Thursday, January 19, 2012

A Paul Bunyan Tale

The World's Champion Faller 

Having worked with Paul Bunyan on some of his biggest jobs, it gets under my skin to read some of the atrocious suggestions that have been written about him of late. Any one with half an eye can see that they are absolutely impossible. Back in 1820 I was with him when he wrecked the Bridge of the Gods, because it had been condemned as a menace to river traffic. 
The biggest job I ever saw him do, though, was in a contest with an Irish woods boss from one of the southern pine camps. The Irishman had worked up a local reputation and thought he was riding astride the world until he sent a challenge to Paul stating that he was the better faller of the two and demanding a match. They decided to meet in the redwoods. Thousands flocked there to see these two superman. The referee picked out two big redwoods, each 34 feet in diameter and 240 feet high, and the men to their places. The starter's pistol popped and before the echo died away Paul had burned out three saws and flattened the edges of five axes putting in his undercut. Grabbing a new 40-foot saw he started cutting her down. So fast did he saw that it took 17 men to keep him supplied with saws, and there was a stream of melted steel pouring out of the saw cut. As fast as one melted Paul put in a new one. He perspired so much that the spectators had to take to the trees to keep dry, and finally when the tree cracked the sweat was so deep that Paul was treading water and sawing. Well, when that tree leaned to an angle of 65 degrees Paul grabbed a bucking saw and ran up it 20 feet and bucked a log, then another 20 feet, and by the time the tree was down it was all bucked up into 20 foot logs, and Paul had done a swan dive from the last one 80 feet in the air. They looked around and were surprised to see the Irishman's tree still standing with a cut about 20 feet deep in it, and him missing. However, he had written on a paper the following: "As a logger I'm good bull cook."

Story by: De Witt Harry
Legends of Paul Bunyan

1 comment:

randall said...

Man. That's up there with John Henry vs. The Machine for all time challenges. Damn Irish pine cutter thinking he could beat Paul Bunyan.