A Lumberjack Tale

September 29, 2021


Don’t worry
I hugged it first

The other day, Joe Biden claimed to have been offered a job as a lumberjack during the Vietnam war, so I thought I’d share a Lumberjack tall tale, superstition and other stuff possibly. Hope you enjoy!

The Gorby (An American Tale)

“It happened on the Tobique River in northern New Brunswick. The bird was called a gorby[a Canada Jay]. An old woodsman wouldn’t hurt one. Sometimes others would play tricks on them by tossing out a piece of hot bun toasted over the fire and the first bird that got it got a hot beak and then would fly up in the tree and scold, and it sounded as if it were saying “Jesus, Jesus.” One man, thinking he was doing something smart, held one and picked all its feathers except its wing feathers and tail feathers and tossed it into the air and said “Now go to your Jesus bare-assed.” The others predicted something drastic would happen to him, and the next morning when he lifted up his head all his hair stayed on his pillow. He left the crew soon after.” (From the book American Folklore and Legend by Reader’s Digest)

“The tallest oak in the forest is the tallest
not just because it grew from the hardiest acorn;
it is the tallest also because no other trees blocked its sunlight,
the soil around it was deep and rich,
no rabbit chewed through its bark as a sapling,
and no lumberjack cut it down before it matured.”

~ Malcolm Gladwell

Skillful Pastimes (superstitions)

“A visitor to an early-20th-century camp described the lumberjacks sitting around the box stove in their barrack-like shanty enjoying a “free-for-all” – playing checkers, poker or cooncan, reading, writing letters, and conversing. He discovered from the talk that a good woodsman was proud of his prowess. He kept his axe sharp enough to shave with and felled his timber with such precision that it would drive a tent pin into the ground. He was good on a river too. He could roll a log with his feet, ride it through the rapids, and cleave log jams.
Less skilled choppers often caused accidents. Sideswiping branches (called widder-makers) from an ill-felled tree too often injured crewmen; it was an axiom of the industry that the woods took a Swede a day. The most terrifying accident of all was getting rolled into the boiling maelstrom of river and racing logs when a logjam was broken. Only sharp reflexes and instant decisions kept a man from death. Such a decision earned Cruel Jimmy Holmes his name. Seeing a friend caught in a logjam, he chopped his leg off and saved his life. Many logging tales grew out of incidents like that. They told of headless men, mangled bodies, and crushed skulls being fished up – and of others not found, whose ghosts were to haunt the river where they had disappeared for long after.” (From the book American Folklore and Legend by Reader’s Digest)


“I learned a man’s gotta be alot tougher than the timber he’s cutting.”

~ Johnny Cash


hope you have a great day!
thanks for stopping by!!

Country Girl  **SO TRUE! Grew up in the country and will die in the country!

I’d rather be lost in the woods than found in the city


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Before enlightenment
chop wood, carry water

After enlightenment
chop wood, carry water


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