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James Callow Folklore Archive

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A TALL TALE

THEN THERE WAS THE TIME THAT PAUL BUNYAN WENT HUNTING. HE WAS
THE SUREST SHOT AND THE FASTEST RUNNER THAT EVER WADED ACROSS
THE MISSISSIPPI. THEY STILL TALK OF IT OUT IN THE NORTHWEST.
WELL, PAUL SIGHTED A BIG BUCK A MILE AWAY; IT WAS STANDING ON
THE EDGE OF A CLIFF. PAUL KNEW THAT IF HE SHOT HIM HE WOULD FALL
OFF THE CLIFF. SO PAUL PULLED THE TRIGGER--AND AS SOON AS THE
BULLET LEFT THE GUN HE RAN TO WHERE THE BUCK WAS STANDING. HE
RAN SO FAST THAT HE GOT THERE AHEAD OF THE SHOT AND HAD TO DUCK
HIS HEAD TO LET THE BULLET GO BY. WELL SIR, THAT BUCK WAS KILLED
ALL RIGHT. BUT NOT BY THE BULLET. WHEN HE SAW PAUL STANDING
THERE, HE WAS JUST SCARED TO DEATH. IT DIED WITHOUT THE SHOT
EVER REACHING IT.
YOU KNOW THAT'S HOW THINGS HAPPEN IN THE PAUL BUNYAN COUNTRY.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Subject headings: PROSE NARRATIVE -- Secular hero
PROSE NARRATIVE -- Abnormal in size
PROSE NARRATIVE -- Lie Tall tale
BELIEF -- Angel
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