american tall tales

Title: American Tall Tales Author: Mary Pope Osborne Illustrator: Michael McCurdy Publisher: Random House

Genre: Tall Tale Level: Primary Number of pages:128 Pub. Date: 1991


Summary (Use your own words; 3-4 sentences; setting, characters, plot, conflict, resolution): The tall tale that I read from this book was Johnny Appleseed. There’s a ghost named Johnny Appleseed in the Ohio Valley. Two brothers, John, wanted to become an apple missionary. He walked around with a sack of apple seeds and sold them to people eager to grow them. One day he saved a wolf from a trap and they journeyed far and wide over the country. As he laid to rest one day he had died in his sleep, and now if you go to a certain apple orchard at a bend in the river, you’ll see Johnny Appleseed heating up his coffee.


Critique (Include features of genre featured in class.) This story fits a tall tale because it takes the story of a man who wandered around the country and exaggerates his character into being a ghost that you can see in the morning making is coffee over by the river. 


Response: (How did you react? What struck you? How do you relate it to your life?) I had heard of Johnny Appleseed before, but I didn’t actually knew that he got that name because he brought apple seeds everywhere and shared it to everyone. I also didn’t know that he was a ghost, just that he had existed.

For all the kvetching about how “America has no culture”, people seem to not realize that America had a culture distinct from the European mother-continent. (And it still has that culture, frankly. People just feel that partaking in said culture is icky and wrong. ‘Cause who the hell wants to help be constructive in this day and age?)

It was only in the past 50-60 years that this whole meme of ‘no culture’ has taken root, and the systematic destruction-by-apathy of American culture took place.

Hawthorne? Hemingway? Mahan? Washington Irving? Walt Whitman? Frederick Turner? American. European influences? Yeah, but distinctly American as well.

The old ‘tall tales’ from the frontier? American.

Hell, the frontier in and of itself? As American as my mom’s apple pie on the 4th of July.

anonymous asked:

Since a lot of myths and folk lore can be based off something real that was exxaggerated in BTP. How about Paul Bunyan? Giant Asgardian lumberjack?

Might be a Jotun.  I haven’t got very far in American folklore because American tall tales are much more recent.

Trumphammer 2k: North America Pt. 1 (The Trumperium)

-Commissar Brett-Smythe, Battle of Toronto 2035

It is the current year of 2416, and our God Emperor has yet to return with the sage meme magician Harambe, and the rising rumors of what stirs beyond the Walls and in the colonies in the Solar System. To have a better understanding of the goings on, and to calm my nerves somewhat, I will compile this journal detailing the history and current events of nations in the world and beyond.

Naturally, I am compelled to begin my report on the political climate of the world with, dare I say, the political center of the known universe: The United States of the Trumperium. Due to the devastation of the Rockies and Eastern Seaboard caused by the utilization of memetic weaponry, the midwestern states were subject to a massive wave of war-weary migrants and development. Within five years of the Trumperium’s proclamation, New Washington (formerly Lincoln), Nebraska had become the largest city (controlled by the Trumperium of course). With the development of orbital habitats at the dawn of the twenty second century, most major industries moved to the orbital colonies, and a large number of citizens looking to find work and a new life. This allowed large swaths of urban sprawl to reclaimed to provide a more agrarian “feel” to the country.

Although the Northeast and the “Left Coast” were lost to the fanatics of the Shill and Bern, the acquisition of Canada’s Prairie provinces and the Yukon territory ore than made up for it. Almost everyday, swathes of land are granted to retiring members of the Trumperial Guard, as a reward for twenty years’ service (retirees can choose between land or stock from one of the orbital industries) from the Canadian Marches alone. Despite their Canadian heritage, most of the March locals were conservative, and welcoming of the arrival of the Trumperium during their invasion of Canada. Still some that reside here see themselves as more Canadian than American even after two hundred years of Trumperial rule. As the newest addition to the United States, Trumperial Guard units formed in the Marches do not have any historical or cultural “patriotic flair” to their uniforms, instead relying on surplus from the Kodiak and Frontier Segmentums.

Alongside the Canadian Marches, the United States is divided up into six other administrative divisions: Segmentums Dixie, Laurentia, Southwest, Teton, Kodiak, and the Imperial Demense.

Segmentum Dixie is the Old South come again, with Antebellum architecture dotting the landscape once again. Citizens of this Segmentum have decided to live up to the notion of “Southern Hospitality” with extreme prejudice. Every household that can, will have vat-bred house serfs toiling away in the kitchens to supply any guest with sweet tea and all other forms of southern comfort. As the heartland of the old American aristocracy, citizens of Segmentum Dixie see their home as the flower of chivalry and this affects the attitude of Dixie Trumperial Guard formations. Seeing themselves as knights of the south and Trumperium, the wide variety of uniforms reflecting the history and heritage of Segmentum are the most ornate and adorned in the entire Trumperium, with an attitude to boot. Luckily, such haughtiness is worn away after a tour of duty (or two) at one of the Walls.

