Tok Thompson 51: Dynamite Log

“There was a story my dad told to me, they’re probably somewhat true. My hometown was a Russian Native outpost. My dad moved there slightly after WW2 and he talked to a lot of people. Back then, he had a little cabin and everyone had to cut their own wood for fire. One day he noticed that someone was stealing his wood, so he invited the whole town over for a party. This was a small town so nearly everyone showed up. He was trying to figure out how to catch the thief, so he came up with this idea. They had food drink or whatnot. He casually mentioned it that someone is stealing his wood and he said oh don’t worry I took care of it. All the towns people where like what do you mean you took care of it did you find the guy? And he said no no I took care of it. I hollowed out one of the logs and stuffed it with dynamite so pretty soon we’re going to hear an explosion. Then he waited and a few minutes later one of the men said he had to go and he sees him running as fast as he can home. And that’s how he solved that mystery.

Context: I asked folklore professor Tok Thompson if he could share one of his favorite stories with me and this was one of them. He heard it from his father, who lived in an Alaskan village. This takes place slightly after WW2, before the rise of significant technology.

Analysis: This story is extremely funny, which is probably why it is of interest to share with people. It also has an element of justice: good vs. evil where good triumphs.