Thursday’s Tale: Babe the Blue Ox



I haven’t done a tall tale for a while, but while I was looking for wintry stories, I found this one about Paul Bunyan’s ox, Babe. It’s from  I didn’t remember that Paul Bunyan found him during the winter, a winter “so cold that all the geese flew backward and all the fish moved south and even the snow turned blue. Late at night, it got so frigid that all spoken words froze solid before they could be heard. People had to wait until sunup to find out what folks were talking about the night before.”

Paul Bunyan went out walking in the woods one day during that Winter of the Blue Snow. He was knee-deep in blue snow when he heard a funny sound between a bleat and a snort. Looking down, he saw a teeny-tiny baby blue ox hopping about in the snow and snorting with rage because he was too short to see over the drifts.

Paul Bunyan nursed the little critter back to health, but it never lost the blue color that the snow had stained it, so Paul called him Babe the Blue Ox. Any animal raised in Paul Bunyan’s camp tended to grow to massive proportions, and Babe was no exception. He grew so big that 42 axe handles plus a plug of tobacco could fit between his eyes and it took a murder of crows a whole day to fly from one horn to the other. He had to scratch his itches on cliffs and ate a ton of grain for lunch alone.

Babe could pull anything so he straightened all the logging roads and hauled logs. Babe hated working in summer, so Paul painted all the logging roads white to keep him working after the spring thaw.

The story goes on to tell how Babe meets Bessie the Yeller Cow and it was love at first sight.

I may not love winter as much as Babe, but I do love tall tales though. They are so thoroughly American.

Thursday’s Tales is a weekly event here at Carol’s Notebook. Fairy tales, folktales, tall tales, even re-tellings, I love them all. Feel free to join in.

Spotlight and Giveaway: Falling for the Stars by Lisa Loving Dalton

Spotlight and Giveaway: Falling for the Stars by Lisa Loving Dalton Falling for the Stars: A Stunt Gal's Tattle Tales by Lisa Loving Dalton
Published by Peak Performance Living on October 27, 2016
Genres: Memoir
Pages: 224
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This Behind-the-Scenes Tell-All About Doubling for Celebrity Superstars Also Reveals the Compelling Life Story of an Insecure Hollywood Arrival Who Rises to the Top of Her Field, But Pays a Hefty Price.

Big Egos collide with the surprising kindness of superstars.

Discover the magic and the tragic stories of many great films & TV shows through the eyes of a stuntwoman. Dalton reveals what it took to hang over cliffs, get hit by a moving car, drop from five stories up, dodge an avenue full of speeding cars--and to ignore the Universe's more gentle prompts that it was time to quit and follow her passion into acting full-time or teaching acting.

The resulting career-ending spinal injury has a story of its own, how she researched medical and alternative paths that form the heart of what she shares with the world today. "What stands out in this book is the indomitable spirit the author has, despite the extraordinary price she paid for her stellar career--including misogyny, a miscarriage, and a life-long back injury. And each juicy story she relays in her fascinating chronicle, brings home an important life lesson for the reader--one that she learned the hard way.

Stunt Gal Lisa Dalton tattles about humorous and harrowing tales culled from over 200 films, television shows and commercials including
Money Pit
Crocodile Dundee
Married to the Mob
Legal Eagles
The Last Dragon
Saturday Night Live
The Highlander
World According To Garp

Working with or doubling such superstars as Meryl Streep, Cher, Madonna, Grace Jones, Robert Redford, Katherine Hepburn, Sean Connery, Tom Hanks, Chevy Chase, Robin Williams, Ed O'Neill, Michelle Pfeiffer and more.

Book Trailer:


Grand Prize Package: one winner will receive:

1) a paperback copy of Falling For the Stars by Lisa Loving Dalton with autographed Last Dragon Pic
2) a paperback copy of A Balancing Act by Emmanuelle Chaulet
3) an e-copy of Murder of Talent
4) a 30-min video chat with author

2nd and 3rd Prize Packages: 2 winners will each get:

1) a Kindle copy of Falling for the Stars by Lisa Loving Dalton with an autographed Last Dragon pic
2) a paperback copy of A Balancing Act by Emmanuelle Chaulet
3) an e-copy of Murder of Talent

USA only

Giveaway ends Dec 17

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About Lisa Loving Dalton

From a bullied, dyslexic, messy, freckle-faced, klutzy pixie, Lisa Loving Dalton grew into a statuesque and skillful stuntwoman, actor, director, teacher, author, filmmaker, leadership and life coach, and ceremonial minister. Always seeking and finding the silver lining, she has made the most of whatever life threw at her. She says, “I spill stuff, trip and drip all of the time so I made a career out of it. My advice: Embrace what is as perfect.”

Dalton appeared in more than 200 films, television shows and commercials in New York, Hollywood and Texas, including work in Ghostbusters, Money Pit, Crocodile Dundee, Married to the Mob, FX, Legal Eagles, and Splash on the big screen and ER, HBO’s Carnivale, Dr. Quinn and Melrose Place among her many TV credits.

The Girl of His Dreams by Donna Leon

The Girl of His Dreams by Donna Leon The Girl of His Dreams by Donna Leon
Narrator: David Colacci
Series: Commissario Brunetti #17
Published by AudioGO on April 22, 2008
Genres: Mystery
Length: 9 hrs 8 mins
Format: Audiobook
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On a rainy morning, not long after the funeral of his mother, Commissario Brunetti and Ispettore Vianello respond to a 911 call reporting a body floating near the steps in one of Venice's side canals. Reaching down to pull it out, Brunetti's wrist is caught by the silkiness of golden hair, and he sees a small foot - together he and Vianello lift a dead girl from the water. But, inconceivably, no one has reported a missing child, nor the theft of the gold jewelry that she carries. So Brunetti is drawn into a search not only for the cause of her death but also for her identity, her family, and for the secrets that people will keep in order to protect their children - be they innocent or guilty. The investigation takes Brunetti from the canals and palazzos of Venice to a Gypsy encampment on the mainland, through quicksands of connections and relationships both known and concealed, as he struggles with both institutional prejudice and entrenched criminality to try to unravel the fate of the dead child.

We’ve got two “mysteries” in The Girl of His Dreams, the death of the girl mentioned in the blurb and a potential scam being run by a man claiming to be a priest of some kind. Both are solved even if the resolutions aren’t entirely satisfying, but I guess that’s a bit like real life, not every mystery gets tied up in a neat little bow. Sometimes politics and money and being at the right place a bit too late all get in the way.

I like Brunetti. He’s happily married and actually enjoys spending time with his family. He and his wife love books and conversation. While his superior is not ideal, he’s not a loner, he works well with the competent members of the force. He cares about his case, perhaps more than he should at times.

While the mystery steers the book, the musings on life, death, religion, the mafia make it slower than the typical mystery. There is less chasing down dead ends and confronting dangerous criminal and more thoughtful investigating. Leon never shies away from political/cultural issues. Here she is mostly dealing with the Rom, how and why they live the way they do and how they interact with the rest of society. Her novels can tend toward preachy for mysteries, but I enjoy them as a change of pace.

Venice is a city I would love to visit, but in the meantime Leon’s series let’s me feel like I’m there. She is great with descriptions, from food to places to the weather.

About Donna Leon

Donna Leon is the author of the international best-selling Commissario Guido Brunetti series. The winner of the CWA Macallan Silver Dagger for Fiction, among other awards, Leon was born in New Jersey and lived in Venice for over thirty years. She now makes her home in Switzerland.

Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

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