It was so cold. Snow fell constantly, and ice formed over all the waters. The animals had never seen snow before. At first, it was a novelty, something to play in. But the cold increased tenfold, and they began to worry. The little animals were being buried in the snow drifts and the larger animals could hardly walk because the snow was so deep. Soon, all would perish if something were not done.
Claas Schlaschenschlinger was a wealthy cobbler living on New Street in New Amsterdam. He was a contented bachelor who could afford eight - eight mind you! - pairs of breeches and he had a little side business selling geese. He cut quite a figure in New Amsterdam society, and was happy being single, until he met the fair Anitje! She was as pretty as a picture, and Claas fell head over heels for her. He was not her only suitor, by any means. The local burgomaster was also courting the fair Anitje. But the burgomaster was a stingy, hard man, and in the end, Anitje gave her heart and hand to Claas...
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 day Old Stormalong, the ultimate sailor, was sailing the Courser through the deepest part of the Atlantic Ocean when a particularly large wave knocked the anchor loose. The anchor plunged right down to the bottom before the sailors could reel her in, and it got caught on something.
Johnny Appleseed was a hermit and a wanderer who was welcomed wherever he went in the Ohio territory. Everyone loved him, in spite of his unkempt appearance. He always carried a sack full of apple seeds to plant, and walked barefoot all year round. He knew the frontier woods better than anyone. Even the Indians respected Johnny Appleseed for his courage.
Ethan Allen, the leader of the Green Mountain Boys, who defeated the British at Fort Ticonderoga, was known as a gruff-mannered, hard-drinking man. But Ethan Allen had a gallant streak which would exhibit itself in unexpected ways.
Late one night, Daniel Boone and a friend went out fire hunting. Fire hunting involves the shining of the light from a fire pan (a pan full of blazing pine knots) into the woods. The light reflects in the eyes of the deer, which is too dazzled to run and the hunters can shoot it.
Now, Pecos Bill had a way with wimmen. No doubt. He had dozens of wives during his time. But his one true love was Slue-foot Sue. She was his first wife - and she could ride almost as good as Bill himself...
After getting the lay of the land, so to speak, frontier man Bigfoot Wallace moved from Austin to San Antonio, which was considered the extreme edge of the frontier, to sign up as a Texas Ranger under Jack Hayes. In them days, Texas was as wild as the west could get. There was danger from the south from the Mexicans, danger to the wet and north from the wild frontier filled with Indians and desperados, and to the east the settlements still had problems with the Cherokee Nation...
Bigfoot Wallace was as crazy an individual as they come. He could spin a yarn better than anyone, and while he was a dangerous foe to his enemies, he was also a jovial giant, who was always on the lookout for a good laugh. What with hunting and fishing and fighting Comanches and avoiding rattlesnakes, Wallace had the time of his life in Texas. Said he wouldn’t swap Texas for the whole shooting match that was the rest of the United States.
Turns out, the rough and tumble life of a Texas Ranger wasn’t enough to satisfy Bigfoot Wallace. No sir! He hungered for adventure, and he found it. First he fought against Mexican General Adrian Woll's invasion of Texas in 1842, then he volunteered for the retaliatory raid across the Rio Grande...
Bigfoot Wallace – that wild and wacky Texas Ranger -- returned to the wilds of frontier life once the United States won the war with Mexico, and it suited him as nothing else could do. Soon he was freighting mail six hundred miles from San Antonio to El Paso, and it was the wildest stretch in the Wild West! Wallace was the only man who could do it. Anyone else who tried was scared off by attacking Comanche and Apache warriors or killed outright...
Well now, Bigfoot Wallace was jest about the roughest, toughest Texas Ranger that ever rode west of the Pecos. Came to Texas bent on avenging the death of a brother and cousin who’d been massacred at Goliad by Santa Ana’s army, but by the time he got here the Revolution was won and Texas was a Republic. He might’ve gone home then, but Wallace discovered Texas was a hunter’s paradise, so he made his way to the extreme edge of the frontier, where he hunted the abundant game that he sold to the settlements.
One night, in 1881, a fierce storm broke over the Des Moines river valley. The storm raged through the night, flooding the river and the nearby creeks. Along about 11 p.m., a "pusher" train was sent to search for any wash-outs along the track. After it passed the home of the Shelley family, a railroad widow raising five children, the family heard a terrible crashing sound. The bridge over Honey Creek had collapsed, taking the pusher train with it.
Now John Henry was a mighty man, yes sir. He was born a slave in the 1840's but was freed after the war. He went to work as a steel-driver for the Chesapeake & Ohio Railroad, don't ya know. And John Henry was the strongest, the most powerful man working the rails.
S.E. Schlosser is the author of the Spooky Series by Globe Pequot Press and the editor of WorldFolklore.net and AmericanFolklore.net. She has been telling stories since she was a child, when games of "let's pretend" quickly built themselves into full-length tales acted out with friends. A graduate of both Houghton College and the Institute of Children's Literature, Sandy received her MLS from Rutgers University while working as a full-time music teacher and a freelance author.
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