A man had lost his horses and was looking for them. A woman was also hunting for horses. They, the man and the woman, met and talked to each other. They sat talking together under a hickory tree which cast a good shade. The woman said, “I am hunting for some horses that have been hidden away.” The man said, “I am also hunting for horses.” As they sat talking something occurred to the man and he spoke to his companion as follows, “I am hunting about for horses; you too are hunting about for horses. Let us be friends, and lie here together, after which we will start on.” The woman considered the matter and said, “All right.” Both lay down, and when they got up the man went on his way and the woman went on hers. Next summer the man was looking for horses again and happened to pass near the place where he and the woman had talked. The man thought, “I will go by that place just to look at it.” When he got there he saw that a weed had grown up right where they had lain, but he did not know what it was. He stood looking at it for a while and then started off. He traveled on and told the old men about it. He said, “I saw something like this and this growing,” and one answered, “Examine it to see whether it is good. When it is ripe we will find out what it is.” Afterwards the man started off to look at it. He saw that it had grown still bigger. He dug close about it to soften the soil and it grew still better. He took care of it and saw the leaves grow larger. When it blossomed the flowers were pretty, and he saw that they were big. When they ripened the seeds were very small. He took the seeds from the hull, gathered leaves, and took them to the old men. They looked at these but did not know what the plant was. After they had looked at them in vain for some time they gave it up. Then one of them pulverized the leaves and put them into a cob pipe, lighted it and smoked it. The aroma was grateful. All of the old men said, “The leaves of the thing are good,” and they named it. They called it hitci (which means both “see” and “tobacco”), they say. Therefore woman and man together created tobacco.
A Hitchiti Legend
John R. Swanton, 1929