Search just our sites by using our customised site search engine

Click here to get a Printer Friendly PageSmiley

Click here to learn more about MyHeritage and get free genealogy resources

Duck Lake
Chapter VIII. More Prophecy

IN his new, clean quarters Chubb steadily improved. He made Jonas tell him all about the fish he brought in, where and when he caught them, and also where he shot the ducks and partridges, or snared the rabbits. He was eager to hear of his escapades with poachers of his Majesty’s game, for Jonas was one of the Warden’s best men. Chubb never tired of hearing Jonas describe his journey to Sandy Bay to get Mr. Horace Fitzgerald to save Mr. Hewitt from the grip of the law.

During his convalescence, Jonas and the teacher brought Chubb’s tools and chemicals, and also his partly-stuffed bear, over to the Parsonage. To Chubb’s great satisfaction the teacher finished the work for him, giving Chubb, as he did it, many valuable hints in taxidermy. Chubb’s delight was nearly complete when the teacher affixed in the bear’s head a couple of greenish-coloured glass eyes. Mr. Green had many a merry tale to tell about school, but none pleased Chubb so much as the teacher’s description of the commotion caused by his bringing a porcupine to school.

Still, above the others, the boy’s interest grew in the young preacher. His kindly touch was a surprise to Chubb. He had never before known such a thing. He was much impressed with the work and manner in which his amateur physician examined and treated him; then the way in which he measured and poured out his decoctions interested Chubb greatly. It was a great thing, thought the patient, to ‘doctor’ the skins of birds, and stuff a bear; but to pour out medicines to make a sick boy well! To kill and ‘cure’ was great; but to make one feel good was greater. To destroy was in the natural wildness of things; to build up and redeem was something above the common order of events. Thus the preacher came into a large place in Chubb’s heart.

One day, when the preacher was quietly reading his Bible beside his patient, Chubb said—

‘Mr. Hewitt, read again for me what the Book says about, “the bear and the cow shall feed together.”

‘All right, Chubb, I will.’

He hoped that he could make the passage clear to him, to-day. So he read the latter part of the sixty-fifth chapter of Isaiah, telling about the ‘ new heaven and new earth, ’wherein‘ the wolf and the lamb shall feed together.’

‘Wished I’d begun with a wolf,’ said Chubb.

‘Did you ever catch one?’

‘No; but a pack nearly caught me and my father. It was when I was very little, and we toted a load of hay in to a lumber camp, and we was late getting home. The wolves broke into pa’s sheep-pen two winters ago, and cleaned out all our sheep. I don’t believe that they are any better than bears with cows,’ added Chubb, disgustedly.

In spite of himself, Mr. Hewitt had to laugh.

‘That man’s crazy who wrote that,’ said Chubb, sturdily. ‘I don’t believe a word of it.’

‘Don’t decide too quickly, Chubb. Isaiah is not writing of things as they are naturally found, either in his day or ours. He says that all this is to take place in the “new heavens, and the new earth,” where righteousness, love, and truth dwell. It is a prophecy of a better day; but it may begin in our midst now. Love will cast out hatred and murder from our hearts. This beginning with us will go through all creation until murder is known no more; when even the wolf will change his murderous nature, and become as docile as a lamb. But this is not all that this great writer says about animals. Let me read the other chapter.’

Then the preacher read the eleventh chapter, Chubb putting in a whistling comment as the animals were told off to enjoy themselves in peace. When the reader had finished, Chubb lay in silence for some time. Mr. Hewitt waited for him to speak.

‘The wolf shall dwell with the lamb,’ he muttered. ‘The cow shall feed with the bear, and their young ones shall lie down together. A little child shall lead them.’

After repeating these passages over to himself, he suddenly raised himself in his bed, and turning to Mr. Hewitt, he said earnestly—

'Say, that’s great. I’d like to hunt ’em, like Jonas. I’d like to know of ’em and stuff ’em, like the teacher; but I’d like best of all to lead ’em.’

‘You may lead them some day, Chubb,’ said the young preacher, with a look into the boy’s eyes that was a prayer and a hope.

‘How?’ asked the boy, eagerly.

‘By knowing the Great Leader, and being like Him.’

‘Who? Isaiah?’

‘The one of whom Isaiah wrote; the one on whom rested, as Isaiah says, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge, and the fear of the Lord. Jonas knows,’ continued the preacher, ‘where the ducks fly, and where the fish swim; so he' applies his knowledge. He goes, catches and kills them to make us food. That is one man. On him rests the spirit of knowledge and might. The teacher can take lines and figures, letters and words, and can find lessons and laws of God for us to learn. On him rests the spirit of understanding and counsel. That is another man. But it takes a third man to make the perfect child of God, the one who is to lead the rest; and this man has not only knowledge and counsel and might, but also the fear of the Lord, which buds forth into a passionate love for God, for man, for all created things.’

