The Running Man is a children's tale told in District Ten. Pipper Young heard the tale growing up and retold the story to her brother and the little kids she was friends with. The tale has two endings. The first story goes like this:
"Long, long ago, before Panem, the world was a different place. Men owned men like property.
Once you were owned, you had to do as the owner said. No, matter what they asked. Most owners just asked for you too work until you dropped. But some asked for more. Some would take your virginity, sell your loved ones to other owners, or even take the slaves life if they wanted to.
They were property, who would care?
There was one slave owner who was particularly cruel to the men he owned. He would take one slave a week and force them to run. If they could outrun the white man, the slave would be free. But if the man caught them, he would shoot them through the head.
He would then cut the mans head off and put it on a post on the outskirts of his property. They were used as a warning. "If you run, this will happen to you."
The next slave on the slave owners list was the man dubbed The Running Man. He took The Running Man out to the woods and told him "I will give you a 30 second head start. Once that time is up, I will come after you. If I catch you and kill you, you lose. If I can't catch you, you win and will be set free. Simple."
The slave owner shot his gun one time in the air, and the slave was off.
The Running Man ran for hours, no matter how far he ran, the slave owner followed.
That night there was a storm, and the slave owner lost sight of The Running Man.
The Running Man, having run for so long was tired. "How easy would it be to stop running?" He said. "My owner is no where in sight. He must have given up."
But something made him continue to run. A nagging feeling you can say.
So The Running Man ran for a year, never slowing down. He had been everywhere at least once, even places outside of Panem.
Every time The Running Man wanted to stop, the nagging feeling came back and made him continue.
As The Running Man reached his one-year anniversary, he saw a young lady. She was perfect.
Too perfect for such a cruel world. The Running Man thought. The women had flawless skin, beautiful blond hair, and angelic features.
"Why do you run?" She asked sweetly.
"Because if I don't, I will die." He answered.
"But if you keep running will you ever know true bliss?"
"What do mean?" The Running Man said.
She giggled. "You must be lonely never staying in one place long."
"Yes, yes I am quite lonely."
"Then stay. You could never truly be happy if you are always running from your past. Stay with me, and I'll make sure you are never lonely."
And The Running Man did stop running. Together the two lived happily ever after for as long as they lived."
The second ending changes the last line of the story to:
Th'e woman The Running Man fell in love with was the slave owner's wife. You see, no matter how far you run or hide, the slave owner will always find you.
The second ending is told to a childs first reaping. Like a coming of age ritiual in Distirct 10.