The Legend of Paul Bunyan

June 28th is Paul Bunyan Day.  The legend of Paul Bunyan says that Paul was an incredibly large man who could cut down a tree with a single swing from his axe. He and his blue ox, Babe, shaped the landscape in many ways, such as creating the Land of 10,000 Lakes with their footprints during an impossibly cold winter.

The story also says that Paul cleared much of the woods that once covered North America, sometimes moving entire rivers and roads simply by pulling them into the place he desired to locate them. He dug out the great lakes to provide drinking water for Babe (, as well as the grand canyon. He also formed the Mississippi river, plowing the channel down to the gulf of Mexico and using the dirt to he dug up to form the Rocky Mountains and Appalachians (

This legend has many forms, as with any folklore. Many believe that the story began with a real lumberjack whose abilities were exaggerated. There is much speculation as to Paul Bunyan’s true origins, such as the possibility is that the legend originated with a French-Canadian logger from Quebec, named Fabian “Joe” Fournier.

The video below is a read aloud of a popular version of the legend:

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