Thursday, January 5, 2012

A Paul Bunyan Tale

 I hope to share at least one story each week from the documented folklore that has traveled through logging camps since the early 1900's.
"When Paul Bunyan was only three weeks old he rolled around so much in his sleep that he knocked down four square miles of standin' timber and the government got after his folks and told 'em they'd have to move him away".
"When Paul was only seven months old he sawed off the legs from under his dad's bed one night.
The old man noticed when he woke up in the mornin' that his bed seemed considerable lower than it used to be, and so he got up and investigated, and sure enough, there was the legs all sawed off from under it and pieces layin' out on the floor.
And then he remembered he'd felt somethin' the night before, but he'd thought he must be dreamin'- the way you do dream that you're fallin' down sometimes when you first go off to sleep.
And he looked around to see who could of done it and there was Paul layin' there sound asleep with his dad's cross cut saw still held tight in his fists and smilin' in his sleep as pretty as anythin'.
And he called his wife and when she come in he says to her: "Did you feel anythin' in the night?" he says.
"No," she says. "Is anythin' wrong?"
"well, just look here," he says. And he showed her the four-by-eights layin' there on the floor and the saw in the kid's hand.
"I didn't light the lamp when I went to get up this mornin'," she says, "and I guess I didn't notice it."
"Well, it's Paul's done it," the old man says.
"And I'll bet that boy of ourn is goin' to be a great logger some day. If he lives to grow up he's going to do some great loggin' by and by, you just see-a whole lot bigger than any of the men around here has ever done."
And they was right, all right. There ain't never been loggin' before nor since like Paul Bunyan done."

Tale by: Esther Shephard

1 comment:

mpr said...

Awesome! I'm really looking forward to these posts. I hope you keep them up. My smoldering interest in folktales/lore has recently been rekindled and I'd love to hear more of these logging camp tales/lore/superstitions etc.