Stories from My Grandfather—The Gift of Tanchi (Corn)

WHAT’S PLAYING: Beyoncé “If I Were a Boy

Once upon a time, two Choctaw hunters were camping underneath a summer moon near the Mississippi River, when they heard a beautiful but sad sound. They walked along the river’s edge, following the sound, until they came upon a beautiful woman surrounded by a brilliant light. She wore a white dress decorated with delicate flowers, and stood on a mound of earth.

 

The hunters asked the woman what was wrong

“I am hungry,” she replied in a small, sad voice.

The men did not have much food, but they gladly gave her their entire supper. The lady ate only a little and promised to remember their kindness.

“If you will go and tell no one you saw me, I will ask my father to give you a great and wondrous gift. Return to this spot at the next moon.”

Then a gentle breeze blew by, and she was gone. Then the hunters realized that the beautiful lady was Ohoyo Osh Chisba (the Unknown Woman) and that her father was none other than Hashtali, ruler of Heaven. Filled with wonder, the hunters returned to their families and said nothing.

At the next moon, the two hunters returned to the spot but were saddened to see that Hashtali’s daughter was not there. But on the exact spot where she stood was a tall green plant with leaves that looked like the swords of the white men.

The Choctaw learned to cultivate this plant and named it tanchi.

 

And it was a great and wondrous gift indeed.

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3 comments on “Stories from My Grandfather—The Gift of Tanchi (Corn)

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