Paul Bunyan was a man, he was a big man… oh wait, that’s Daniel Boone. But he was a big man, of course he wasn’t real but that’s not important. It is believed his character was created by French Canadians during the Papineau Rebellion in 1837. He obviously became more well known that the rebellion he was created for!
Paul’s companion in gianticness was Blue, an Ox. It is said that Paul scooped out the Great Lakes to make water bowls for Blue. Blue must have been very thirsty. Apparently Paul and Blue traveled between Canada and the US, and even though created by Canadians they have become more American since writers began issuing stories of his tales in the early 1900’s.
Paul is credited with creating logging, like that didn’t happen before 1837, clearing North and South Dakota for farming and trained “carpenter” ants to do logging for lumberjacks. Blue is credited for creating Minnesota’s 10,000 lakes by leaving his foot prints behind.
He also looks a little scary! I wonder if many children feared Paul as much as they honored him. But isn’t that what legends are all about? What one calls a hero, another calls a monster. So far as we know, Paul never hurt anybody, unless of course he stepped on someone he didn’t see.
Anyway, today is the day to celebrate the man, the myth, the legend of Paul Bunyan and Blue his Ox. Probably made bigger than life because they needed heroes bigger than life, sort of like we all do.
How to celebrate – Visit the Paul Bunyan Days along the US/Canada border. Read about Paul Bunyan and the legends associated with him. Find out why Paul Bunyan was created in the first place.