The Pancake, Retold by Gudrun Thorne-Thomsen

Once on a time there was a woman who had seven hungry children, and she was frying a pancake for them. It was a sweet milk pancake, and there it lay in the pan, bubbling and frizzling so thick and good, it was a delight to look at it. And the children stood round about, and the old father sat by and looked on.

"Oh, give me a bit of pancake, mother, dear, I am so hungry," said one child.

"Oh, darling mother," said the second.

"Oh, darling, good mother," said the third.

"Oh, darling, good, sweet mother," said the fourth.

"Oh, darling, pretty, good, sweet mother," said the fifth.

"Oh, darling, pretty, good, sweet, clever mother," said the sixth.

"Oh, darling, pretty, good, sweet, clever, kindest little mother," said the seventh.

So they begged for the pancake all around, the one more prettily than the other, for they were so hungry and so good.

"Yes, yes, children, only bide a bit till it turns itself"—she ought to have said, 'till I can get it turned,'—"and then you shall have some lovely sweet milk pancake. Only look how fat and happy it lies there."

When the pancake heard all this it became afraid, and in a trice it turned itself and tried to jump out of the pan, but it fell back into it again, the other side up. When it had been fried a little on the other side too, till it got firm and stiff, it jumped out of the pan to the floor and rolled off like a wheel through the door and down the hill.

"Holloa! Stop, pancake!" and away ran the mother after it, with the frying pan in one hand and the ladle in the other, as fast as she could, and all the children behind her, while the old father on crutches limped after them last of all.

"Hi! Won't you stop? Catch it! Stop, pancake!" they all screamed out, one after another, and tried to catch it on the run and hold it. But the pancake rolled on and on, and in a twinkling of an eye it was so far ahead that they couldn't see it.

So when it had rolled awhile it met a man.

"Good-day, pancake," said the man.

"Good-day, Manny Panny!" said the pancake.

"Dear pancake," said the man, "don't roll so fast; stop a little and let me eat you."

"No, no; I have run away from the mother, and the father, and seven hungry children. I'll run away from you, Manny Panny," said the pancake, and it rolled and rolled till it met a hen.

"Good-day, pancake," said the hen.

"The same to you, Henny Penny," said the pancake.

"Pancake, dear, don't roll so fast. Bide a bit and let me eat you up," said the hen.

"No, no; I have run away from the mother, and the father, and seven hungry children, and Manny Panny. I'll run away from you, too, Henny Penny," said the pancake, and it rolled on like a wheel down the road.

Just then it met a cock.

"Good-day, pancake," said the cock.

"The same to you, Cocky Locky," said the pancake.

"Pancake, dear, don't roll so fast, but bide a bit and let me eat you up."

"No, no; I have run away from the mother, and the father, seven hungry children, Manny Panny, and Henny Penny. I'll run away from you too, Cocky Locky," said the pancake, and it rolled and rolled as fast as it could. Bye and bye it met a duck.

"Good-day, pancake," said the duck.

"The same to you, Ducky Lucky."

"Pancake, dear, don't roll away so fast; bide a bit and let me eat you up."

"No, no; I have run away from the mother, and the father, and seven hungry children, Manny Panny, Henny Penny, and Cocky Locky. I'll run away from you, too, Ducky Lucky," said the pancake, and with that it took to rolling and rolling faster than ever; and when it had rolled a long, long while, it met a goose.

"Good-day, pancake," said the goose.

"The same to you, Goosey Poosey."

"Pancake, dear, don't roll so fast; bide a bit and let me eat you up."

"No, no; I have run away from the mother, the father, seven hungry children, Manny Panny, Henny Penny, Cocky Locky, and Ducky Lucky. I'll run away from you, too, Goosey Poosey," said the pancake, and off it rolled.

So when it had rolled a long way off, it met a gander.

"Good-day, pancake," said the gander.

"The same to you, Gander Pander," said the pancake.

"Pancake, dear, don't roll so fast; bide a bit and let me have a bite."

"No, no; I've run away from the mother, the father, seven hungry children, Manny Panny, Henny Penny, Cocky Locky, Ducky Lucky, and Goosey Poosey. I'll run away from you, too, Gander Pander," said the pancake, and it rolled and rolled as fast as ever.

So when it had rolled a long, long time, it met a pig.

"Good-day, pancake," said the pig.

"The same to you, Piggy Wiggy," said the pancake, and without a word more it began to roll and roll for dear life.

"Nay, nay," said the pig, "you needn't be in such a hurry; we two can go side by side through the wood; they say it is not too safe in there."

The pancake thought there might be something in that, and so they kept company. But when they had gone a while, they came to a brook. As for Piggy, he was so fat he could swim across. It was nothing for him, but the poor pancake could not get over.

"Seat yourself on my snout," said the pig, "and I'll carry you over."

So the pancake did that.

"Ouf, ouf," said the pig, and swallowed the pancake at one gulp, and then, as the poor pancake could go no farther, why—this story can go no farther either.