Tall Tales is a repackaged version of Stupid, Stupid Rat-Tails: The Adventures of Big Johnson Bone, Frontier Hero. It also includes two new stories by Tom Sniegoski and one new story by Jeff Smith.
Smiley and the Bone Scouts
Smiley and Bartleby come and prepare a camping sight for Ringo, Bingo and Todd. Smiley puts on his leader hat and prepare a campfire. Ringo, Bingo and Todd asked Smiley to tell them a story when he and his cousins were in The valley far away. Having already told them the stories of when his cousins first entered the valley, The great cow race and when he and Fone Bone had met Rock Jaw he tells them a story when The cousins had still lived on Gran'ma Ben's farm.
Powers That Be
Back when the bone cousins lived in the farm house Phoney didn't quite settle in and even took turns in the household chores. When it was Fone Bone and Phoney's turn to do the laundry, Phoney still missed the hustle and bustle in Boneville. Phoney finds a map buried in the ground, he instinctively followed the map believing he was led by capitalism or as he says The powers that be and brings Fone Bone along to collect the treasure. while heading through a Briar patch to find the letter N which was the first clue to finding the treasure they fall into an eagle's nest. When the mother eagle returns to the nest she swallows Fone Bone, but is saved by Phoney by threatening to drop the eagle's eggs. Phoney and Fone Bone jump from the nest, fall ino the briar patch and find the tree with the letter N, they walk ten steps from the tree and find where the treasure is located and find a shovel in the bushes. Phoney thanks the powers that be and as they dig for the treasure, Fone Bone and Phoney find out the treasure is nothing, but Phoney's dirty clothes and realizes that it was a trick. Smiley than tells the scouts from that moment on, neither Fone Bone or Phoney skipped laundry ever again. Amazed by the story the scouts ask him to tell another story. Smiley decides to tell the scouts about the very founder of Boneville, Big Johnson Bone and the story of when he was first born
Baby Johnson vs. Old Man Winter
In the most toughest winter's ever, Johanna Bone was about to give birth to her baby boy, luckily old Hepzibah Bone had a hankering for Tuber stew and helped Johanna through labor since she was always by her lonesome after Jebidiah Bone had disappeared ever since he went on his hunting trip. After Johanna's baby was born she named her Johnson Bone, but before he could even feel the touch of his mother The door suddenly opened and Johnson was swept by Winter and over the mountains. Johnson was taken just as Jebidiah was taken from Johanna, but she had a feeling an decided to make tuber stew knowing Winter could not keep Johnson. After Johnson was taken he met Old man Winter himself, but didn't see Johnson as a threat and left him to die at the hands of an angry Cave bear. Winter believed he was victorious until Johnson had returned with a bear skin coat. Old Hepzibah tried to find Johnson herself with no luck until the clouds had let up, it was then Johnson had returned home where he smelt the scent of his mother's tuber stew. Smiley than explains that was the very reason the bones have spring in the first place. Ringo and Bingo enjoy the story, but Todd remains unimpressed. Todd asks Bartleby if he knows any stories, Bartleby than tells everyone of the story on why Rat creatures no longer have tails saying that The Jekk would arrive in the middle of the night and pull the rat creatures by their which was the reason Rat creatures cut their tails on their first birth day. Todd is unsatisfied that is was all of Bartleby's story and asks for Smiley to tell one more story. Smiley tells the kids the story when Big Johnson Bone went against the the cobbler gobbler.
