A very long time ago, tobacco was grown only on one island, E-ay-ray Isle, whose name means "the hummingbird kingdom." It was so named because these tiny birds could be seen shimmering throughout the island. Those not living on the island also wanted to possess this plant to which the islanders attached great importance. Tobacco seeds were so sought after that to protect their crops, the islanders had to position ferocious warriors on the shore day and night.
A very long time ago, tobacco was grown only on one island, E-ay-ray Isle, whose name means "the hummingbird kingdom." It was so named because these tiny birds could be seen shimmering throughout the island. Those not living on the island also wanted to possess this plant to which the islanders attached great importance. Tobacco seeds were so sought after that to protect their crops, the islanders had to position ferocious warriors on the shore day and night.

© Musée de la nature et des sciences de Sherbrooke 2007. All rights reserved.

Tobacco seeds were so sought after that to protect their crops, the islanders had to position ferocious warriors on the shore day and night.

Musée de la nature et des sciences de Sherbrooke

© Musée de la nature et des sciences de Sherbrooke 2007. All rights reserved.


In these long-ago times, birds, like other animals, lived with humans and they helped each other out. At a council meeting, a shaman proposed that a certain wise and clever stork undertake the task of stealing tobacco seeds. The long-legged bird rarely turned away from a challenge, but this time it refused. "How could a bird my size succeed? The guards would see me before I had the chance to move a wing. We need someone very small and very quick."
In these long-ago times, birds, like other animals, lived with humans and they helped each other out. At a council meeting, a shaman proposed that a certain wise and clever stork undertake the task of stealing tobacco seeds. The long-legged bird rarely turned away from a challenge, but this time it refused. "How could a bird my size succeed? The guards would see me before I had the chance to move a wing. We need someone very small and very quick."

© Musée de la nature et des sciences de Sherbrooke 2007. All rights reserved.

At a council meeting, a shaman proposed that a certain wise and clever stork undertake the task of stealing tobacco seeds.

Musée de la nature et des sciences de Sherbrooke

© Musée de la nature et des sciences de Sherbrooke 2007. All rights reserved.


"The hummingbird!" cried the stork and the shaman in unison. Upon uttering of these words, a hummingbird arrived. The shaman explained the mission. It suggested that the stork help by hiding in the swamp. Thus, it wouldn’t have to fly to the shore on the other side. The hummingbird accepted.
"The hummingbird!" cried the stork and the shaman in unison. Upon uttering of these words, a hummingbird arrived. The shaman explained the mission. It suggested that the stork help by hiding in the swamp. Thus, it wouldn’t have to fly to the shore on the other side. The hummingbird accepted.

© Musée de la nature et des sciences de Sherbrooke 2007. All rights reserved.

The shaman explained the mission. It suggested that the stork help by hiding in the swamp.

Musée de la nature et des sciences de Sherbrooke

© Musée de la nature et des sciences de Sherbrooke 2007. All rights reserved.


As agreed, the stork hid and the hummingbird flew directly to the tobacco fields. It went unnoticed among all the other hummingbirds. While it fed, it stole a few tobacco seeds that it took to the stork. The hummingbird made several trips back and forth. Then, it pushed the last seed into its own fold under its feathers and the two birds returned to the continent.
As agreed, the stork hid and the hummingbird flew directly to the tobacco fields. It went unnoticed among all the other hummingbirds. While it fed, it stole a few tobacco seeds that it took to the stork. The hummingbird made several trips back and forth. Then, it pushed the last seed into its own fold under its feathers and the two birds returned to the continent.

© Musée de la nature et des sciences de Sherbrooke 2007. All rights reserved.

It went unnoticed among all the other hummingbirds.

Musée de la nature et des sciences de Sherbrooke

© Musée de la nature et des sciences de Sherbrooke 2007. All rights reserved.


The two birds were welcomed as heroes. The seeds were promptly planted and took root. Since that time, tobacco has been raised in many locations and the nectar that the hummingbirds feed on is their reward. We now know that hummingbirds help fertilize plants; it all started with that adventure on tobacco island!
The two birds were welcomed as heroes. The seeds were promptly planted and took root. Since that time, tobacco has been raised in many locations and the nectar that the hummingbirds feed on is their reward. We now know that hummingbirds help fertilize plants; it all started with that adventure on tobacco island!

© Musée de la nature et des sciences de Sherbrooke 2007. All rights reserved.

The two birds were welcomed as heroes.

Musée de la nature et des sciences de Sherbrooke

© Musée de la nature et des sciences de Sherbrooke 2007. All rights reserved.


Learning Objectives

The learner will:
  • list the primary plot details

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