Bunyanesque games for the family.

In popular folklore, few legends loom as large as those of Paul Bunyan. Befitting someone of his stature, June 28 marks his annual day, one of the longest days of the year.

Historians debate the origins of the Bunyan tales, but it’s generally agreed that the legends began in the 1880s among lumberjacks who entertained themselves by telling stories, competing to determine who could outdo the others. Shortly after the turn of the century, the oral yarns evolved to printed stories with a unifying character. In 1914, an ad campaign for Red River Lumber Company depicted the giant lumberjack and solidified Paul Bunyan’s place in American folklore.

Paul Bunyan stories have been told around campfires for generations. Some say he created the Great Lakes so his huge blue ox, Babe, would have water to drink, and that Babe’s tracks created Minnesota’s 10,000 lakes. One of the most popular legends holds that he taught ants – carpenter ants, of course – to carry felled trees in Maine’s logging country.

Even as a baby, Paul was enormous. They say it took five storks to deliver the infant to his parents. To have fun as a child, he played with The Giant Monopoly Game and kicked around The Giant 40 Inch Soccer Ball.

Why not celebrate Paul Bunyan Day by reading one of these larger-than-life tales to the wee ones in your family? You can even track his travels on The World’s Largest Write On Map Mural. May he live on for decades as a symbol of strength, hard work and ingenuity!

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