An Authentic Account of His Prehistoric Activities

G.C. Morbeck. "Paul Bunyan-An Authentic Account of His Pre-Historic Activities."
The Ames Forester 1922: 101-103.

Authentic Paul Bunyan

Excerpt from:
Paul Bunyan: An Authentic Account of His Prehistoric Activities

Paul Bunyan was, is, and ever more shall be. He was the Creator’s messenger at the time the earth was built. After about the third day of creation there appeared in the great sea patches of land; some large, some small, scattered promiscuously about, without order or sequence. Later some were made to rise and spread out, joining with others to form the great continents. The Creator was pleased with His work so far, but in a day or two He became weary of looking down across great areas of trackless wastes. In spite of the rain which fell in abundance nothing grew, and the land remained desolate and unpleasing to the eye.

There was really small wonder for this condition, for how could anything grow without first being planted? So the Creator called to Paul and bade him forest the waste places with every manner and kind of tree until the earth should present a canopy of green beneath which the ground could not be seen. This was Paul Bunyan’s first great lumbering job, for doesn’t one have to plant trees before one can log them, in regions where there were no trees before? Most assuredly. So Paul entered upon the great ask laid out for him. Filling a number of sacks with miscellaneous tree seeds from the great storehouses, he descended to earth to begin his operations. Paul landed in the spot now known as the Garden of Eden. He tarried here for some time, resting from the long journey through space which he had just completed. He lunched upon the fruits brought with him, scattering the inedible portions here and there indiscriminately, as men in playful moods are sometimes wont to do. Presently he picked up his sacks and began his labors.

Paul started eastward scattering seeds broadcast as he went. To the north and to the south flew the light seeds, carried to the remotest parts by the gentle breezes sent to aid in their dissemination. The heavy seeds did not carry so far, hence we have through Asia the coniferous forests in the north and the south fringed by the oaks and other deciduous trees of the heavy seeded varieties. When the Pacific had been reached and the job finished in this direction, Paul retraced his steps to the Garden and, taking a fresh lot of seeds, set out to plant Europe. The method pursued was as before, and we have the central forests of hardwoods, flanked on either side by vast coniferous woods. Reaching the Atlantic, Paul again returned for more seed to seed up areas to the south and the islands of the sea. When this job was completed Paul tarried again to rest in the Garden before returning to his accustomed place. To his surprise there were no forest trees to be seen in the whole region, but rather a great variety of fruit trees laden with luscious fruit of every description. While Paul outwardly admired and loved the fruit dearly, yet inwardly he was greatly peeved at making the colossal blunder of having accidentally broadcasted the seeds of fruit trees, where seeds of forest trees should have been sown.

Looking down again upon the earth Paul noticed land across the sea, heretofore unknown to him, and upon examining it closely found it to be as bleak and barren as the eastern continent had been, so he again took up his sacks of seeds and descended to earth to finish the job. Landing upon the shores of Virginia he traveled westward scattering seeds as before, the light seeds being carried north and south, the heavier seeds falling nearer; hence we have the great northern coniferous forest, and the great southern pine woods with the magnificent hardwoods of oaks, walnut, hickory and other deciduous species occupying the space between.

When Paul arrived at the Mississippi he was about out of seeds and the remaining few were scattered far and wide to the right, the left, and in front; hence the origin of the fringe forests of the midwestern states.

Bunyan’s job was not yet finished. He returned again with seeds, but on account of the great bulk and weight of the heavy acorns, walnuts, hickory nuts and the like he took with him on his last journey only the lighter varieties. In due time he arrived at the Mississippi and crossed it going westward. Here Paul pulled his first real blunder. He sadly miscalculated the distance he had broadcasted from his station east of the river, and didn’t begin to sow until he had traversed a considerable distance. The result is the great treeless plains. Paul has never recovered entirely from the remembrance of this error of judgment.

Continuing westward, he scattered seeds far and wide in every direction, being rather careful however that the supply should last out the job. Consequently the Rockies were seeded at the rate of one pound per acre. When Paul arrived at the top of the Cascades of Oregon, he was surprised at seeing stretching before him the great Pacific in all its majesty. Having but a few miles farther to go, and with an abundance of seed remaining, Paul scattered his treasure with a lavish hand. You know the result. The Pacific Coast forests are the finest in the world.

Query and Comment to paulb AT