As It Was: Woodcutter Works Hard; Cheats Even Harder in Curry County

Mar 30, 2018

Here’s a tall tale from Curry County recounted by Bill Wallace for the Curry Historical Society.  It goes like this:

Once there was a fellow known for cheating others by selling things twice that didn’t belong to him, leaving two purchasers and the original owner to argue over possession.

When the law caught up to him, the judge asked if he had ever engaged in honest work.  He said he was a woodcutter by trade.

The judge sentenced the man to one year in jail, but offered to release him early if he would saw a load of wood into blocks, split the blocks and stack them inside the courthouse.

Working from dawn to dusk, the man soon had the wood stacked in the courthouse.

The judge kept his word, called the man to court and expressed his and the sheriff’s satisfaction.  They all shook hands and the woodcutter left town the next day.

That September when the janitor started up the wood furnace, he couldn’t get the split wood into the fire box.  The cheater had been up to his old tricks, cutting each block exactly two inches too long for the furnace.

Source: "Legends and Lore: The Woodman." Curry Historical Society. 2014. Web. 19 Aug. 2014. <>.