Formerly the Rust Belt and industrial heartland of the United States, the people of what would become Segmentum Laurentia had to go through some culture shock during the transfer of industries to the burgeoning orbital habitats. Who was to lead the shift to a more rural Laurentia? Enter the Amish (and other Anabaptist groups), who had enclaves in the Midwest that became fueled with more of their number fleeing the war in the Eastern Seaboard. Over time, aspects of their culture and lifestyle resonated with the beleaguered locals, and soon Segmentum Laurentia became the breadbasket of the Trumperium ten times over. Due to the Amish influence on the region, Laurentians are considered the most humble of the Trumperium’s denizens, a source of much contention when Laurentian and Dixie (the least humble) Guardsmen are tasked with watching the Northeastern Wall.

Once meant to mock them, “Segmentum Cowboy” is now accepted as the unofficial name of Segmentum Southwest by its inhabitants. Ranching culture dominates this region, ensuring that almost every plate on the Earth has some part from some cow that resided in the Southwest. Although the Guardsmen raised in the defense of the Southwest’s Wall keep the border with Mexico heavily guarded, there has been nary a skirmish on that front since the 2100′s, and focus has shifted towards areas of the Wall bordering the Left Coast. If the Guardsmen from Segmentum Dixie view themselves as the “knights” of the Trumperium, then “cowboy” is once again an appropriate term to describe the ones from Segmentum Southwest, good at harassing opponents until heavier units move in for the kill.

Vigilance is the key phrase to describe life in the Segmentum Teton. They might be on the other side of the wall but one day they might not. They might seek to harm you, your loved ones, and everyone else that lives in the Trumperium. So keep an eye open to make sure that they don’t. Continued forays against their portion of the Wall by raiders from the Left Coast have done wonders in justifying local attitudes. Most, if not all homes in the Teton Segmentum are connected by a series of underground bunkers to house and allow the quick movement of Guardsmen raised to defend this Segmentum if and in the event of invasion.

Bordering the Canadians gives the men and women of Segmentum Kodiak little to no exposure to warfare in the Current Year against those that would seek to end civilization as we know it. Though they may prefer the comfort of their longhouses, residents of this Segmentum can be as ferocious as the winds that drive them to shelter if riled by invaders. However, from time to time, raiders from Cascadia or California manage to find their way in the northern most regions of the Trumperium find themselves suffering the wrath of the elements and wildlife than from human defenders. Recently, Cossack warbands from the Tsyber Tsardom of Russia have been requesting permission to cross into the Trumperium and launch raids into the Left Coast. Given the recent buildup of arms discovered across the Wall, their requests might be accepted.

Last but not least, is the Imperial Demense, territory under the direct rule of the Emperor himself. At least it was, until his disappearance into the world of Memes with Harambe, now it is under the administration of the Executive Regency Council until the return of the Emperor. The demense is one of the only areas of the United States left with major urban centers and terrestrial industry, and is home to the Lincoln Beanstalk. The Beanstalk is a large space elevator that connects New Washington to the New Columbia space colony, allowing fast transportation of raw materials to and manufactured goods from the colony. In the capital city itself there are three landmarks worthy of note. The first is the Imperial Palace itself, serving as the Emperor’s place of residence, where the Trumperial Congress convenes to pass legislature, and everyday citizens can request an audience with the Emperor. Due to the Emperor’s two hundred year absence, most of the residential areas have become a museum for tourists. The next two landmarks are the Trumperial Guard Memorial and the Grand Cathederal of the Memetic Priesthood, located near each other and commissioned at the same time after the conclusion of the Meme Wars and the establishment of the Trumperium. The memorial was dedicated to those early paramilitaries in the crisis following the Emperor’s assassination and the usurpation of the Shill, military units that sided against the Shill and Customs/Border Protection and Police that would form the core of the Trumperial Guard. Disciples of Harambe, the Memetic Priesthood has evolved into the Trumperium’s state religion, mixing traditional religions with American tall tales and internet-borne memetics.

Other territories in the Trumperium on Earth are the islands of Hawai’i and Puerto Rico. These island possessions have been transformed into massive fortresses, to defend the  Trumperium from the Celestial People’s Republic in the Pacific, and Gran Venezuela and Brazil in the Atlantic.

That concludes this entry. In the next, I will detail the polities that arose behind the walls in the Northeast and Left Coast,as well as the market anarchy of Nevada.

Another weird idea/sorta-headcannon for America.

So i was watching the collection of Disney American Legends or American Tall Tales, you know, like Johnny Appleseed, Paul Bunyan, Pecos Bill, John Henry, John Casey and all them and I just feel like they should be incorporated into Alfred’s character. Either him saying he knew them all and exaggerating their stories even more, or taking on some of their characteristics. I mean, he already has the strength. I see him the most as Pecos Bill. I mean, a cowboy raised by coyotes? And I can just see Arthur being horrified at the idea that Alfred was raised by wild dogs and insisting this was not true and Alfred insisting that it is.haha I’m not sure about the whole end though with Sue (is that her name…the girl who rides a catfish?) and the moon, but i’m sure it would work out. And Widnowmaker! Alfred needs more badass animal companions like him, or babe the Ox!


  • i read this book back when i was a kid but i can’t find it now! it had african american folklore and one of the main stories awas about a woman sailor with a beard who had a trillion or so sons and was buried at sea.
  • i’m 99% sure the Mississippi River was also involved andit was in a book that had GORGEOUS illustrations
  • if someone could name the tale or the book I’D BE VERY HAPPY.