‘That’s you,’ said Chubb, following the preacher intently.

‘I hope I have some of this fear and love, Chubb, but Jonas is learning it, and I believe the teacher has much of it. You remember he tore his own shirt up to make bandages for you. His fear lest you should suffer and his love for you made him do it.’

‘And I love him for it,’ said Chubb, as grateful tears sprang into his eyes.

‘So in most men three men seem to exist, though they do not all get equal development. There is the hunter, who delights to chase and kill; but a man who becomes no better than this will be little better than a bear or a wolf. He will live only a brute’s life. The man of knowledge, the one who delights to analyze, compare, and draw conclusions, may be satisfied to see things as they are, and not help to make them any better. His soul may be as black as midnight, and he may be cruel and vicious.’

‘And the third man,’ said Chubb, impatient to hear of the last of the three men who all live in one man.

‘The third one is the man of aspiration, the man whose eye is on God, who, seeking peace in his own soul, would teach all things to be at peace amongst themselves. He fears God; and, Chubb, you may have this fear too.'

‘What? Fear? Fear makes cowards. Jonas isn't a coward; no more am I.'

‘No more is the teacher; no more is Jesus Christ; or “the child who shall lead them.” One kind of fear—fear of man, of animals, fear of getting yourself hurt—makes cowards; but fear of God—fear of doing wrong—is a fear causes you to forget yourself, and makes you as brave as a lion.’

‘Then I want that fear.’

‘That’s right, Chubb. Desire it, ask God for it, and you shall have it. That fear means the best that is in man. Yes, it is better than is in man. It comes from God’s Spirit being in man, and He teaches us to love God, and to love everything God has made; He teaches us to fear to treat anything wrongly or unkindly. It will be the effort of our lives to know men and serve them, to know animals and to master them by being a means of blessing to them.’

‘Blessing to a bear!’ exclaimed Chubb in surprise. ‘Why, a bear nearly killed me. I wished that I had killed it.’

‘There are worse bears, Chubb, than those that have fur coats on.’

The preacher looked meaningly at the boy.

‘Do you mean my father and my mother?’ said Chubb, his eyes flashing, ‘for if you do I’ll get right up and go home! ’

‘Did I mention any names?'


‘Well, then, whenever you meet any one, whether father or mother or any one else who treats you unkindly, remember that the bravest
thing is not to fight back, but to patiently suffer, pray to God, and try to find out some way to be a blessing to them.’

‘But shouldn’t men fight and kill anything?’

‘If you and I met a bear, we would not hesitate to kill it as quickly as we could. But I was going to tell you that in calling to your assistance the three men who, I said, lived in every man, you should begin with the man of prayer, the man after God’s own heart. If you can conquer your enemy by love, you have won a great victory. But if your man of knowledge tells you that life is dependent upon your efforts, whether to get food or to preserve life, then you should call your hunter, and send him to work with all his powers.'

‘I’d kill wolves too. They killed all my father’s sheep, the vermin. I’d kill every one of them if I could!’

‘But, Chubb, if man had done so at the beginning you would have had no collie dog, like your Duncan. On every farm where there is a sheep and a dog, the prophecy “the wolf shall dwell with the lamb” is to that extent fulfilled.'

‘True for you, Mister Hewitt. The dog is a tame wolf, for sure!’ said Jonas, as he entered and dropped a bag of game inside of the door.

‘That was your “Amen” Jonas.' laughed the preacher.

‘Thus, you see,’ continued Mr. Hewitt to Chubb, ‘that the sheep’s worst enemy has been turned by wisdom, love, and training into being his best friend and protector. There are other animals to be won. “A child shall lead them,” Chubb; why not you?’

'Much good luck this week, Jonas?’ asked the preacher, formally greeting his Indian friend.

‘Ah, huh,’ was the laconic reply.

‘Can you stay a little while with Chubb?’ ‘Ah, huh,’ said Jonas, and smiled with pleasure.

Then, seizing his opportunity, Mr. Hewitt left Chubb in Jonas’ care while he hurried away to fulfil some of his pastoral duties.

Return to Book Index Page

This comment system requires you to be logged in through either a Disqus account or an account you already have with Google, Twitter, Facebook or Yahoo. In the event you don't have an account with any of these companies then you can create an account with Disqus. All comments are moderated so they won't display until the moderator has approved your comment.