Bunyan, Paul, legendary American lumberjack. He was the hero of a series of "tall tales" popular through the timber country from Michigan westward. Bunyan was known for his fantastic strength and gigantic size. He is said to have ruled his gargantuan lumber camp between the winter of the blue snow and the spring that came up from China. His prized possession was Babe the Blue Ox, the distance between whose horns measured 42 ax handles and a plug of tobacco. In southern lumber camps a similar legendary figure is known as Tony Beaver.
See collections of legends by L. Untermeyer (1945) and H. W. Felton (1947); study of the legend by D. G. Hoffman (1952, repr. 1966) and N. Wartik (1989).
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
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