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Tall Tales

Cowboys in Heaven

After cow punching for nigh on fifty years, a Texas cowboy went on to his reward. There was considerable excitement in heaven when he reached the pearly gates…

Arkansas Traveler

One rainy autumn, a traveler got lost in the mountains of Arkansas. He was tired and hungry, and so was his horse. Night was approaching. All at once, he saw a cabin. A squatter sat on the porch fiddling the same tune over and over…

Pecos Bill and Slue-foot Sue

Now, Pecos Bill had a way with wimmen. No doubt. He had dozens of wives during his time. But his one true love was Slue-foot Sue. She was his first wife – and she could ride almost as good as Bill himself…

Pecos Bill finds a Hard Outfit

Well now, Texas jest became too tame for Pecos Bill once he killed off all the bad men, so he struck out for New Mexico, looking for a hard outfit. He asked an old trapper he met on the way where he could find a hard outfit, and the trapper directed Bill to a place where the fellers bit nails in half for fun. It sounded like a promisin’ place to Bill, so he set off. But his durned fool hoss got its neck broke on the way, and Bill found himself afoot…

The Birth of Pecos Bill

Well now Pecos Bill was born in the usual way to a real nice cowpoke and his wife who were journeying west with their eighteen children. Bill’s Ma knew right from the start that he was something else. He started talkin’ before he was a month old, did his teething on his Pa’s bowie knife and rode his first horse jest as soon as he learned to sit up on his own. When he started to crawl, Pecos Bill would slither out of the wagon while his Mama was cookin’ supper and wrestle with the bear cubs and other wild animals that roamed the prairies….

Adventure On the Rogue

We were up-river with a tour group looking at all the natural beauties here on the Rogue River when I spied a young sasquatch hiding in the shadow of a tree near a gravel bank. I swung the tour-boat around so we could get a better look, and all the tourists exclaimed and took pictures. It’s not too unusual to see a sasquatch in the spring. That’s the time they migrate through here to their summer stomping grounds up North…

The Wampus Cat

They say that the Wampus cat used to be a beautiful Indian woman. The men of her tribe were always going on hunting trips, but the women had to stay home. The Indian woman secretly followed her husband one day when he went hunting with the other men. She hid herself behind a rock, clutching the hide of a mountain cat around her, and spied on the men as they sat around their campfires telling sacred stories and doing magic…

Moll DeGrow

Moll DeGrow was a wicked witch who once lived on Gully Road in what is now Newark, New Jersey. She took delight in the misery of others, and made things miserable for the folks living near her. If a neighbor slighted her, she would sour their milk. If anyone called her a witch, she made their dogs turn vicious. People were very cautious around Moll De Grow…

Christmas Gift

Away down South, an old custom dictates that if someone comes up to you on Christmas Day and says “Christmas gift” before y’all do, why y’all are obliged to give that person a present. Mind you, the custom does not say what sort of present y’all should give! But those of us who hail from the South consider ourselves to be gentlefolk. The gifts given and received in this manner are good enough to keep the custom alive and well…

Gollywhopper’s Eggs

Well now, when old Johnson came to town, I knew there’d be trouble. That Yankee Peddler was a scoundrel if ever I saw one. But I was laid up with my rheumatism when he arrived, so I couldn’t do anything about it.

Connecticut Yankee

Now, here in the South, we all do not approve of your so-called Connecticut Yankee peddlers. So when one appeared in the yard of my tavern, I was not of a mind to give him room for the night. He was a scrawny fellow with a mop of white hair and a withered face. He did not seem like a crafty Yankee peddler.

Bigfoot Wallace and the Hickory Nuts

Bigfoot Wallace was as crazy an individual as they come. He could spin a yarn better than anyone, and while he was a dangerous foe to his enemies, he was also a jovial giant, who was always on the lookout for a good laugh. What with hunting and fishing and fighting Comanches and avoiding rattlesnakes, Wallace had the time of his life in Texas. Said he wouldn’t swap Texas for the whole shooting match that was the rest of the United States.

