Our Military Life Blog

The Sign of the Beaver – Week 3

Matt and Attean are still working through Robinson Crusoe and Matt is a little sad to see that they are coming to the end of the book. Attean is picking up more and more English words, while Matt is learning a few Indian words. While they are walking through the forest one day, they come across a fox that has been caught in a trap. Matt wants to release it, but Attean won’t let him touch it. He is very respectful of other tribes hunting areas, but angry with the fact that the trap is steel. It is not the way that Indians trap. Matt is horrified by the sight and that is something that stays with him.

When they finally finish Robinson Crusoe, Attean is very disappointed. He likes the stories, and takes them back to his family, where he can share them. Suddenly, Matt realizes, he has quite a few more stories that he can share with Attean! He pulls his father Bible from the shelf and starts to share some of the stories from there. Attean begins to share a story with him too, one that is very close to the one Matt just told him.

One day when they are walking through the forest, Attean signals Matt to be quiet, and not move. Matt is still pleased with the rabbit he managed to obtain with his bow and arrow. As they stand there, they see a small cub, but then right behind the smaller cub is a larger bear. Matt knows that if he begins to run, the bear is going to overtake him quickly, so almost without thinking, he swings the rabbit at the bear, where it hits between the eyes. Attean is able to act quickly and loosing two arrows at the bear, he finishes it off with his knife. Matt is right behind him, helping as he can. Attean heads back toward his village to let the women know where to find the bear, so that they can get the meat, and other essentials that they will use from the bear. Attean comes to get Matt later, inviting him to the encampment. Matt is excited about the chance to see where Attean lives and get a little bit of the bear meat. But when he wakes in the morning after the feast, he is shocked by the look of the place, as well as the fact that Attean’s grandmother hates him. She distrusts all white men, and the fact that Matt was invited there was not something she was pleased with.

When Matt finds Attean’s dog caught in a trap, he tries to let him loose, but he cant get the trap open alone. He knows that he has to fine Attean and get his help. When he finds that Attean is not there, he asks to speak to the grandmother, and hopefully she can help him. All the while, in the back of his mind, Matt is worried about what might have happened to his family, as they should have arrived by now.

This week, we are reading Chapters 13-18


  1. There are quite a few differences between Matt and Attean. What are some of the more notable ones that you have seen?
  2. Matt thinks quickly when they are confronted by the bear in the woods. What would you have done?
  3. What do you think of the friendship that is forming between the two boys? Do you think that they can remain friends even though there are so many differences between them?