Bunyan’s birth was somewhat unusual, as are the births of many mythic heroes, as it took five storks to carry the infant (ordinarily, one stork could carry several babies and drop them off at their parents’ homes). When he was old enough to clap and laugh, the vibration broke every window in the house. When he was seven months old, he sawed the legs off his parents’ bed in the middle of the night. Paul and his companion Babe the Blue Ox dug the Grand Canyon when he dragged his axe behind him. He created Mount Hood by piling rocks on top of his campfire to put it out.
Babe the Blue Ox, Bunyan’s companion, was a massive creature with exceptional strength. Most imagery of Bunyan shows Babe the Blue Ox as of proportionate size (meaning massive compared to typical oxen). Among other subjects, a myth about the formation of Great Lakes was centered around Babe: Paul Bunyan needed to create a watering hole large enough for Babe to drink from. There are also stories that Minnesota’s 10,000 lakes were formed by Paul and Babe’s footprints while they wandered blindly in a deep blizzard. Daniel Boone and Davy Crockett were said to have given Babe to Paul, because they were all woodsy pioneer types.