Our Military Life Blog

The Sign of the Beaver – Week 1

Matt is about to embark on an adventure that he is not sure he is ready for. His father has left him at their small cabin while he goes back to get Matt’s mother and sister. Matt is excited for the adventure, but he knows that he will have to be very responsible and careful.

Before his father left, he gives him his gun, and his silver watch. Matt feels very grown up with these items and does his best to make his father proud. After he leaves the door of the cabin open, and a bear goes through his supplies, he knows that he is going to have to be very cautious. When he meets a stranger moving through, he offers hospitality, but ends up getting robbed in the process. His father’s fine gun is stolen, leaving him with nothing to find food, except his fishing pole.

When he decides to try and collect some honey from a tree that he and his father found earlier in the year, he does not fully think through the entire plan. He knows that he might get stung a couple of times. However, he ends up getting stung quite a bit more than he thought he would, and as he runs into the water to escape the bees, he looses a boot and hurts his leg. Someone hauls him out of the water and lays him on the bank. He is so out of it, that he is not sure what is going on, but someone seems to be trying to help him. When he wakes up in his own bed, he begins to wonder who was taking care of him. He vaguely remembers a couple of Indians, but not until they show up at his front door is he sure. The older Indian cares for him while the younger one just stares at Matt. When Matt tries to find something to give the Indian something in return, he hands out a book to the older Indian. Realizing after the fact that he does not read, Matt is asked to teach the younger how to read, in order for them to be able to understand what is coming across in paperwork handed to the Indian tribes. The younger is angered by the request and tries to refuse, but the grandfather has his way in the end, and tells Matt that he will be back tomorrow to begin the lessons.

This week we are reading Chapters 1-6


  1. Should Matt have been more cautious before allowing someone to stay the night in his cabin while he was alone?
  2. Matt should have been more careful when climbing the tree to gain the honey. Do you think he was a bit hasty in his decision?
  3. What do you think of Matt trying to teach Attean how to read?