around where Twinkle or Tray can get him. All cookies look alike to a hungry little dog or cat."

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