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A Traditional Story
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Many years ago,
Paul Bunyan was born in the northeastern American state of Maine.
His mother and father were shocked when they first saw the boy.
Paul was so large at birth that five large birds had to carry
him to his parents. When the boy was only a few weeks old, he
weighed more than forty-five kilograms.
As a child, Paul was always hungry. His parents needed tens cows
to supply milk for his meals. Before long, he ate fifty eggs and
ten containers of potatoes every day.
Young Paul grew so big that his parents did not know what to do
with him. Once, Paul rolled over so much in his sleep that he
caused an earthquake. This angered people in the town where his
parents lived. So, the government told his mother and father
they would have to move him somewhere else.
Paul’s father built a wooden cradle
a traditional bed for a baby. His parents put the cradle in
waters along the coast of Maine. However, every time Paul rolled
over, huge waves covered all the coastal towns. So his parents
brought their son back on land. They took him into the woods.
This is where he grew up.
As a boy, Paul helped his father cut down trees. Paul had the
strength of many men. He also was extremely fast. He could turn
off a light and then jump into his bed before the room got dark.
Maine is very cold for much of the year. One day, it started to
snow. The snow covered Paul’s home and a nearby forest. However,
this snow was very unusual. It was blue. The blue snow kept
falling until the forest was covered.
Paul put on his snowshoes and went out to see the unusual sight.
As he walked, Paul discovered an animal stuck in the snow. It
was a baby ox. Paul decided to take the ox home with him. He put
the animal near the fireplace. After the ox got warmer, his hair
Paul decided to keep the blue ox and named him Babe. Babe grew
very quickly. One night, Paul left him in a small building with
the other animals. The next morning, the barn was gone and so
was Babe. Paul searched everywhere for the animal. He found Babe
calmly eating grass in a valley, with the barn still on top of
his back. Babe followed Paul and grew larger every day. Every
time Paul looked, Babe seemed to grow taller.
In those days, much of North America was filled with thick,
green forests. Paul Bunyan could clear large wooded areas with a
single stroke of his large, sharp axe.
Paul taught Babe to help with his work. Babe was very useful.
For example, Paul had trouble removing trees along a road that
was not straight. He decided to tie one end of the road to what
remained of a tree in the ground. Paul tied the other end to
Babe. Babe dug his feet in the ground and pulled with all his
strength until the road became straight.
In time, Paul and Babe the Blue Ox left Maine, and moved west to
look for work in other forests. Along the way, Paul dug out the
Great Lakes to provide drinking water for Babe. They settled in
a camp near the Onion River in the state of Minnesota.
Paul’s camp was the largest in the country. The camp was so
large that a man had to have one week’s supply of food when
walking from one side of the camp to the other.
Paul decided to get other lumberjacks to help with the work. His
work crew became known as the Seven Axemen. Each man was more
than two meters tall and weighed more than one-hundred-sixty
kilograms. All of the Axemen were named Elmer. That way, they
all came running whenever Paul called them.
The man who cooked for the group was named Sourdough Sam. He
made everything -- except coffee -- from sourdough, a substance
used in making sourdough bread.
Every Sunday, Paul and his crew ate hot cakes. Each hot cake was
so large that it took five men to eat one. Paul usually had ten
or more hot cakes, depending on how hungry he was. The table
where the men ate was so long that a server usually drove to one
end of the table and stayed the night. The server drove back in
the morning, with a fresh load of food.
Paul needed someone to help with the camp’s finances. He gave
the job to a man named Johnny Inkslinger. Johnny kept records of
everything, including wages and the cost of feeding Babe. He
sometimes used nine containers of writing fluid a day to keep
such detailed records.
The camp also was home to Sport, the Reversible Dog. One of the
workers accidentally cut Sport in two. The man hurried to put
the dog back together, but made a mistake. He bent the animal’s
back the wrong way. However, that was not a problem for Sport.
He learned to run on his front legs until he was tired. Then, he
turned the other way and ran on his back legs.
Big mosquitoes were a problem at the camp. The men attacked the
insects with their axes and long sticks. Before long, the men
put barriers around their living space. Then, Paul ordered them
to get big bees to destroy the mosquitoes. But the bees married
the mosquitoes, and the problem got worse. They began to produce
young insects. One day, the insects’ love of sweets caused them
to attack a ship that was bringing sugar to the camp. At last,
the mosquitoes and bees were defeated. They ate so much sugar
they could not move.
Paul always gave Babe the Blue Ox a thirty-five kilogram piece
of sugar when he was good. But sometimes Babe liked to play
tricks. At night, Babe would make noises and hit the ground with
his feet. The men at the camp would run out of the buildings
where they slept, thinking it was an earthquake.
When winter came, Babe had trouble finding enough food to eat.
Snow covered everything. Ole the Blacksmith solved the problem.
He made huge green sunglasses for Babe. When Babe wore the
sunglasses, he thought the snow was grass. Before long, Babe was
strong and healthy again.
One year, Paul’s camp was especially cold. It was so cold that
the men let their facial hair grow very long. When the men spoke,
their words froze in the air. Everything they said remained
frozen all winter long, and did not melt until spring.
Paul Bunyan and Babe left their mark on many areas. Some people
say they were responsible for creating Puget Sound in the
western state of Washington. Others say Paul Bunyan and Babe
cleared the trees from the states of North Dakota and South
Dakota. They prepared this area for farming.
Babe the Blue Ox died in South Dakota. One story says he ate too
many hot cakes. Paul buried his old friend there. Today, the
burial place is known as the Black Hills.
Whatever happened to Paul Bunyan? There are lots of stories.
Some people say he was last seen in Alaska, or even the Arctic
Circle. Another tradition says he still returns to Minnesota
every summer. It says Paul moves in and out of the woods, so few
people ever know that he is there.
After listening choose
the best alternative to complete the summary below.
Paul Bunyan was
a legendary American character. He was the hero of a series
of popular "tall tales." He was a giant who
had an enormous ox, called Babe the Blue Ox. Paul Bunyan, in
addition to his incredible size, was supposed to have had
strength, cunning, and .
supposed to have been the baby ever in Maine.
After growing up, Paul traveled ,
and he and Babe cut and cleared across the .
Babe and Paul both loved .
During the winter
season, Babe could not find enough to
eat because snow covered everything. Then Ole the solved the problem by making green
for Babe, so he thought the
snow was grass.
In the tall tales,
Paul and Babe
the Blue are
credited with having created many of the most amazing
USA, including the , the
Great Lakes, the St. Lawrence River, Puget , and the
Black Hills of South .