One version of How They Brought Back The Tobacco - Cherokee
by, 05-03-2012 at 05:34 PM (262 Views)
In the beginning of the world, when people and animals were all the same,
there was only one tobacco plant, to which they all came for their tobacco
until the Dagûl'kû geese stole it and carried it far away to the south.
The people were suffering without it,
and there was one old woman who grew so thin and weak that everybody said she would soon die
unless she could get tobacco to keep her alive.
Different animals offered to go for it, one after another, the larger ones first
and then the smaller ones, but the Dagûl'kû saw and killed every one before he could get to the plant.
After the others the little Mole tried to reach it by going under the ground,
but the Dagûl'kû saw his trick and killed him as he came out.
At last the Hummingbird offered, but the others said he was entirely too small and
might as well stay at home. He begged them to let him try, so they showed him a plant
in a field and told him to let them see how he would go about it.
The next moment he was gone and they saw him sitting on the plant,
and then in a moment he was back again, but no one had seen him going or coming,
because he was so swift. "This is the way I'll do," said the Hummingbird, so they let him try.
He flew off to the east, and when he came in sight of the tobacco the Dagûl'kû were watching all about it,
but they could not see him because he was so small and flew so swiftly.
He darted down on the plant - tsa! - and snatched off the top with the leaves and seeds,
and he was off again before the Dagûl'kû knew what had happened.
Before he got home with the tobacco the old woman had fainted and they thought she was dead,
but he blew the smoke into her nostrils, and with a cry of "Tsâ'lû [Tobacco!]"
she opened her eyes and was alive again.