Big Johnson vs. The Cobbler Gobbler
On Big Johnson Bone's 15th birthday, he prepares to win the annual Gorge- a-Thon, a time when all Bone territories begin a eating competition. So far, Big Johnson has won 14 in times in a row and intends to keep his title. Big Johnson is spotted by his many fans and ensures his victory over the other competitors.only to find out there's a new competitor from the next country over named Gertie also known as the cobbler gobbler on account of her digesting vast amounts of fruit cobbler and other various food type items and prepares to defeat Big Johnson in the Gorge-a-Thon.Big Johnson instantly falls in love with her,but still has a duty to keep his title. After defeating the other competitors Gertie and Big Johnson are now left in the final round which was to eat fruit cobbler Big Johnson has only one piece left before he is declared victorious yet again, but hesitates. Gertie uses Big Johnson's hesitation to consume all she had left and was declared winner of the Gorge-a-Thon. Although Big Johnson lost he does not show disappointment and congratulates her. Gertie experiences extreme gas and farts at a extreme level that causes her and the entire platform of the Gorge-a-Thon do elevate into the sky and onto the moon, Big Johnson was so devastated that he wandered into the wilderness for the next ten years.
Smiley claimed that during his ten years of absence he had wonderful adventures, Todd asks Smiley to tell them the stories, but says that he couldn't because the secrets went to his grave and that nobody knows where he went or what he did until settled down on the rolling Bone river and started up his first trading post. Smiley then calls it for a night as they have to be well rested for their big hike tomorrow. As everyone prepares for bed, Todd sneaks into Smiley and Bartleby's tent and steals the hat, puts it on and sleeps.
The Lost Tale of Big Johnson Bone
Long after the Cobbler Gobbler incident, Johnson Bone was run out due to cheating in a card game in which he won a monkey, . Exasperating Mr. Pip with his tall tales, Johnson runs into a group of . While Mr. Pip gets a heart attack, Johnson takes the Rat Creatures' tails and swings them around. Later, Johnson and Mr. Pip run into a group of small animals. One of the mice asks him if he came because of wish, and Johnson is confused at that statement. Johnson then meets , a small dragon who cannot breathe flame. Stillman tells Johnson Bone that the Rat Creatures have been invading their territory and eating many of the animals, and that he is expecting to be replaced. However, Johnson and the animals come under attack by Rat Creatures again. Johnson grips one of the Rats' tails, saying that their tails were put there for his use, and recalling the time that he went up against four mountain lions. Stillman tries to help Johnson Bone, but accidently hits him on the head with a rock. The Rat Creatures flee from Johnson Bone. In response, , the queen of the Rat Creatures, summons a meeting and tells the Rats that her son will take care of Johnson Bone. When Tyson finds Johnson, he quickly eats him. Johnson goes down to Tyson's stomach, where he finds Luna's parents. The Rat Creatures have apparently won, until Tyson gets a bellyache due to Johnson causing a ruckus in his stomach. The rat creatures believe wood fairies have infested Tyson, until Tyson throws Johnson Bone and the animals back up. Tyson in a fit of rage attacks Johnson again, but Johnson has a plan. He runs up Tyson's tail, and when Tyson tries to attack him, he bites off his own tail. The Rat Creatures are in shock, and Johnson sets his eyes on Queen Maud. He then proceeds to rip off her tail and her hind fur. He later bids farewell to Stillman and the animals, and he and Mr. Pip leave the valley.
Johnson Bone's attack led Queen Maud to proclaim that all Rat Creatures must have their tails cut off, so they do not look better than her. This set the tradition of Tail-Cutting-Off-Day, in which it was rumored that if you didn't have your tail cut off, the "Jekk" (their name for Big Johnson Bone) would drag them away by their tails.
After opening his trading post that would result in the founding of Boneville, Big Johnson Bone told the tale to a traveler, who scoffed at his words, but then hesitated when he saw Big Johnson's hat, made from Queen Maud's hind fur. Johnson goes out saying that if he was lying, then a lot of snow would be dumped on him. When it starts to snow, Big Johnson admits that he sometimes can stretch the truth, and heads off.
Todd wakes up, having seen Big Johnson's adventure in the valley in his dream. Todd begins to wonder if Smiley's hat is connected, but doesn't look into it and puts the hat back in Smiley and Bartleby's tent. After putting the hat back, Smiley and Bartleby wake up and stare at each-other, but soon smile and go back to sleep.