a breakfast serial

One bite-sized story every morning to uplift, motivate, or provoke thought.

Paul Bunyan’s Move to Minnesota

Paul Bunyan Posters

Photo credit: Paul.Carroll

< retold by Jill >

It was a cold day in Maine, and the loggers heave-hoed as they dragged a saw across a Redwood’s belly. The creakin’ and grindin’ near drowned out the folk songs, but it was the squakin’ of storks that actually put everyone in a hush. Out of nowhere, five storks passed overhead, flappin’ their wings like fools just to keep the babe from scrapin’ the treetops.

Ask any old-timer who logged that spring, and they’ll confirm it: Paul Bunyan near blotted out the sun. He had pink toes and chubby fingers like any babe, ‘cept that he arrived wrapped up in a ship mast. And with a rumble he landed, spreadin’ an earthquake that shook squirrels right out their nests.

The Bunyans didn’t know quite what to do when Paul arrived, so they just did what normal folk do: They fed him and sung to him, tried to keep him happy. But it wasn’t no easy task. Paul ate more porridge than the whole gang at the mess hall — some say ten barrels a day — and he had to sleep in a lumber wagon. To quiet him down, a team of draft horses rocked baby Paul up to the top of Maine and all the way back down.

He grew fast as a weed, too. By two weeks old, he got the strength to roll full over, and in doin’ so caused an avalanche that snuffed the life right out of old Mister Coots. Within a month, he took his first steps, sendin’ a tidal wave through the Bay of Fundy. It plumb sunk two navy ships! Ma and Pa Bunyan decided it was time to shoot the crow — the east was just too small for a babe of Paul’s proportions.

And in two shakes of a lamb’s tail, they moved to Minnesota.

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