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Reading a Tall Tale - Paul Bunyan (Grade 5)

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Some Logger

In the pre-historic ages, e’re the Swedes ruled Minnesota,
Fairest spot in all the Westland was the woodland of Dakota.

’Twas a land of timbered ridges long before the axe was known,
And there grew the largest timber on which the sun had ever shone.

Many tales are told about it, how it grew so very high,
That the tops were broke and shattered where they rubbed against the sky.

And no man had ever ventured in that forest deep and dark
Till old Noah got to thinking he would build himself an ark.

So he looked the timber over and decided it would take
Every tree if he would carry every bird and beast and snake;

If he just could get it yarded; there he had a serious doubt,
Till Paul Bunyan finally told him he would get the round stuff out.

So he harnessed up his Blue Ox, took the big logs on the run.
Never even stopped for dinner, worked right through from sun to sun.

Many logs he dogged together, took three hundred turns a day;
Still Old Noah hollered “Faster,” said that snail’s pace didn’t pay.

Then old Bunyan got quite peevish, sent the loggers all to camp;
Started hauling in the sections; he’d put Noah on the tramp.

But he bragged a bit too early, tho each day he hauled eight score,
Noah cleared them off by noontime and sat down and yelled for more.

Paul got madder than a logger, cussed and jumped upon his hat;
Noah was a domned slave driver, contract didn’t call for that.

But old Noah only guyed him, called his ox a lazy slob,
Then to keep Paul Bunyan working put a bonus on the job.

Next Paul hooked upon a township and the ox pulled with a will,
But the cable only parted when it caught upon a hill;

Broke in twenty-seven pieces; the Blue Ox sure had the power;
Then Paul set his splicing record, twenty-six within an hour.

But he never got discouraged, he would still show Noah that
A true logger always finished anything he started at.

So he hooked onto the ridges, pulled them all into the mill;
Then they say of real hard labor Noah finally got his fill.

Thus the task was finally finished, nor was that the only gain:
Naught was left in the Dakotas but a large and level plain

Save in just two places only, where the logging had begun,
And where all the refuse ridges were left drying in the sun.

First is called the Black Hills district, there the ancient land still stands,
And the pile of broken ridges is Dakota’s famed Bad Lands.
1. 
In the beginning of the story, the narrator introduces the reader to a tree. The tree was
  1. the widest timber under which a car drove.
  2. the prettiest timber that man had ever seen.
  3. the tallest timber on which the sun ever shone.
  4. the heaviest timber that any logger had carried.
2. 
What was Noah's problem?
  1. He had to build an ark.
  2. He needed all of the trees cut down.
  3. He had too many animals to care for.
  4. He could not find an ax to cut down the tree.
3. 
Noah said Paul Bunyan worked at a snail's pace. This made Paul Bunyan
  1. work slower.
  2. work faster.
  3. quit the job.
  4. hire more help.
4. 
Which detail showed how hard Paul Bunyan worked?
  1. Till Paul Bunyan finally told him he would get the round stuff out.
  2. So he harnessed up his Blue Ox, took the big logs on the run.
  3. Never even stopped for dinner, worked right through from sun to sun.
  4. Still Old Noah hollered “Faster,” said that snail’s pace didn’t pay.
5. 
Noah kept egging Paul Bunyan on. What did he do to help him finish?
  1. gave him a bonus
  2. gave him a new ox
  3. told him he was doing a great job
  4. told him he would tarnish his name
6. 
Which detail best explains why this story is a tall tale?
  1. Noah was a really hard worker.
  2. Paul Bunyan cut down some trees.
  3. Noah didn't exist at the same time as Paul Bunyan.
  4. Paul Bunyan and his Blue Ox showed amazing skill.
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