PAUL BUNYAN in “Flapjack Frenzy”
American Tall Tale
PAUL BUNYAN in “Flapjack Frenzy”
In the evening when people tell stories the best, the name of Paul Bunyan comes up more than the rest. Folks say he was slightly smaller than a stadium but a lot taller than an ordinary house. When he was a baby it took five storks to deliver him
to Mr. and Mrs. Bunyan! Paul grew up big and strong. He invented what we call logging, and he was the best lumberjack the country has ever seen.
Paul Bunyan loved turning trees into lumber so the good people of his community could use it. He ran his own logging camp with his faithful ox Babe and his famed Seven Axemen. The Axemen were all called "Elmer" – even the women! They had the same name so whenever Paul would call out "Elmer!" all seven would come running. But with all the energy needed for logging, the loggers grew very hungry.
The camp cook, Sourdough Sam, tried making a stack of flapjacks. The Elmers got into a fight over them, and they fell into the dirt and were ruined.
Paul wondered what to do. He wondered and he pondered. As he wondered and pondered, he wandered. He wandered across all the States of the Midwest! Finally, he sat down on a hill to think. An idea came to him. He would make one big flapjack - the biggest flapjack the world had ever seen, enough to feed the
whole camp for the whole season! He would need a lot of supplies, but like his momma Mrs. Bunyan used to say, "Where there’s a will, there’s a way!"
A giant flapjack would need a giant griddle.
Paul held a meeting with Sourdough Sam, his cook, and Ole Olafson, his blacksmith.
Together they planned the pancake pan. In order to get enough iron for the griddle, Paul claimed an iron mine and called it Bunyan Mine. Ole Olafson and Sourdough Sam mined out all the iron ore. They rode a train of one hundred mining carts
to transport the iron out of the mine.
Ole Olafson was a master blacksmith. He wrought an iron griddle so big that when it was laid out in the morning mist, no one would be able to see across it.
Then he made a giant eggbeater for the batter. He used the rest of the iron from Bunyan Mine to make a new set of shoes for Babe the ox. Paul hitched Babe up to the griddle like an enormous plough and they rolled that griddle right over to the camp.
Sourdough Sam was perfecting his flapjack recipe. He had Paul’s giant purple cow Lucy on hand supplying a great lake of milk to make the batter. Then Sourdough Sam corralled every chicken, duck, and loon in the state for eggs. The Canada geese from up north also flew down to help. Suddenly, Sam pulled the most grotesque face he could – he frightened those birds so much they dropped eggs like hailstones!
Sourdough Sam’s son Biscuit Slim was as daring as his dad.
He was also a champion bicycle rider. Ole Olafson rigged up the giant eggbeater with pedals and a chain, and Biscuit Slim rode that eggbeater all around the lake,
frothing up the batter for the flapjacks.
Now, there’s no type of flapjack better than a blueberry flapjack.
Paul’s sweetheart hiked from Hackensack with two hearty handfuls of blueberry bushes in her humongous hands. She shook all the blueberries off the bushes into the mix.
Cooking such a fine flapjack would require a fantastic fire. They had forgotten the firewood! Paul raced over the mountains, furiously felling forests until he had an armful of the tallest tree trunks he could carry.
He was now miles away and the sun was sinking – how would he get back?
Paul sawed off some round stumps, attached them to his boots, and rocketed down the hill. Not only did he get back in time, Paul Bunyan had invented in-line skating!
In order to grease the griddle, Sourdough Sam called on the camp’s best skaters, the Russian twins Ivan and Alexander. They would cut down trees by swinging each other sideways and sawing with their skates. This time, instead of skates, Sourdough Sam fixed huge slabs of bacon to Ivan and Alexander's boots, and those rousing Russians skated around and around the griddle like greased lightning.
Before long, the pan was good and greasy and ready for the batter!
How were they going to flip the flapjack?
Paul asked Ole Olafson to make a giant spatula, but Ole Olafson sadly told Paul that he had used the last of the iron from Bunyan Mine for Babe’s shoes. Just then, Biscuit Slim appeared from the cornfields carrying a sack of corn. Paul had an idea.
Just before they poured in the batter, he hoisted Biscuit Slim over the griddle and Biscuit Slim sprinkled the camp’s corn kernels across the greasy griddle.
When the pan heated under the pancake, the corn would pop!
They were going to pop that pancake right over.
The whole camp crew gathered to watch the flapjack start to fry.
Sourdough Sam was drooling with hunger at the smell of the sizzling batter. Suddenly, Paul felt a rumble, like the low grumbling growl of an earthquake about to happen. The popcorn was going to pop! Paul shouted, “Everybody duck!”
They all ducked. Even the ducks ducked. There was a fiery POP!
That pancake launched from the griddle like a dough UFO.
The flapjack flew into the sky, flipped one hundred and eighty degrees in space, and plummeted back towards Minnesota. As it re-entered the Earth's atmosphere, the flames scorched it a delicious golden brown.
Everyone knows the best way to eat a flapjack is with maple syrup and a dollop of fresh butter. The camp crew got busy. They hiked to a nearby grove of maple trees. The two bee-squitoes, Buzz and Honey, drilled holes into maple trees
using their pointy noses. Paul called out, “Elmer!” The Seven Axemen came running with big buckets, and tapped all the maple sap. Then they whirled the buckets around their heads until the maple sap turned into maple syrup.
Lucy the cow laughed, and her giggles churned her belly and made her give fresh butter instead of milk.
The camp crew was super hungry.
Babe’s stomach growled so loud they thought another popcorn earthquake was about to happen. Everyone sat down at Paul Bunyan’s cedar dining table, which was two miles long from end to end. Paul carved the pancake using his trusty giant axe. Biscuit Slim made a beeline on his beater bicycle up and down the table
delivering flapjack platters to everyone. Paul Bunyan said, “This breakfast brings together my favorite blessings in life. A hard day’s work, a full stomach, and good friends! Let's eat!”