So today I open the newspaper and gasp out loud. G-man called from the other room, "What?" but I was so stunned I couldn't answer. He came out of his office and I handed him the paper:
No mystery how Babe the Ox lost his head
(I especially like that someone hung a wreath up in place of his head. Festive, no?)
Rotted materials cited as cause of decapitation
A critical piece of one of Klamath's more noticeable landmarks has fallen off.
The head of Babe the Blue Ox, a 35-foot-tall statue of Paul Bunyan's mythical sidekick that stands by the Trees of Mystery gift shop, fell off and landed snout first on the concrete sometime Tuesday evening, Trees of Mystery manager Jesse LaForest said.
Rain and old, rotted materials are to blame.
"Apparently we had a leak and it rotted one of the beams," LaForest said. "When it gave way, it gave way to the rest of them."
"It's not something we expect to see often or at all," he said of the nearly 1,000 pound, 9-foot-wide ox head.
Repairing the head, which is made of chicken wire and stucco, will likely cost between $200 and $300 and should be done by the first week of January, LaForest said.
"It's fixable, but until then, he has no head," he said.
In the meantime, and during the business' annual Christmas light show that kicked off Friday evening, Babe's head has been replaced with a much smaller ornament—a Christmas wreath and a grapefruit-sized stuffed Babe the Blue Ox.
Folklore said that Babe was found in the "Winter of the Blue Snow" by Paul Bunyan, a lumberjack of enormous size and strength. The ox statue has been at Trees of Mystery since 1950, and Paul Bunyan has been standing there since 1961, LaForest said.
"Paul's made out of good stuff; he's never coing down," he said.