A Savory Soup Tale

Author: 
Kathy Moore, Lake Shore, MN

Paul Bunyan was a powerful giant and famous throughout Minnesota for his great physical strength, as well as his healthy appetite.

Paul and his trusty sidekick, Babe the Blue Ox, could cut down acres of timber single-handedly in just a few minutes by tying his huge ax to the end of a long rope and swinging it in circles. Babe could haul the logs away as fast as Paul could cut them.

The lumberjacks used many other oxen besides Babe. In fact, when strung out in a line, if each ox took the tail of the other in his mouth, the team of oxen would stretch halfway across the state.

One day, a team of oxen was driving across a frozen Cross Lake with a full load of supplies for the camp cook, Sourdough Sam. Suddenly, the wagon broke through the ice. Only the driver managed to make it to the frosty shore.

Being a resourceful fellow, Paul Bunyan dammed Cross Lake (near where the present day Cross Lake Dam is) and instructed Sourdough Sam to build huge fires built along the shore. Once the lake came to a boil, Paul created a small opening in the dam, allowing a steady stream of ox-tail flavored soup downriver to his men. That Ox Tail Soup fed Paul and his team of loggers all winter long.