By Azariah Lindo
Value: Consider Yahawah
Jamaica Pond was the most perfect place there could be for two young bears to grow up together. Dwayne and Carlton were the happiest bear cubs on the mountain when they were tiny.
All the forest creatures knew when it was playtime because they ran through the forest, stumbling over everything, chasing anything, and catching nothing except each other. The fun they shared was contagious. All of Jamaica Pond was at play when the bear cubs were at play.
As they grew up, Dwayne and Carlton were always close but Dwayne became an expert hunter and fighter. He many times fought enemies for the borders of Jamaica Pond and was a hero to his friends and family. But just as many times, he created wars and fights that didn’t have to happen and made trouble for the creatures that shared the mountain with him and his brother. Every day was an adventure for Dwayne but he didn’t always have the wisdom of when to enter struggles and when to let Yahawah guide him towards peace. He acted on his ego and anger, often with little thought.
Carlton the Bear and his sweet wife and cubs loved playing near the lake at the base of Jamaica Pond. When they played, they brought great joy to all living things just as he and his brother had done when they were young. Not far away he knew that Dwayne was hunting because that is what he always did.
Suddenly the alarm went up. Through the trees in every species language, the alarm was the same “DANGER – WOLVES!” The North band of wolves was back to Jamaica Pond to raid and kill and destroy. All around the lake, peaceful animals were pulling back and fleeing up the mountain to escape the raid. Already Carlton could hear their growls as they charged through the trees angrily. He gathered the cubs and his wife and hurried up the hill to their caves where he knew they would be safe and supplicated Yahawah for guidance.
Dwayne heard the wolves as well, but his instincts acted differently. Instead of retreating to the hills to unite with some others, he took a position to defend his beloved mountain and his family and friends and didn’t even consider Yahawah in the process. Somewhere in his mind, a voice said, don’t fight them alone Dwayne. Think before you attack. And that voice sounded like his brother, Carlton. He observed from a sheltered place as the wolves gathered in a clearing to mass before they attacked. Before they could organize, he was on them.
The battle was fierce and for a while, Dwayne was winning. Wolf after wolf leaped upon him only to get batted away with claw marks on his head or chest for his trouble. Dwayne bit and growled and clawed and dozens of wolves were wounded.
But the battle wore on him and suddenly he realized he was injured and starting to fail. His growls turned to howls of pain and tiredness. Without warning, he was hit from behind by a very large wolf and he fell. Turning he looked up knowing that on his back, he was sure to lose, but then, he saw something he never expected.
Behind the faces of the angry demonic wolves stood a bear as large and ferocious as any he had ever seen. He erupted with a growl that shook the trees and could be heard to the very top of Jamaica Pond. Carlton tore into the wolves swatting them away from his brother and sending them flying into trees, over bushes, and even into the lake as if he had superpowers.
Their fierce growls and howling became frightened cries. Instead of massing to attack, they fled in chaos into the woods limping and sprinting to get as far away from Carlton as possible. The North wolves never returned to Jamaica Pond again.
Back in the caves, the cubs played on their injured uncle and imitated their brave father in how he defeated the wolves. “I never thought you could fight like that,” Dwayne said to his brother.
“It is good to fight for what is right and good. And anyone who loves their family will fight to protect them. I come in peace to all creatures, as our Yahawah created us to do, but this is a world with evil in it, and brother when evil tries to take over good, it will have a fight from this timid homeboy bear.”
“Timid homeboy bear” the cubs laughed and mimicked his swatting and making mock wolf cries. Dwayne laughed at their cute play and thought of the valuable lessons he learned.
These were lessons about fighting and about defending what you cherish, but they were also lessons of peace and joy that had always been the life testimony of his brother. And that day, Dwayne’s heart changed from the love of battle to the love of Yahawah, family, and peace.