Image Source: Weingart Design

I guess June’s going to be Tall Tale month on Fridays. Today’s character is one of my favorites, even if she’s not one of the most well-known. Women back int he America’s early days had it just as tough as the men. They helped build cabins and clear land. They hauled water and hunted for food.

Davy Crockett done married the prettiest, the sassiest, the toughest gal in the West, don’t ya know! Her name was Sally Ann Thunder Ann Whirlwind and she was all that and then some! She was tougher than a grumpy she-bear and faster than a wildcat with his tail on fire and sweeter than honey, so that even hornets would let her use their nest for a Sunday-go-to-Meeting hat.

One story tells of a bet between Mike Fink and Davy Crockett. Mike Fink bets a dozen wild-cats he can scare Sally Ann half to death. Davy Crockett, knowing his wife quite well, takes Mike Fink up on it. Mike Fink dresses in an alligator skin, leaps out of a bush and Sally Ann, growls, roars and comes at her with his claws. Sally Ann just glares at him, with a glare so full of lightning it brightens the sky all the way to California, but Mike Fink is determined and keeps advancing.

Sally Ann then takes out a toothpick and knocks the head right off the alligator skin, taking the hair off the top of Mike Fink’s head in the process. Sally Ann, relizing that Mike Fink had been trying to scare beats him up. Sally Ann tells her husband the whole story and he laughs. When people asked Mike Fink the next day what happened, he told them he fought a wild alligator, but Davy and Sally Ann knew better, and Mike Fink did pay up the dozen wild-cats.

Mike Fink never messed with Miz Crockett again!

Talk about a strong heroine. She’s as bigger than life as her husband, strong, brave, funny. She could “tote a steamboat on [her] back, outscream a panther, and jump over [her] own shadow.”

I read about Sally Ann on-line at American Folklore in “Sally Ann Thunder Ann Whirlwind Crockett Bests Mike Fink” retold by S. E. Schlosser and in American Tall Tales by Mary Pope Osborne.

Friday’s Tales is a weekly event here at Carol’s Notebook. I would love it if you joined me. Fairy tales, folktales, tall tales, even re-tellings, share with us. If you have a link, please include it in your comment.


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