In prose and verse, a fine collection of completely believable anecdotes. Pepper culls from a wide (and cited) variety of sources, bringing together tales from Australia and New England, from black and Jewish traditions, hunting stories and urban legends, and flights of fancy from known authors. The snakebit hoe-handle is here, along with the vanishing hitchhiker and the hoop snake; except for one adventure that features Paul Bunyan, the more familiar tall. tale heroes do not appear, but readers will be pleased to meet the Australian Crooked Mick, a sissy from the rough-and-ready town of Anaconda (""He was leadin' a great big cougar in one hand and a grizzly bear in the other. . .""), the hapless Pablo Romero, a truly tough teacher ("" 'First come, first severed,' he declared. . .""), and a motley assortment of others. Stories mn a page or two each, broken up by cheery black-and-white illustrations from several hands, plus occasional appropriate observations in boldface: ""The land is so poor we have to put baking powder in the Coffins so that people can rise again on Judgment Day."" These are so tall that, as Pepper says, ""You have to stand on your shoulders to read the page numbers.