Bigfoot Wallace Runs the Mail

Bigfoot Wallace – that wild and wacky Texas Ranger — returned to the wilds of frontier life once the United States won the war with Mexico, and it suited him as nothing else could do. Soon he was freighting mail six hundred miles from San Antonio to El Paso, and it was the wildest stretch in the Wild West! Wallace was the only man who could do it. Anyone else who tried was scared off by attacking Comanche and Apache warriors or killed outright…

Michigan Winds

Michigan winds are fiercest in the spring. Why, just last year, the wind knocked one of our mountains over into a valley. Folks woke up the next day to find themselves living on a plain.

Pecos Bill Rides a Tornado

Now everyone in the West knows that Pecos Bill could ride anything. No bronco could throw him, no sir! Fact is, I only heard of Bill getting’ throwed once in his whole career as a cowboy. Yep, it was that time he was up Kansas way and decided to ride him a tornado.

Oklahoma Weather

To say that the weather in Oklahoma is subject to extremes is an understatement. Instead of rain storms, we get dust storms. On the same day, one man can die of sunstroke at noon while his neighbor freezes to death that night.

Healthy Climate

California must be the healthiest state in the union, yes sir! I know of one chap who’s grandfather lived to be 200 years old. The old man got awful tired of living after awhile, but couldn’t seem to sicken and die.

Davy Crockett and the Frozen Dawn

One winter, it was so cold that the dawn froze solid. The sun got caught between two ice blocks, and the earth iced up so much that it couldn’t turn. The first rays of sunlight froze halfway over the mountain tops. They looked like yellow icicles dripping towards the ground.

Fog

You can talk ’til you’re blue in the face about the thickest of fogs in ye merry olde England, but I’m tellin’ you now, sure as I’m standing here, that England’s fogs don’t hold nothing over them thick fogs which roll in over the Bay of Fundy here in Maine.

Drought Buster

Back in the early days, the Plains folk were often in need of a good drought buster during the hot summer months. The sun would shine and shine, and the clouds would scuttle right quick over the Plains without dropping rain. One year, it got so bad that Febold Feboldson, that legendary Swede who could bust the driest drought in a day, got annoyed.

Arizona Weather

Well, some folks don’t like the weather in Arizona, but I ain’t one of ’em. Why, the air in Arizona is so fine, tourists stop over the state line just to fill their tires with it. Course, Arizona does get rather hot. But since we started shippin’ in ice from California, our hens don’t lay hard boiled eggs no more.

Callin’ the Dog

Tall talkin’ in Mississippi has been termed “Callin’ the dog” ever since that famous tall-tale session when one man offered a hound dog pup to the person who could tell the biggest lie.

I’m All Right

We knew right from the start that Johnny was going to be a soldier. Even as a child, all his concentration was on the military. So we weren’t surprised when he joined the Marines right out of high school…

The Grave

A young woman lay suffering on her deathbed, her stillborn baby lying against her chest. Her young husband crouched close, stricken with grief. His beautiful wife crooned a lullaby to her dead baby, her voice growing fainter as death drew near. Finally, she looked at her husband and asked him to bury her back East, beside her dead mother. Choked with grief, the young husband agreed…

The Bloodstain

The Phelps place was an old, abandoned property with a monstrous, decrepit Victorian house that was supposed to be haunted. It should have been a good resting place for the local deer hunters, but they would not go near it. A few that tried came away before midnight with tales of ghostly thumping noises, gasps, moans, and a terrible wet bloodstain that appeared on the floor of the front porch and could not be wiped away.

Blackbeard’s Ghost

The nefarious pirate Blackbeard (who’s real name was Edward Teach) was a tall man with a very long black beard that covered most of his face and extended down to his waist. He tied his beard up in pigtails adorned with black ribbons…

Round River Drive

Well now Paul Bunyan scouted around the north woods of Wisconsin for quite a while afore he found the perfect spot for his winter lumber camp. It was right next to a fast river, and Paul figured they could pile the logs up right next to it and come spring time it would be mighty easy to tumble the logs into the river and float ‘em down to the mill.

Paul Bunyan Tames the Whistling River

The Whistling River – so named because twice a day, it reared up to a height of two hundred feet and let loose a whistle that could be heard for over six hundred miles – was the most ornery river in the U.S. of A. It took a fiendish delight in plaguing the life out of the loggers who worked it.

Paul Bunyan’s Kitchen

One winter, Paul Bunyan came to log along the Little Gimlet in Oregon. Ask any old timer who was logging that winter, and they’ll tell you I ain’t lying when I say his kitchen covered about ten miles of territory.