One morning, many generations ago, a familiar sound echoed throughout Pico Island; a noise that represented the hope of subsistence and even a fortune for the poor families of the island.
Word spread, to the biggest whale ever seen in those seas. Watched by the imposing mountain of the Pico volcano, men ran to the boats, determined to win the battle against that giant figure that was receding on the horizon.
The bravest of harpooners managed to get closer and hit it with the harpoon. But the whale began to swim with the speed of lightning and ended up dragging the whaler who, attached to the thick rope of the harpoon, disappeared into the infinity of the sea.
After a long wait and no hope of seeing their partner again, the whalers returned to land.
The next morning, dawn again revealed that giant figure on the horizon. The men rowed with all their strength, and when they arrived, they had the most fantastic sight of their life: the whale had brought the man back, who greeted them with laughter, smoking a thick corn-husk cigarette.Legend has it that the whale harpooner never revealed the secret of his victory, nor how he got fire to light his cigarette.