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Duck Lake
Chapter I. The Cow shall Feed with the Bear

"THE cow and the bear shall feed" read Mr. Hewitt, in the Sunday morning service, "their young ones shall lie down together."

Chubb turned in amazement, and looked at the reader.

His attention had been arrested when he had heard the preacher say ‘wolf’ and ‘lamb,’ but the connection escaped him. He caught the above words of Isaiah’s glowing prophecy, and they photographed their images instantly upon his mind.

Chubb was a shy boy, and always sat near the door. He liked the preacher well enough, but he felt safer when the door to the woods was open. He was a child of the forest, and at the slightest sign of danger he would fly to his leafy home. It was his refuge; his strong tower. In fact, any little excuse, a dog barking or a horse neighing, caused him to leave the preaching service. Mr. Hewitt had often noticed this, and was several times about to reprove; but he wisely checked himself, his better spirit telling him that his present hearers were not to be won by reproof. The first notes of that harsh spirit might steel their shy natures against him, perhaps for ever.

To-day, however, Mr. Hewitt noticed the intent face and eager eyes of Chubb. They always met him squarely when he looked towards the door. The preacher was thankful, and prayed that the Holy Spirit would give him a special message for Chubb, that sturdy, but shy child of the woods. His theme was the incoming of Christ’s kingdom of righteousness, peace and love, and the overthrow of fear, and hate, and sin. He finished without any further references to bears and cows, and in this Chubb was greatly disappointed. But having been once aroused he was going to find out more about what he had heard. Was it true that a man had seen a bear and a cow feeding, and cubs and calves lying down together?

Chubb waited for the preacher that day. When Mr. Hewitt had shaken hands with his parishioners, and was hurrying along the path through the bush, he heard some one behind him. He turned and saw Chubb. He remembered again Chubb’s eager eyes, and his own prayer on the boy’s behalf, and so he was very glad to see the little fellow coming to talk with him.

"Good morning, Chubb," he said heartily. "How are you to-day?"

"Pretty good. You are going to Bethel?"

"Yes; my boat is down here at the landing. Would you like to row over with me?"

"Dunno. Say!" he exclaimed, plunging directly into the subject that was on his mind, "wasn’t the man crazy who wrote what you read in the book to-day?"

"What man?"

"Why, the chap that said, “The cow shall feed with the bear, and their young ones shall lie down together.”"

"That man was Isaiah, one of God's prophets. He was not crazy. He was sound as an oak."

"But that’s a funny idea of a cow and a bear feeding together.’"

"Yes, Chubb, the whole is a wonderful prophecy of good times to come. Some of them have come, and who knows," added the optimistic preacher, "but we may see the grand fulfilment of what this godly man foreshadowed!"

Chubb was greatly impressed, and walked along almost in silence. The day was warm and beautiful. The aroma of the woods was rich, almost heavy in its sweetness. Mr. Hewitt spoke of the trees, flowers, birds, lakes, God’s day and His word. Chubb heard it all, and while believing it was all right, because Mr. Hewitt said so, he comprehended but little. His mind was really absorbed by a plan to test the prophecy he had heard. If he could only get a bear and her cub and a cow and her calf together!

When they reached the lake, Chubb abruptly said, "Good-bye," and turned into the woods.

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