Who doesn't love a tall tale? And the taller the better. Paul Bunyan is the first and only true American myth. The stories of Paul and his ox Babe have been told for generations. The stories began in the lumber camps of the far north. The author of this printed version has added names for the characters and animals. The original stories told around campfires used no names except for Paul and Babe. The stories have been passed down through oral retellings. From the introduction, "The best authorities never recounted Paul Bunyan's exploits in narrative form. They made their statements more impressive by dropping them casually, in an off hand way, as if in reference. to actual events of common knowledge. To overawe the greenhorn in the bunkshanty, or the paper-collar stiffs and home guards in the saloons, a group of lumberjacks would remember meeting each other in the camps of Paul Bunyan. With painful accuracy they established the exact time and place, "on the Big Onion the winter of the blue snow" or "at Shot Gunderson's camp on the Tadpole the year of the sourdough drive." They elaborated on the old themes and new stories were born in lying contests where the heights of extemporaneous invention were reached."
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