Tobacco Man and Married Man

from the collection of W. C. McKern

Original manuscript pages: | 199 | 200 |

(199) Two young men called each other "friends." They grew up together and were always with each other. In the old days, they did not marry too young. Both were swift runners. They used to race just the same, never beating one another. Both were single and did not use tobacco. One said, "My friend, we cannot beat each other. Let us do different things. One will get married and one will use tobacco." So they did. Then they went out hunting. After hunting, both carried back a deer. They passed through a little prairie. Said one, "My friend, this is a good place to fight. I wish we had enemies around." "Don't say that," said the other. "Maybe we will strike that."

"This is a nice place to run," said the first again. "Let's see who is the best now." So they deposited their deer on the ground. Then they left their bows and arrows there also, so that they could run. Then they got ready to race. Before going, one of them saw feather waving above the bushes, on either side. "Say, my friend," said one, "you wished for enemies. They are around us, I think. We don't want to go any farther. Let us run as fast as we can to where we left our bows and (200) arrows." "All right," said the other, "let's go." Their enemies tried to get them first, but the two beat them there. Tobacco Man got beaten in this race. They were surrounded by their enemies and started to fight. These fellows were very smart fighters, it is said. They did not get killed, but they killed many of the enemy. Then they went home with scalps. This is about Tobacco Man getting beaten in the race. Married Man beat him. In the old days young men were not supposed to smoke much. That was for the old men.

That is all.1

Commentary. "young men were not supposed to smoke much" — apparently the thought here is that because Tobacco Man took up smoking, he lost his edge as a runner, which could have been fatal.

Comparative Material. ...

Links: Tobacco.

Stories: about two male friends: Wazųka, The Four Slumbers Origin Myth, The Lame Friend, Brass and Red Bear Boy, Morning Star and His Friend, Pete Dupeé and the Ghosts, Worúxega, The Fleetfooted Man, The Boy who was Captured by the Bad Thunderbirds, Lake Wąkšikhomįgra (Mendota): the Origin of Its Name, The Spirit of Maple Bluff, Hare Kills Sharp Elbow, Mighty Thunder.

Themes: descriptions of human warfare: Black Otter's Warpath, Annihilation of the Hocągara II, The Warbundle Maker, The First Fox and Sauk War, Great Walker's Medicine, The Annihilation of the Hocągara I, How Little Priest went out as a Soldier, Little Priest's Game, Wazųka, The Blessings of the Buffalo Spirits, The Shawnee Prophet and His Ascension, The Four Slumbers Origin Myth, Big Thunder Teaches Cap’ósgaga the Warpath, The Fox-Hocąk War, Great Walker's Warpath, White Fisher, The Lame Friend, White Thunder's Warpath, The Osage Massacre, A Man's Revenge, The Boy who was Blessed by a Mountain Lion, They Owe a Bullet, The Spanish Fight, Origin of the Name "Milwaukee," The Man Whose Wife was Captured (v. 2), The Scalping Knife of Wakąšucka.


1 W. C. McKern, Winnebago Notebook (Milwaukee: Milwaukee Public Museum, 1927) 199-200.