Paul Bunyon Lives

Cutting down trees is a hazardous activity.  Simply operating a chainsaw carries some inherent risk.  Using one to cut down large trees compounds the danger.  I’m not going to look up any statistics because John frequently uses a chainsaw to cut down trees so I don’t want to know exactly how dangerous the activity is.  In spite of his quirks, I’m pretty fond of the guy, and I would like all his parts to stay intact!  I’m not sure whether I would characterize John as accident-prone or whether his lack of patience causes accidents to happen.  For example, he almost cut his thumb off once changing the razor blade in a carpet knife simply because he didn’t take the time to see exactly how the blade detached from the handle.  Instead he took a pair of pliers and pulled on the blade thinking he was being safe.  Unfortunately, when the blade came out, the “safety” side of the razor stayed in the handle rendering it quite dangerous when pulled across his hand.

Yesterday he asked me if I would help him cut down some dead trees so I agreed since it was close by the house, and the recent cold snap had really made a dent in the wood pile.  The two trees he wanted to cut down were in close proximity to each other, and it seemed to me that the best way to proceed would have been to cut down the small tree first and then the big one.  He has a lot more experience felling trees so I didn’t offer my suggestion when he started notching the bigger of the two in preparation for the final cut.

I had moved quite a distance away from the action (38 years of experience in these situations) so I’m not sure how close he came to serious injury, but as the tree dropped, it hit the smaller tree causing the base of the trunk to kick backwards.  As it swung toward John’s head, he jumped back, and it appeared to miss him by inches.  He tried to downplay the incident, but I think he realized how close he came to taking his nourishment through a straw with his jaw wired shut.

Our son, John, got a new chainsaw for Christmas, so he called his dad last night to tell him about the first tree he cut down with his new toy.  Apparently he misjudged the direction the tree would fall and dropped it on his fence.  I was hoping that accident-prone gene skipped a generation!  As they compared mishaps it suddenly occurred to me that not only is Paul Bunyon alive and well, his son is carrying on the legacy.

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