Coos Bay Cowhales. - [Fearsome Critter] - Aka: Whale-cows, Cow-Whale, "Western Whale." "Prime milkers" 'Sea-cows'
• About this Critter: Ol' Paul corralled "cow whales" in Coos-Bay, Oregon so that he could nurse his poor sick Ox back to peak health. These western SeaCows, (not to be confused with a Deugong , manatee or an otherwise ordinary mother-whale) produce a particularly vitamin rich milk and enough to feed an entire camp of lumbermen (& a gigantic blue ox!) the milk is apparently lauded as a 'natural cure all.'
• History: This obscure critter was not mentioned in "Paul Bunyan's Natural History" but it surely should have been! - The story of Pauls 'cow-whales' seems to have been earliest popularized in James Stevens telling of Paul Bunyan in  - Chapter 10: "ORATORICAL MEDICINE" - in which Babe the Blue ox has fallen deathly ill - So: at the suggestion of "Johnny Inkslinger" (the camps giant Book Keeper), Paul and his men head west to find the "Milk of the Western Whale" in hopes of curing the poor Ox (after all what other animal could produce milk for a uniquely giant ox?) - The chapter mentions Paul's men, milking the whales like you would a cow; complete with a stool & giant bucket. (Lets assume that this breed of whale has an udder?) The loggers find difficulty when the whales calves 'beat up' the gigantic lumbermen as they attempt to milk the mum (so lets also assume they come equipped with horns.) Paul solves it by letting them nurse on his fingers while his men do the milking... - [Edit: immediately after i finished this part of the article, i found at least one earlier written newspaper account of "Paul Bunjun" owning a 'Cow-whale' dating this yarn back to at least October of 1924 by Squamish famous Lumberman, Journalist and Skiier "Pollough Pogue" that in mind: It seems that James Stevens telling of the events is original, but not the defacto origin of pauls "cow-whales" notably this article was from the Vancouver Provence, Making the cow whale likely a widely spun bit of folklore that predates James book originally! - This story also details that the cow-whale produces at least 5 times more milk than a regular whale or cow would, and that it fires it out with "speeds like a firetrucks-hose." -the location also changes to west coast of 'Moresby island, BC']
[Aanother alternate retelling of 'Paul bunyan on Coos bay' 1934] - Later mentions of Coos bay and paul also mention a school of migrating Roqual Baleen whales caught by Paul bare handed. (the crew ate them & they used using every last bit.) - [On that note, I did find one article by the 'Oregons history project' from 1856 about the Coos native peoples. Butchering a beached whale for its meat and blubber. – I entirely doubt that the yarn is at all based on this, but it is worth note at the very least, as aside from several "whale watching" opportunities & the nearby exploding whale incident its the one historic news article which details whales and the Coos Bay area specifically.] - it seems that after James story was popularized, the 'Coos-bay, Cow-Whale corral' then worked its way into the popular list of Paul Bunyan exploits and re-telling's and began to pop-up in papers starting in  - The whale corral was even mentioned briefly in Life magazine  and about ten years later it was also mentioned in [1951, 1953] but with a few twists: Paul milked the Coos-bay whales for his loggers and not for babe! and yet another Bunyan story from the same year also mentions paul BBQing the last of the whale calves to retrieve his wife's missing teeth.. -- There are also several articles from the 20s-30s about Bunyan being responsible for settling the Coos Bay area (Or even accidentally creating it with his giant boot. (Like several other places across America.) and tons of celebration around the subject of paul across oregon.
It should probably also be noted that while whales are mammals and thus can be milked, the high fat content of it is too much for humans or other animals to digest. so it's really not really recommended...
[The cow whale also made its one illustrated appearance on a pictoral map. - 1935]
[babe float in coos bay 1935 probably part of the "frontier days" celebration.]
[PS: yes i fully realize that's probably not where the udder would be (even if whales did have udders) the milking part is usually located under the tail so in all sense it should be placed back a bit. - But end of the day i just wanted to draw something silly for this niche bit of 'lore which hasn't been over thought about in 74+ years- if i hadn't done that, would you have ever thought twice bout the Bunyan milking cow-whales in Oregon?? ]
art by Samkalensky part of my fearsome critters collection of stickers, check my shop for more and consider supporting my work on patreon if you like what you see!