The story begins with a little old man and a little old woman who live in cottage. They would have been happy except for the fact that they did not have a child. One day, when the old lady was making gingerbread, she cut a piece in the shape of a boy and put it into the oven. When she opened the oven again, the little gingerbread boy jumped out and proceeded to run away as fast as he could. The woman called her husband and they went after him but could not catch him. The gingerbread man runs by a barn full of threshers and says "I've run away from a little old woman, a little old man, and I can run away from you, I can!" The barn full of threshers joined the chase, but could not catch him as well. Next, the gingerbread man came to a field full of mowers, again boasting that they couldn't catch him. Then came a cow, then a pig, but no one was close to catching the gingerbread man. Then the gingerbread man came across a fox. He boasted like usual, but the fox was fast. The fox caught him and began to eat him up, with the gingerbread man stating "Oh dear, I'm a quarter gone!" And then, "Oh, I'm half gone." Then, "I'm three-quarters gone!" And finally, "I'm all gone!"