While hiking through the woods of Selganac, east of Minnesota and west of Wisconsin, I happened upon Paul Bunyan’s tomb. Though I spent seven days wandering the perimeter of its brasswood walls, I couldn’t find a single corner or entrance. I turned around before noon on the eighth day, for though it was clearly the work of human hands, the structure had proven endless.

During the return journey, I crossed paths with a carpenter from Duluth, who told me that he had been hired to help build the tomb. “Yep,” he told me. “It’s still very much under construction.”

“Well, then where’s the rest of your crew?” I asked. “I spent seven days wandering north, but there wasn’t anything to see along the way except for this wall.”

“Oh, right. You never found our site because you counted the days,” he told me. “That’s the first thing they told me about this contract. ‘Don’t look at your watch, and never think about the sun. Just keep going until you’re there.’ I bill by the hour, so I wasn’t so sure about it at first, but what can I say? I needed the work.”

I wasn’t sure I understood. “How long has it taken to build all of this?”

“It’s hard to say, given we don’t really keep track. There are men at the site who say that their grandfathers worked on it, and others who say that their grandfathers’ grandfathers did, and some of them even go so far as to say that their family’s been working on the tomb for twenty generations. All I can say for sure is that it’s at least as old as the trees we used to build it.”

“And how much longer do you think it will it take?”

He shrugged. “As long as it takes us to fit ol’ Paul inside.”

I gestured towards the infinite wall. “And he’s really that big?”

“Believe you me, he’s much bigger than that,” the contractor laughed. “You should see him. He visits our camp every now and then to see how it’s going. Sometimes he even makes us breakfast.”

I raised an eyebrow. “I thought he was dead?”

“Oh, Paul died a long time ago, but that doesn’t mean too much to him. He told us all about it. No matter how hard he tried, St. Peter couldn’t fit him through the gates, and since his feet still reached the ground from Heaven, there really wasn’t much point in sending him through.”

Paul Bunyan seems to have had a much more fulfilling life than other folklore giants.

Even so, some believe that Paul Bunyan was like Ymir, and America was made from his body.

Others claim that he never existed at all, though nonexistence never stopped the sasquatch