'Ain't no ox can fly!'
Lynn Scharenbroich wrote this tall tale several years ago for the Paul Bunyan Scenic Byway Association's Inkslinger newsletter.
Paul and his sawyers, all burly and plaid
Had just sipped the last of the coffee they had
When back of the cook shack a noise to beat all
Shook the hats off their heads and pinned some to the wall
"My stars and garters!" bellered Frenchy LeBoop,
The only theatrical one of the group.
In a din reminiscent of Saturday dances
Chairs flew and men ran, grabbing Swede saws and axes.
With a wave of a burly plaid muscle clad arm
Ol' Paul led the loggers, unfearful of harm,
Straight away to the cook shack, still loud as all get-out
And rounding the corner smack into a wet snout.
"Babe!!"shouted Paul, as alarmed as the ox
"Land sakes and tarnation, you're tied to a BOX!"
Babe set to moaning and Paul set to yelling
The loggers went slipping and sliding and felling
Sourdough Sam, still held tight to his yeast cakes
Believing this sound was the worst that a beast makes
When just to the side of where he stood himself
Shaking Sourdough Sam got a glimpse of an... elf?
Frenchy LeBoop was filming the sight
But Sam caught his eye and glanced to the right
"My stars and garters!" blustered Frenchy again
Then theatrically called, "It's an elf," to the men.
O'er the howl of Babe's moaning, Ol' Paul heard the news
And that was the best of the best of the clues.
Paul Bunyan now knew that the mess he'd been sent
Was a Santa Claus Blue Ox hijacking attempt.
What he thought was a box at the start of the fray
Was in fact a disguise for a red Christmas sleigh
The small elf was trying to hook up the ox
To the sleigh that Paul Bunyan had thought was a box!
"Away from that Blue Ox! Unrope him, you elf!
As a Santa you should be ashamed of yourself!"
Paul Bunyan went on in a blaze of oration
Which of course, was his style since the dawn of creation.
And when it all ended, the camp had grown quiet
The loggers and sawyers, no longer defiant.
Then all was set right when a young cookshack hand
Walked right up to Santa and bowed deep and grand,
"Babe pulling your sleigh like a streak through the sky
Well, nobody'd like to see that more than I,
But, sorry, dear Santa, ain't no ox can fly!"
Season's greetings from the Paul Bunyan Scenic Byway Association. Visit us at www.paulbunyanscenicbyway.org.